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Arun Jaitley: Small traders who go digital may get 30% tax advantage

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the government's decision to tweak the presumptive income norms would reduce the tax liability by up to 30 per cent for those small traders opting for digital transactions.

He said in the Budget for 2016-17, small traders and businessmen, with turnover of up to Rs 2 crore who did not maintain proper accounts, were presumed to have earned 8 per cent income or profit for tax purposes. But if they use digital mode of payments, their income will now be presumed to be 6 per cent of the turnover and not 8 per cent.

"So he will get a significant tax benefit. The object is if you do transactions using digital mode then you can pay less tax. It is a tax incentive to support digitisation of the economy. And if we calculate it, then some traders would get over 30 per cent tax advantage if he transacts through digital mode," Jaitley told reporters in New Delhi.

Under the existing Section 44AD of the Income-Tax Act, 1961, in case of certain assessees (an individual, HUF or a partnership firm other than LLP) carrying on any business having a turnover of Rs 2 crore or less, the profit is deemed to be 8 per cent of the total turnover for taxation.

"...it has been decided to reduce the existing rate of deemed profit of 8 per cent under section 44AD of the Act to 6 per cent in respect of the amount of total turnover or gross receipts received through banking channel/digital means for the financial year 2016-17," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had said yesterday in a notification.