Dashing all hopes of the middle class, Modi 2.0 failed to deliver any of the much awaited tax cuts in Budget 2019.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her maiden budget on Friday offered little relief for taxpayers with annual incomes up to Rs 5 lakh. She, however, proposed an income tax exemption of Rs 1.5 lakh on loans taken for e-vehicles.
While the government did increase the taxes or the rich by increasing income tax on incomes of Rs 5 crore and above to seven percent and adding a surcharge of three percent to those annual incomes between Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore, there were no tax cuts or reductions from middle-income groups.
The Budget also proposes to make PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable and allow those who don't have PAN to file Income Tax Returns by simply quoting their Aadhaar number. Sitharaman told the House that more than 120 crore Indians have Aadhaar and so the proposal intends to make the process more convenient for the tax-payers.
However, this was not at all what the middle classes had been expecting. The lack of tax cuts pushed many to Twitter and several heartbroken taxpayers took to making and posting sad memes to express their disappointment.
The Budget also proposes faceless tax assessments. "The existing system of scrutiny assessments in the Income-tax Department involves a high level of personal interaction between the taxpayer and the Department, which leads to certain undesirable practices on the part of tax officials," Sitharaman said in Parliament on Friday.
Additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest paid on loans taken to buy electric vehicles. "This leads to a benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh crore over the tax period of the loan for the loan payer," said Sitharaman.