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Deepak Shenoy and Dheeraj Singh
Budgetonomics
Demystifying Budget 2013
Capital Mind with Deepak Shenoy and Dheeraj Singh
Page 2
Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................
Page 3
SME factoring credit guarantees to SIDBI..............................................................................
Page 4
Customs, Excise Duty and Service Tax..................................................................................
Page 5
Introduction
This book will change your life. You will be able to climb mountains, cross rivers, reap without
sowin...
Page 6
What the Heck is a Budget?
The Very Core Of It
The Union Budget is nothing but a statement from the government abou...
Page 7
The enabling instrument for Parliament to approve the budget and taxation proposals of the
government is the “Finan...
Page 8
A deficit occurs because the government spends more than it earns. In other words, expenditure
exceeds revenue.
Two...
Page 9
The Budget, In Charts
The charts below give us an idea of the recent trends in Revenue, Expenditure and the Deficit...
Page 10
Tax collections are still largely about corporate taxes (33%), but individual income taxes have gone
up to 20% of ...
Page 11
Expenditure growth at 16% Next Year
Expenditure is marked by a high interest payment number that is still nearly 2...
Page 12
Fiscal Deficit Looks Manageable, But This is a Budget
As revenue growth has been moderate (the average in the five...
Page 13
3. Market Stabilisation Scheme : The government has also budgeted an amount of Rs. 20,000
crores under the market ...
Page 14
As can be seen above, the effective tax rate for companies is lower as its profitability increases.
This indicates...
Page 15
As can be seen bulk of the companies paid an effective tax rate of zero or less than zero. Amongst
the companies t...
Page 16
The government gets hyperactive in February and March
The following table illustrates the performance of the gover...
Page 17
The Budget For....
Page 18
For You and me - The Lowdown on Taxes
It has been an extremely boring budget (except for those in the stock market...
Page 19
This applies to Individuals, Firms, Co-operative societies and Local Authorities. And Limited
Liability Partnershi...
Page 20
 Marble tiles in case you wanted a reflooring. The duty is doubled from 30 per sq. mtr to
Rs. 60.
 Vehicle Parki...
Page 21
For Startups: The Mixed Bag
What’s in it for startups? Last year, we had a horrible section (Read the full e-book)...
Page 22
Maybe Flipkart can Flip The FDI Probe Over
Pratyush brought this up. The only reason Flipkart’s getting grief abou...
Page 23
you really need to be going out there, really gung-ho, trying to get funds allocated before the next
“insti” start...
Page 24
However, there is hope. I can recommend that you set up your company as an LLP where buy-
backs of this sort are n...
Page 25
The Budget for Traders and Investors
Page 26
STT Gets Slashed, CTT comes in
Securities Transaction Tax (STT) is something traders seemed to expect would go awa...
Page 27
Futures STT cut to 1 basis point
STT for futures was 0.017%, or Rs. 1,700 per crore. For a single Nifty Lot, that ...
Page 28
Real Estate: Not a Happy Note
Ramifications of a budget are beyond taxes. But usually, the real estate fellows des...
Page 29
At present taxable portion for service tax purpose is prescribed as 25% uniformly for constructions
where value of...
Page 30
likely to demand a 1% higher rate. And then, this 1% is likely to increase the "black" component of
real estate de...
Page 31
Dividend Distribution Tax on Debt Funds Raised to 25%
From 1 June 2013, any dividends paid out by debt mutual fund...
Page 32
This is a bummer for all those that have bought the dividend option of any non-equity fund,
including:
 Gilt Fund...
Page 33
Foreign Investors
Foreigners Pay Lower Tax on Long Term Infra bonds
Till now, investment in Indian company issued ...
Page 34
The Budget For Everyone Else
Well, it's not like the budget stops at being for investors or traders or salaried ge...
Page 35
Loopholes and Workarounds
Page 36
Keyman Insurance Loophole Plugged: All proceeds will be
taxed
Budget 2013 has plugged a loophole in the tax system...
Page 37
Our opinion: Keyman policies were a tax avoidance method forever. We were first approached by
agents for it in the...
Page 38
The Service Tax Amnesty Scheme
While small service providers are exempt from paying service tax until after they r...
Page 39
In fact, service tax is now going to be 32% of indirect taxes:
Page 40
With service tax becoming bigger and bigger as a percentage of taxes, they must expect that this
tax will be more ...
Page 41
What We Lost: Over 573,000 cr. From Tax Benefits
In the process of revealing the budget, the government also revea...
Page 42
STPI clearance, for instance, would not pay any taxes for the most of the last decade; the only
savior was the Min...
Page 43
80 C deductions consist of deductions for insurance, housing loan principal, provident fund
payments and so on. Th...
Page 44
This is certainly not all.
However, certain other tax saving items are not included in this list, for example:
 T...
Page 45
Effective Tax Rate - the distribution
It turns out that taxes aren't distributed evenly across industries. A quick...
Page 46
Our opinion: We believe that while some subsidies and incentives are required, we would promote
better behaviour i...
Page 47
Closing Remarks
While Budget 2013 was a damp squib in terms of exciting capital markets, or even generating
front-...
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Budgetonomics 2013: Capital Mind on the Budget

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This book will change your life. You will be able to climb mountains, cross rivers, reap without sowing, make magic and be your own best friend.

Actually, No. But we hope that got you interested.

In a comedown of epic proportions, much about the Indian budget is about broken promises and high expectations. But the drama of the last day of February, when the finance minister usually delivers a long speech in parliament, is sometimes brushed off as an esoteric act that keeps politicians busy and mediapersons discussing fervently about how bad it is that we saw a Rs. 1.36 increase in the cost of non-phosphate fertilizer.

