No Timeline Set by Govt to Remove Income Tax Exemptions: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the idea behind introducing second alternative tax slabs without exemptions is to take the country towards “a simplified, exemption-free and reduced rate of tax regime”.

But there is no timeline set by the government to remove all exemptions, she told reporters here after an interactive session with trade representatives and intellectuals on the Union Budget.

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“At the moment we only started a second alternative with some exemptions removed or some exemptions included, although the original intention was to remove all exemptions and give a clear simplified reduced rate of income tax,” she said.

The Budget 2020-21 has introduced more tax slabs and offers higher limits provided the taxpayer is ready to forego all the existing exemptions and deductions including home loan interest, other tax savings investments.

“We have not made up our minds as yet (on the removal of all exemptions)… we are trying step by step, move forward and no particular timeline given,” she said when asked if there is any timeframe for removing all exemptions.