Direct taxes are those which are paid directly to the government by the taxpayer. These taxes are not deducted and paid on behalf of the taxpayer. It’s imposed on the people and organizations directly by the government. This tax liability has to be paid by the taxpayer in question and cannot be transferred to any other entity for payment.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes in India
Direct taxation in India is overseen by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). The CBDT is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance and is responsible for the administration of the direct tax laws. It also provides inputs and suggestions for policy and planning of the direct taxes in India. The CBDT is the hub and nexus of all direct taxation policy and enforcement.
Direct Tax Code
In a move to establish a more efficient, effective and equitable direct tax system, the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) has been drafted to replace the existing Indian Income Tax Act of 1961. It aims to consolidate and amend all laws relating to the direct taxes in order to facilitate voluntary compliance and increase the tax-GDP ratio. With its 319 Sections and 22 Schedules, the DTC aims to replace the old Income Tax Act and provide a more stable, efficient and overall better code for taxation incorporating the best taxation principles and proven international practices.
Examples of Direct Taxes in India:
Capital Gains Tax
- Income tax is the most common and most important tax that an Indian must pay.
- It is charged directly on the income of a person.
- The rate at which it is charged varies, depending on the level of income.
- It’s charged to individuals, co-operative societies, firms, companies, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), trusts and any artificial judicial person.
- Income tax is charged on an income known as “taxable income”, which is: Taxable income = (total income) – (applicable deductions and exemptions).
The different heads of income under which income tax is chargeable are:
- Income from house and property.
- Income from business or profession.
- Income from salaries.
- Income in the form of capital gains.
- Income from other sources.<?li>
- Levied on companies who exist as separate entities from their shareholders.
- Foreign companies are taxed on income that arises, or is deemed to arise, in India.
- It is charged on royalties, interest, gains from sale of capital assets located in India, fees for technical services and dividends.
- Includes Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) which was introduced to bring Zero Tax companies under the income tax net, whose accounts were made in accordance with the Companies Act.
- Includes Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) which is a tax that companies pay on the fringe benefits provided (or deemed to have been provided) to employees.
- Incudes Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) which is a tax levied on any amount declared, distributed or paid as dividend by any domestic company. International companies are exempt from this tax.
- Includes Securities Transaction Tax (STT) which is a tax levied on taxable securities transactions. There is not surcharge applicable on this.
Capital Gains Tax
- Taxed on the income derived from the sale of assets or investments.
- Capital investments cover homes, farms, businesses, works of art, etc.
- Capital gains = (money received from sale) – (cost of capital investment).
- Categorized as short-term gains (gains on assets sold within 36 months of acquisition) and long-term gains (gains on assets sold after 36 months of acquisition and holding).
- Voluntary tax that is paid by the taxpayer when the asset it sold.