We’re not saying non-phosphate fertilizer is not important. It is. It is hugely important. Largely, because some of the people for whom it is hugely important might buy this book. And that is never a problem for “our” budget.

But read on and we hope to enlighten and educate you about the thing that marks the end of February.

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Transcript of "Budgetonomics 2013: Capital Mind on the Budget"

  1. 1. Deepak Shenoy and Dheeraj Singh Budgetonomics Demystifying Budget 2013 Capital Mind with Deepak Shenoy and Dheeraj Singh
  2. 2. Page 2 Contents Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................................5 What the Heck is a Budget?..........................................................................................................................................6 The Very Core Of It......................................................................................................................................................6 If the budget is just a financial statement why all the buzz surrounding it? .....................................6 Revenue, Expenditure and Deficits...................................................................................................................7 The Budget, In Charts.................................................................................................................................................9 Government Revenue crosses 10 Lakh Crore in 2013-14 .........................................................................9 Expenditure growth at 16% Next Year......................................................................................................... 11 Fiscal Deficit Looks Manageable, But This is a Budget........................................................................... 12 Some Highlights of Budget 2013........................................................................................................................ 12 Huge Increase in Gross Borrowing................................................................................................................. 12 Some Of Them Companies Pay Very Little!................................................................................................. 13 The government gets hyperactive in February and March..................................................................... 16 The Budget For.... .......................................................................................................................................................... 17 For You and me - The Lowdown on Taxes....................................................................................................... 18 Taxes Slashed Across The Board. ................................................................................................................... 18 Some Taxes Slashed? Tax Slabs Expanded? I might pay a little lesser tax? Maybe?................... 18 So Nothing? No Taxes Slashed? I’ll pay MORE tax?................................................................................. 18 So How Come I Pay More Tax?........................................................................................................................ 18 I hope there’s no more bad news. .................................................................................................................. 19 Like? ......................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Okay, but I don’t smoke...................................................................................................................................... 19 Grr. What else?...................................................................................................................................................... 19 Anything Good? .................................................................................................................................................... 20 For Startups: The Mixed Bag................................................................................................................................. 21 The Return of the Rs. 1 Crore Angel, Or Something................................................................................. 21 “Pass Through” Status Good For Angel Investors...................................................................................... 21 Maybe Flipkart can Flip The FDI Probe Over.............................................................................................. 22
  3. 3. Page 3 SME factoring credit guarantees to SIDBI.................................................................................................... 22 MSME benefits to continue upto three years after................................................................................... 22 Incubators for CSR............................................................................................................................................... 22 SMEs can list without IPO with informed investors ................................................................................. 23 Unlisted Buy-Backs Get Taxed......................................................................................................................... 23 The Budget for Traders and Investors.................................................................................................................... 25 STT Gets Slashed, CTT comes in.......................................................................................................................... 26 Mutual Fund STT Cut.......................................................................................................................................... 26 Futures STT cut to 1 basis point..................................................................................................................... 27 Commodity Derivatives Taxed......................................................................................................................... 27 Real Estate: Not a Happy Note............................................................................................................................. 28 Home Loans Get Additional Tax Deduction on Interest, But Wait....................................................... 28 Real Estate Transactions May Get Higher Service Tax Charge............................................................. 28 TDS of 1% for property transactions ............................................................................................................. 29 Stamp Duty Is The Real Deal ........................................................................................................................... 30 Dividend Distribution Tax on Debt Funds Raised to 25%........................................................................... 31 Foreign Investors...................................................................................................................................................... 33 Foreigners Pay Lower Tax on Long Term Infra bonds............................................................................. 33 GAAR Comes In Later.......................................................................................................................................... 33 Surprise: Residency not "sufficient"............................................................................................................... 33 The Budget For Everyone Else ............................................................................................................................. 34 Royalty Payments Get a 25% Tax................................................................................................................... 34 Invest Rs. 100 Cr. and get 15% Tax Deduction.......................................................................................... 34 No Cash for Political Investments .................................................................................................................. 34 Loopholes and Workarounds..................................................................................................................................... 35 Keyman Insurance Loophole Plugged: All proceeds will be taxed.......................................................... 36 The Service Tax Amnesty Scheme...................................................................................................................... 38 What We Lost: Over 573,000 cr. From Tax Benefits...................................................................................... 41 Corporates Eat Up 80,000 Cr............................................................................................................................ 41 Individuals Take 36,000 cr. of subsidies....................................................................................................... 42
  4. 4. Page 4 Customs, Excise Duty and Service Tax.......................................................................................................... 43 Effective Tax Rate - the distribution ............................................................................................................. 45 Are these bad? ...................................................................................................................................................... 45 Closing Remarks............................................................................................................................................................ 47 Contact: ................................................................................................................................................................... 47 Changes, Additions and All That Version 2  Added new chapter on Revenue Foregone: How We lost 573,000 cr. To Tax Benefits  Cleaned up, used a better font and made things look better
  5. 5. Page 5 Introduction This book will change your life. You will be able to climb mountains, cross rivers, reap without sowing, make magic and be your own best friend. Actually, No. But we hope that got you interested. In a comedown of epic proportions, much about the Indian budget is about broken promises and high expectations. But the drama of the last day of February, when the finance minister usually delivers a long speech in parliament, is sometimes brushed off as an esoteric act that keeps politicians busy and mediapersons discussing fervently about how bad it is that we saw a Rs. 1.36 increase in the cost of non-phosphate fertilizer. We’re not saying non-phosphate fertilizer is not important. It is. It is hugely important. Largely, because some of the people for whom it is hugely important might buy this book. And that is never a problem for “our” budget. But read on and we hope to enlighten and educate you about the thing that marks the end of February.
