Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tax is a tough word for most people

Books of Account
Principles of Taxation
Dr V. Gaurishanker


Numerous amendments have battered the Income-Tax Act, 1961, over the years. Bizarrely, some of these changes were meant ‘to help or hurt particular individuals.’

Dr V. Gaurishanker narrates two such instances in Principles of Taxation ( http://www.cchindia.co.in/ ).
The first is about the change brought about in Section 23 (which is about annual value of house property), “solely as a result of the hardship pointed out by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.”

Nehru’s ancestral house was in Allahabad. It was not let out, but its notional value was relevant for the taxman. Nehru felt that it was most unjust to tax a house, which is a residential building and cannot be occupied by the owner because of his employment elsewhere!

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