  6. 6. Page 6 What the Heck is a Budget? The Very Core Of It The Union Budget is nothing but a statement from the government about: a) the money that it expects to receive (through tax and other means); and b) the money that it expects to spend over the next year. Additionally, the budget also documents the actual receipts and expenditures for the last few years. The budget documents are placed before Parliament by the government. Since the government is an extremely large and complex entity, the actual numbers take time to collate. The general practice, therefore, is to present:  the numbers for the coming financial year as “Budget Estimates” (BE)  the numbers for the immediate previous financial year as “Revised Estimates” (RE) (The budget is usually presented about a month before the close of the financial year. So the government does not have the actual figure for receipts and expenditure. They are therefore presented only as an estimate and are called revised estimates)  the numbers for the years gone by as per “Actuals.” If the budget is just a financial statement why all the buzz surrounding it? Many reasons for that. One, the government is the dominant player in the economy, by far. So it’s activities and their outcomes in the form of earnings and expenditures have a profound and lasting impact on the economy. Therefore, it matters a great deal from an economy wide perspective. Also, traditionally policy changes on taxation etc. have been announced along with the presentation of the budget. This is not a requirement, but has become a tradition. This is also what most people care about, other than economists and industry players. Policy announcements like changes in duty structures etc. are also made on a regular basis outside the budget too. These announcements however do not attract the same kind of attention that announcements on the budget day do.
  7. 7. Page 7 The enabling instrument for Parliament to approve the budget and taxation proposals of the government is the “Finance Bill” which is also tabled on the floor of the Parliament. The Finance Bill is debated upon and passed by Parliament as an Act. This gives the legislative mandate to the government to tax citizens and make spending as per the budget proposals. Revenue, Expenditure and Deficits With that brief introduction, let’s dive right in to the meat of “what is the budget?” The government’s budget can be broadly categorised under three heads a) Revenue and Other Receipts: Revenue is the money that government earns through taxes and other means. The qualifying word here is “earns”. In simple terms, this money does not need to be repaid. Other Receipts broadly comprise borrowings and other one off inflows like receipts due to disinvestment (when the government sells the shares that it holds in companies), sale of national assets like spectrum, exploration rights for natural resources like oil, coal etc. b) Expenditure: Expenditure is the money that the government spends. These can be of two types: i) revenue expenditure; and ii) capital expenditure. Revenue expenditure is akin to consumption - an expense that does not lead to creation of an asset. Capital expenditure is incurred to build an asset. Once built, the asset is likely to earn revenue sometime in the future. Examples of revenue expenditure are salaries, interest payments, subsidies etc. Examples of capital expenditure could be money spent on building a power plant or a port or a road. The power plant, road or port is likely to earn revenue in the future years once completed. The government also classifies expenditure as Plan and Non Plan. The exact difference is not material to our discussion, but one can broadly assume it to be similar to Capital and Revenue Expenditure respectively. (They are however not the same). c) Deficit :
  8. 8. Page 8 A deficit occurs because the government spends more than it earns. In other words, expenditure exceeds revenue. Two types of deficits are important: 1. The Fiscal Deficit : This is the excess of total expenditure over total revenue 2. The Revenue Deficit : This is the excess of revenue expenditure over revenue receipts. (As in, we remove capital expenditure and borrowings) The fiscal deficit is bridged in two ways – Printing Money or Borrowing 1. Printing Money : This is also called monetisation of deficit. In the Indian context this happens when the government borrows from RBI directly or indirectly. This process involves creation of fresh “Primary” Money or Reserve Money. 2. Market Borrowing : When the government borrows from the market, no fresh primary money is created.
  9. 9. Page 9 The Budget, In Charts The charts below give us an idea of the recent trends in Revenue, Expenditure and the Deficit of the Government. Government Revenue crosses 10 Lakh Crore in 2013-14 With the budget looking at a 21% increase in total revenues, the expectation is that we will get more than 10 lakh crore in revenue this year. This translates to the highest revenue growth since 2010-11, and the second highest since 2007-08. With GDP growth at 5% this year, can the government deliver?
  10. 10. Page 10 Tax collections are still largely about corporate taxes (33%), but individual income taxes have gone up to 20% of all tax collections. Excise Duties have fallen from 32% of all taxes collected, down to 16% in 2013-14. Service tax has taken up the slack, accounting for nearly 15% of all taxes next year, from less than 4% in 2005.
  11. 11. Page 11 Expenditure growth at 16% Next Year Expenditure is marked by a high interest payment number that is still nearly 22% of all expenditure. Subsidies have gone up - the fattening green line above. The biggest move has been in plan expenditure in the last few years. And you can see how, after two years of sub 10% increase in expenditure, we now have a 16% year coming up. This is sustainable only if revenue grows 21% as per plan, but as mentioned, that looks highly suspect as well.
  12. 12. Page 12 Fiscal Deficit Looks Manageable, But This is a Budget As revenue growth has been moderate (the average in the five years has been only 15.5%) and expenditure growth low in recent years, the fiscal deficit seems to have been tame, but it is a large absolute number. The fiscal deficit has therefore surged in recent years. Since the fiscal deficit is financed primarily by borrowings, the borrowings by the central government has also shown a marked upswing. Budgeted numbers are hardly a reality, and we should take these numbers with a pinch of salt and a dose of optimism. Some Highlights of Budget 2013 Huge Increase in Gross Borrowing 1. Borrowing : The government has budgeted to borrow a gross amount of 6,29,000 crores from the market in the financial year 2013-2014. This is a significant jump from the 5,58,000 crores that the government is expected to borrow in 2012-2013. 2. However, amongst the repayment of older borrowings this year, the government has provided for an amount of 50,000 crores as buyback of old borrowings. Net out this amount and the additional borrowing this year is not significantly higher than the previous year.
  13. 13. Page 13 3. Market Stabilisation Scheme : The government has also budgeted an amount of Rs. 20,000 crores under the market stabilisation scheme (MSS). Readers may recall that MSS was an instrument used by RBI (along with the government) to manage the excess liquidity that we were flooded with during 2004-2007 when foreign inflows were plentiful. With liquidity conditions tight and the rupee under pressure providing for MSS this year looks counterintuitive. It remains to be seen if this is a sign that the government is expecting a reversal of the tight money situation. Some Of Them Companies Pay Very Little! The Government also releases a statement of revenue foregone which details the amount of money it may have collected had the various tax incentives available to individuals and corporates not been there. This statement has a lot of information, but this time they have included a study on taxes paid by different companies according to their profitability profile. The total sample of the number of companies studied exceeded 4.9 lakhs. This is therefore a fairly large and representative sample. The findings are summarised below in charts.
  14. 14. Page 14 As can be seen above, the effective tax rate for companies is lower as its profitability increases. This indicates greater usage of tax incentives by the larger more profitable companies. Also, more than 56% of corporate taxes collected came from just 252 companies which is less than 0.5% of the total number of companies, showing you how top-heavy our industry is. The effective tax rate for all the companies in the study (about 4.95 lakh companies were studied) was only 22.85%, much lower than the 32.45% nominal tax rate for domestic companies. The distribution of number of companies as per their effective tax rate is:
  15. 15. Page 15 As can be seen bulk of the companies paid an effective tax rate of zero or less than zero. Amongst the companies that had a positive tax rate, a bulk of them fell in the 30-33% tax slab.
  16. 16. Page 16 The government gets hyperactive in February and March The following table illustrates the performance of the government in this financial year so far (up to January). It also compares the revised estimates that the budget document has estimated for the whole year. The difference between the revised estimate and the actuals upto January gives us an idea of the extent of activity expected in the months of February and March. (Rs. Crores) Item Revised Estimates Actuals till Jan 2013 Estimate for Feb and March Feb and March activity as % of Total Last Year Feb and Mar % Revenue Receipts 871828 628583 243245 27.90% 26.9% - Tax Revenue 742115 527822 214293 28.88% 27.2% - Non Tax Revenue 129713 100761 28952 22.32% 25.6% Total Expenditure 1430825 1111348 319477 22.33% 23.2% -Plan Expenditure 429187 316026 113161 26.37% 28.7% - Non Plan Expenditure 1001638 795322 206316 20.60% 20.6% Revenue Deficit 391245 352205 39040 9.98% 15.2% Fiscal Deficit 520925 465681 55244 10.60% 15.7%
  17. 17. Page 17 The Budget For....
  18. 18. Page 18 For You and me - The Lowdown on Taxes It has been an extremely boring budget (except for those in the stock markets who saw the market up 0.5% at the beginning and end up 2% down towards the close). Let me first tell you what you want to hear. Taxes Slashed Across The Board. That’s what you want to hear. But no. Some Taxes Slashed? Tax Slabs Expanded? I might pay a little lesser tax? Maybe? You’re getting closer, but not quite. So Nothing? No Taxes Slashed? I’ll pay MORE tax? Yeah! Now we’re talking. The income tax slabs don’t change at all. It’s that complicated mix of:  Upto 2 lakhs per year, nothing  10% of what’s between 2 and 5 lakhs .  20% of what’s between 5 and 10 lakhs  30% of whatever’s above 10 lakhs. With the usual caveats of: if you’re above 60, the first slab is 2.5 lakhs, and if you’re above 80, it’s 5 lakhs. Nothing changes. Ha, but there’s this tiny little thing. Since apparently inflation applies only to the lowest tax bracket, the finance minister has decided that if your income is less than Rs. 5 lakh, he’ll give you a “rebate” of Rs. 2,000. That is: you calculate your tax and pay Rs. 2,000 less than that. So How Come I Pay More Tax? Do you earn more than 1 crore? That’s 10 million rupees if you don’t know what crore is. ( Then why would you be reading this? But I digress) If the answer is “no”, and you don’t know anyone else that does, then you can skip this section. Individuals that earn more than Rs. 1 crore will pay a 10% surcharge. That means if you had to pay Rs. 20 lakh in tax, you’ll pay another 2 lakh as a surcharge. (And the 3% education cesses on top of those)
  19. 19. Page 19 This applies to Individuals, Firms, Co-operative societies and Local Authorities. And Limited Liability Partnerships. For companies (Private or Public Limited) that earn more than 1 crore, the surcharge is retained just 5%. But if they earn more than 10 crore rupees – bang, we’re up to the 10% surcharge level. Foreign companies already pay a higher rate of tax for their Indian income, and their surcharge remains at 2% below Rs. 10 crores, and 5% above that. In effect, if you’re paying more tax, then you’re probably rich. I want to be sympathetic and face the same problem because heck, I get to be rich. On a more serious note: this increases the taxes that public companies pay, so you will find companies reporting lower earnings, to the extent of about 10% of taxes paid, in the coming year. I hope there’s no more bad news. Currently it’s like this. The lack of good news is bad news. Your costs just went up due to inflation. You get no extra tax relief. So you’re going to have to cut back on those expenses. And there’s stuff that’s getting more expensive. Like? Smoking. Duty on cigarettes is up by 18% on cigarettes less than 65 mm. Or some such random number which never ever works because ITC’s profits are always going up. And it’s not those potato chips that sell that much. Okay, but I don’t smoke. Good. But you use a mobile phone? Bonus points if you’re reading this on your mobile phone, because the bad news is: mobiles get that much more expensive. Mobile phone duty is up to 6% from 2% for stuff that costs more than Rs. 2,000. And everything costs more than Rs. 2,000. (On an easier to understand note: If your mobile phone costs Rs. 15,000, you can expect it to cost about Rs. 600 more.) Grr. What else? Okay, I’ll be the bullet point guy.  Air conditioned restaurants will now charge service tax. Earlier only the ones with alcohol did. Now you can total teas, but you’ll pay the service tax. [Editor: He’s losing it]  SUVs. Excise duty raised from 27% to 30%. Unless it’s a taxi. I know what you’re thinking. So does the excise tax department.
  20. 20. Page 20  Marble tiles in case you wanted a reflooring. The duty is doubled from 30 per sq. mtr to Rs. 60.  Vehicle Parking get service taxed. This kills my mall mileage.  Home loans got cheaper for a very select lucky few that get to buy their house for less than 40 lakhs, and will take a loan of less than 25 lakh in the next financial year. They will be so thankful. Meanwhile I rent because what you get for 25 lakhs nowadays won’t even house the equipment this post is being written on.  Keyman insurance was being misused by having a company take it and then having it assigned to the individual who got the full benefit. This is now gone. I will write about this in detail but it’s a loophole fixed.  Real estate purchases from builders which is high ticket will get more expensive. Again, detailed post coming, but you will pay 0.62% more (currently 3.09%) if you buy a large house or pay all the money after construction is complete.  Customs duty on Set top boxes for TV is doubled, to 10%.  From 1 June 2013: Buy a property worth more than 50 lakh, and you have to deduct 1% tax before you pay the money to the seller. And deposit it with the Income Tax Department. (Yes, I wish I could have kept it too)  Oh yeah, if you have money in Dividend Paying Mutual Funds, don’t. Anything Good? Yes, shouldn’t there be? Again, bulletpointing:  The disabled get to pay upto 15% of sum assured as premium and still get income tax exemptions. (Current upper limit is 10%)  Baggage allowances (duty free) for jewellery, for a returning Indian after living abroad for a year or more, is raised to Rs. 50K (from 10K) for a man and Rs. 100K (from 20K) for a woman. Crew gets a higher limit of Rs. 1500 (from Rs. 600).  Hazelnuts are cheaper, with customs duty cut to 10% (from 30%). Hopefully the topping on the coffee will get cheaper too.  Li-ion batteries for electric cars will get no customs duty. But there’s no power to actually charge those cars at a large scale, so it’s not really all that good.
  21. 21. Page 21 For Startups: The Mixed Bag What’s in it for startups? Last year, we had a horrible section (Read the full e-book) that still works against angel investors in early stage startups. (Angel investments would be taxed if they couldn’t prove that an investment had a sound valuation backing it – and early stage startups are wet- finger-in-the-air valuations) The Return of the Rs. 1 Crore Angel, Or Something In Budget 2013, there are some interesting changes. First, to solve the above problem in last year’s budget, this year the FM said that: SEBI will prescribe requirements for angel investor pools by which they can be registered as Category 1 AIG venture capital funds. This can be good or bad. Good because if AIFs are effectively governed like VCs, their investments don’t hit the wall that my last year’s rant was about. Bad because of multiple factors:  Much higher regulation and transparency that is currently required of AIF kinds of funds.  The current minimum any investor can put in is Rs. 1 crore. Angels in India don’t really seem to have that kind of money to spare. (other than the big organized ones)  Involving SEBI can mean a lot of paperwork (reporting). Let’s hope that SEBI creates less of a reporting and investing nightmare when it defines what constitutes angel investor pools. “Pass Through” Status Good For Angel Investors A company or trust registered as a VC fund or angel fund as above has to pay tax on investments when it generates profits. But the profits are really those of the investors in a fund, and different kinds of investors may have different tax structures. An investor through Mauritius may not have to pay capital gains taxes, but the vehicle – the VC fund – will have to. Another investor may have losses in his books, but he can’t offset them against the gains made by the VC/angel fund because they are in different entities. In the budget, Category 1 AIF Funds (VC funds) have been given a pass-through status. Meaning, the gains made by the fund are passed through to the investors (in the proportion of their holding). This can help substantially, especially when raising money from foreign shores, where tax structures play an important role.
  22. 22. Page 22 Maybe Flipkart can Flip The FDI Probe Over Pratyush brought this up. The only reason Flipkart’s getting grief about FDI in multi-brand retail is that its main investors (Accel and Tiger) are foreign owned. So they have to do a two-company structure, where Accel and Tiger own stakes in a wholesale company, which sells to a retail company that owns the website and handles delivery. Why are Accel and Tiger foreign companies? Probably because Mauritius has no cap-gains taxes. If they created a VC firm in India, then Indian taxes would apply to any gains, and that’s no good. Now, with the tax-pass-through structure, would it be better for Accel and Tiger to set up an Indian Venture Fund, make it a class 1 AIF with SEBI, and use the tax-pass-through? And then, as an Indian entity, the AIF entity should have no problem owning stake in Flipkart’s retail site. However, I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know if the AIF, even if set up as such, would still be a “foreign” investor due to its eventual ownership. SME factoring credit guarantees to SIDBI SMEs that serve large enterprises might need cash flow before payments flow in (due to long gestation time before payments). Factoring allows banks or institutions to provide cash flow support to an MSME against receivables; and an act has been passed to allow factoring, in 2012 January. SIDBI can act as a credit guarantor for SME factoring, for which the budget has given it Rs. 500 cr. Additionally, SIDBI’s refinancing facility for SMEs (that is, they take on part of the risk of SME loans made by other financial institutions) is now enhanced to Rs. 10,000 cr. (from last year’s 5,000 cr.). SIDBI even has a website for this. MSME benefits to continue upto three years after Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) may get the MSME ministry to pay for participating in international fairs, or for credit guarantees (mentioned earlier), or for other such schemes that are not tax related. The budget has proposed that if an MSME should move into a larger bracket and lose the MSME status, it can continue with the above benefits for the next three years. Incubators for CSR Funds provided to incubators within colleges and approved by some ministries will now qualify under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) utilization that all companies need to spend on, with at least 2% of their net profits. This is great if you are an incubator inside an institution, but
  23. 23. Page 23 you really need to be going out there, really gung-ho, trying to get funds allocated before the next “insti” starts its round. SMEs can list without IPO with informed investors There are now pure SME exchanges with less onerous listing requirements. While they created the tool, they must have squealed in delight. Listing though, has been way too ineffective, with complex listing requirements needed even now. This can be fixed, but the exchange will have to find the traders. However for new issues , you can list your SME in this exchange, and if you don’t want to do a full open offer, do an offer to “informed investors”. Unlisted Buy-Backs Get Taxed Private limited companies might resort to buy-back agreements to helps their investors. An abuse of this is to use the buyback route to provide money to investors, instead of dividend, and thus avoid the dividend distribution tax. The deal here is:  Company offers a buy back (once in two years)  The buy-back is at a slight premium to the price at which investors have invested.  Investors "tender" about 10% of their shares, and then get paid.  The amount they receive is usually "long term capital gain" which is taxed at a low rate.  Since everyone tenders proportionate shares, there is no change in actual ownership.  This is equivalent to getting a dividend and no dividend distribution tax has been paid. The essence is: If a company buy back at a low enough price, then shareholders can get money in their pockets and pay a very low tax (as capital gains). This has been blocked by the budget, stating that all unlisted company buybacks must pay 20% on the money used for a buyback, as a tax. As a consequence, none of the money received by investors is then taxable. It's equivalent to a dividend in all senses then. Our view: This is scary and throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Buy-backs serve a useful clause as well – to provide liquidity or partial exits to investors, where a company might choose to compensate some investors (while others refuse the buy back). Remember, you can't refuse a dividend.
  24. 24. Page 24 However, there is hope. I can recommend that you set up your company as an LLP where buy- backs of this sort are not at all necessary, since distribution and withdrawal are quite simple (no dividend distribution tax). Startups and SMEs should learn to accept debt as a part of life and go apply for some of the ventures, even for small ticket loans where the government stands guaranteed. Money can vanish fast so don’t splurge.
  25. 25. Page 25 The Budget for Traders and Investors
  26. 26. Page 26 STT Gets Slashed, CTT comes in Securities Transaction Tax (STT) is something traders seemed to expect would go away (Read why I thought it would not be taken out), and it has indeed been reduced. From the finance memorandum: Mutual Fund STT Cut STT for Delivery transactions – that is, where you purchase but do not sell intraday – of an equity mutual fund , bought on a stock exchange (so, an Exchange Traded Fund, effectively) – is currently 0.1% each way (buying and selling). From June 1, you will not pay STT for purchasing Equity ETFs. And you’ll pay just 0.001% for selling them. What about regular equity mutual funds (not sold on the exchange)? The STT has been cut from 25 basis points (0.25%) to a miniscule 0.001%. Why even that? Because as I have argued in a detailed post, taking it to zero means that long term capital gains taxes will apply – and that is not desirable.
  27. 27. Page 27 Futures STT cut to 1 basis point STT for futures was 0.017%, or Rs. 1,700 per crore. For a single Nifty Lot, that worked out to Rs. 51 per lot (at Nifty of 6,000). That will now come down to Rs. 30 per lot at 0.01%. (Only on the sell side) Commodity Derivatives Taxed The FM has introduced a Commodities Transaction Tax (CTT) at 0.01% of the total contract value, for all non-agricultural commodities. A contract to buy 100 grams of gold (costing Rs. 2.8 lakh today) will pay Rs. 28 in taxes (paid by the seller). This can be a bummer, since most contracts are highly levered (you pay a margin of just Rs. 8,000 or so per contract) and therefore people make trades that get them Rs. 100-200 per contract in profit. Of that, this CTT is a significant number.
  28. 28. Page 28 Real Estate: Not a Happy Note Ramifications of a budget are beyond taxes. But usually, the real estate fellows desire and get a little bit of an exemption here and there. Not this time, it seems. Here’s two limiting items in the Budget. Home Loans Get Additional Tax Deduction on Interest, But Wait When you pay interest on a home loan, that interest is tax-deductible upto Rs. 150,000 on your primary residence. That means you can reduce this much from your income if you’ve paid it as interest. This is quite inadequate in most cities, where even a matchbox costs more than 50 lakh. A loan of Rs. 40 lakh at 10% would give you an interest payment of nearly Rs. 400,000. Obviously this is much greater than the 1.5 lakh exemption. The FM has introduced a higher exemption. Another Rs. 1 lakh is exempted, when paid as interest. However, there are restrictions:  The loan needs to be taken in the year 2013-14  The loan should not exceed Rs. 25 lakh  The house should not cost more than Rs. 40 lakh  The borrower should not own any other property at the time of loan sanction This means that effectively, you can’t even transfer an existing loan to avail of this exemption. (There is a wild exemption: if you have a house that qualifies in points 2 and 3 above, but it hasn’t yet been completed, you might be able to transfer the loan to a new bank and meet the conditions above) Unfortunately the numbers don’t add up. Even if you consider a loan of Rs. 25 lakhs, you will just about pay Rs. 2.5 lakh in interest at a loan cost of 10%. But since such loans get a better deal from banks (who get a better deal from RBI in terms of capital allocation for such loans), and also because interest rates might come down, the limit of Rs. 2.5 lakh may not be fully utilized. (For such a case, you can use the “unutilized” amount in the subsequent year, but that’s only the differential amount.) This isn’t so great for builders because the cost of land and construction in most cities exceeds the Rs. 40 lakh limit in most cases. However, there are economical projects in the outskirts that should benefit. Real Estate Transactions May Get Higher Service Tax Charge The memorandum says this:
  29. 29. Page 29 At present taxable portion for service tax purpose is prescribed as 25% uniformly for constructions where value of land is included in the amount charged from the service recipient. This is being rationalized. Accordingly, where the carpet area of residential unit is upto 2000 square feet. or the amount charged is less than One Crore Rupees, in the case of 'construction of complex, building or civil structure, or a part thereof, intended for sale to a buyer, wholly or partly except where the entire consideration is received after issuance of completion certificate by the competent authority', taxable portion for service tax purpose will remain as 25%; in all other cases taxable portion for service tax purpose will be 30%. This change will come into effect from the 1st day of March, 2013. This is unnecessarily complicated. It’s like this:  You buy from a builder today, you pay service tax (12.36%) on 1/4th of the total value. That is, you pay 12.36% of 25% of the value, so you pay about 3.09%.  From tomorrow – March 1,2013 – you will pay the same service tax but on 30% of the property value if certain conditions apply. That will take your effective tax up to Rs. 3.71%.  What conditions for the higher tax? A house with a “carpet” area greater than 2000 sq. ft. , where you’ve paid more than Rs. 1 crore, and where you have paid the whole amount after the completion certificate was issued. Say “no” to any one of these, and nothing changes for you. (You’ll pay the same old 3.09%) In context, the amount, for a Rs. 2 crore (large) house, bought directly from a builder, will cost Rs. 1.24 lakh more. These conditions might be easily skippable for borderline properties (carpet area is usually about 70% of the area you pay for, or less). Both of the above notes in the budget are not very great for housing companies, but at least for the most part it is status quo. TDS of 1% for property transactions People who sell property often give a wrong PAN number or don't file taxes on the money received. In order to reduce leakage of tax revenue from such transactions, the FM has made mandatory a 1% tax-deduction by the purchaser. The purchaser will be required to pay the government such "TDS" within a few days. This applies only to "non-agricultural" land, and then, only to properties priced over Rs. 50 lakh. To be able to deduct tax and pay it, you have to apply for a TAN (Tax Account Number) which can take time and effort. But TDS can be paid online. However, because of the pain involved, sellers are
  30. 30. Page 30 likely to demand a 1% higher rate. And then, this 1% is likely to increase the "black" component of real estate deals. Stamp Duty Is The Real Deal Sometimes local municipalities get really aggressive on property valuation and attempt to increase the minimum rates of property for which stamp duty is paid. So in certain areas, a property cannot be sold for less than Rs. 5,000 per square foot, and stamp duty on that much amount must be paid even if the market prices are lower. Now it turns out that stamp duty is the official market value even for income tax. If you sell a property for less than the stamp dutiable value, then the difference will be treated as your income (as if you earned it). There are two caveats. One, this applies only to properties where the difference between the stamp duty value and the actual value received is more than Rs. 50,000. The second is that if you make a written agreement to sell today for some upfront payment, but actually sell only a few months later, and there is a difference in the stamp duty value, then you can take the stamp duty value on the date of the agreement. This can be a big problem if property prices fall. A 1,500 sq. ft. property with a stamp duty value of Rs. 5,000, should sell for at least Rs. 75 lakhs. If property prices fall and you try to avoid the 1% TDS and sell for Rs. 49 lakh instead, then the difference (Rs. 26 lakhs) will be considered your income and you'll have to pay full income tax on it. Such fun.
  31. 31. Page 31 Dividend Distribution Tax on Debt Funds Raised to 25% From 1 June 2013, any dividends paid out by debt mutual funds to individuals will have to deduct Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) of 25%, regardless of the type of scheme. Equity mutual funds (funds with more than 65% in equity shares) will not pay such a DDT, as earlier. As of now, funds which don’t qualify as equity mutual funds have to pay the following Dividend Distribution Tax when paying out: Type of Fund Individual or HUF Non-Individual Money Market /Liquid Fund 25% 30% All other non-equity Funds 12.5% 30% The 12.5% is now being changed to 25%. This dividend is not taxed in the hands of the investor in the fund, but then since the dividend distribution tax is paid out from the earnings of the fund the NAV will come down that much. Had the dividend distribution tax not been levied, either the dividend paid to investors would have been higher or the post dividend NAV would have been higher. In fact this dividend distribution tax is pernicious since it taxes all investors in the fund uniformly at the high rate of 25% (plus education cess). Even if an individual does not fall in any tax bracket he or she pays 25% taxes when dividends are paid out. There is no way of recovering this or claiming a tax credit for this. This can be better explained with an example: If I hold a fund with an NAV of Rs. 11, and it decides to pay out Rs. 1 per unit as dividend, it will pay a DDT of Rs. 0.25 and the NAV will fall down to Rs. 9.75. Had the dividend distribution tax not been applicable, the fund could have paid Rs. 1.25 as dividend. Alternatively, if the fund paid Re 1 as dividend, the post dividend NAV would be Rs. 10 (and not 9.75). Effectively, that tax is paid by you. The relevant extract in the memorandum is: Under the existing provisions of section 115R any amount of income distributed by the specified company or a Mutual Fund to its unit holders is chargeable to additional income-tax. In case of any distribution made by a fund other than equity oriented fund to a person who is not an individual and HUF, the rate of tax is 30% whereas in case of distribution to an individual or an HUF it is 12.5% or 25% depending on the nature of the fund. In order to provide uniform taxation for all types of funds, other than equity oriented fund, it is proposed to increase the rate of tax on distributed income from 12.5% to 25% in all cases where distribution is made to an individual or a HUF.
  32. 32. Page 32 This is a bummer for all those that have bought the dividend option of any non-equity fund, including:  Gilt Funds  Bond Funds  Income funds  Balanced funds (where equity is less than 65%)  Fund of Funds  Gold Funds Our Solution: Buy the Growth option instead. You can set up a systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) that simulates dividends, and not have to pay this tax in whatever form. However, switching to SWP may involve computation of capital gains (since the money withdrawn through SWP is a combination of income and capital gain). Capital Gains are however taxed at a lower rate and there is no deduction at source. So investors benefit through this switch to SWP. Since the change in DDT applies from 1 June 2013, so you have the time to now move your debt investments to the growth option. Note: A switch to growth option may involve an exit load (if you shift before the exit load term). Also, if there are any capital gains, you will have to pay short or long term taxes on them. They told us DDT was toxic. Now we know it applies to anything that forms that acronym.
  33. 33. Page 33 Foreign Investors Foreigners Pay Lower Tax on Long Term Infra bonds Till now, investment in Indian company issued long term foreign currency bonds by non residents would attract 5% tax only. Moving to a more liberalized regime, the finance minister has allowed for the 5% tax to apply even if the investment is into rupee bonds. Only long term infrastructure bonds will qualify, and non-residents will have to put money into a designated bank account, where the money will be converted and invested directly into such bonds. GAAR Comes In Later The General Anti Avoidance Regulations, which spooked markets a year back, have now been deferred to 2016. Unfortunately, the language still makes it clear that what is "avoidance" will be determined on a case-to-case basis by a panel. The panel will have a High court judge, a Chief commissioner of Income tax , and an academic or scholar. And there's no appeal. Foreigners must think we've lost our mind. Surprise: Residency not "sufficient" The budget document specifies that in order to prove that a company resides in a non-taxed country (like Mauritius or Singapore) it is useful but not the absolute clincher to have a tax- residency certificate. Most of these companies don't actually operate from these geographies, but get wink-wink-nod-nod shell companies to actually run investments from. Such shell companies get a tax-residency certificate from the nations involved, but on further investigation it might become obvious that the show is run almost entirely in London (where we don't have a juicy treaty) or worse, in a plush office in Lower Parel (where you're not really a foreigner). Now, a certificate will not be enough proof. Nothing will be enough proof, until you prove your grandparents were born there. That's pretty much all they have to say about it, because they don't tell you exactly what will shut them up about some silly taxes that aren't applicable to you because, darn it, you have an Armani suit. However between now and 2016 is a general election and all of this is discussion worth nothing.
  34. 34. Page 34 The Budget For Everyone Else Well, it's not like the budget stops at being for investors or traders or salaried gentlemen or ladies. It brings about a lot of things for parties everywhere, including people who own agricultural land less than 8 kilometers away from a large urban settlement. Let's try and summarize. Royalty Payments Get a 25% Tax From 10% the government has upped the royalty tax for technical services to 25%, unless specified otherwise in any specific country's double tax avoidance agreement with India. This will impact companies like Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Maruti Suzuki and even those that have recently been acquired by foreign companies, such as cement major ACC. Invest Rs. 100 Cr. and get 15% Tax Deduction Manufacturers who invest Rs. 100 cr. in new assets for Plant or Machinery, between 2013 and 2015 (April to March respectively), get a 15% deduction of this amount invested. This means if they invest Rs. 200 cr. and make a profit of Rs. 50 cr., they get a deduction of Rs. 30 cr. additionally, so their taxable profit comes down to Rs. 20 cr. This investment can be over two years (2013 to 2015) and tax deduction can be spread accordingly. Sounds good? But none of the following assets apply:  Vehicles  Ships or Aircraft  Office appliances or computer software  Any used or second hand machinery  anything installed in an office or a residence; meaning, only stuff that goes into factories. Since many such things are required even for manufacturing in factories, you will find that the cost of a project will probably need to be substantially huge to get to a 100 cr. limit. No Cash for Political Investments You can't claim any exemption for money paid in cash (versus cheque or through a bank account) to a political party or an electoral trust. This has set many politicians wondering aloud about who in their right mind would actually pay by cheque anyway.
  35. 35. Page 35 Loopholes and Workarounds
  36. 36. Page 36 Keyman Insurance Loophole Plugged: All proceeds will be taxed Budget 2013 has plugged a loophole in the tax system. Consider a small company that wanted to pay its management a bonus based on a large profit it had received. The company can deduct the amount paid, as an expense (so its taxes are lower). The individual would have that much money as an income, on which he would pay tax. If the company didn’t pay the person, the company had that much more profit and thus the company would pay the tax. No matter what you did, the government got a cut of the profit earned. However, there was a loophole. A company could buy “Keyman insurance”, where it insures itself against the death of a key person. The premiums it pays – and they could be huge – are tax exempt as they are an expense. So the company pays no tax on the money. The employee hasn’t yet got the money, so he pays no tax either. However, sometime during the term, perhaps early enough, the company “assigns” the policy to the employee and collects the “surrender value” from the key employee, which is typically as low as 10% or 20% of the fund value. The employee then pays subsequent premiums, and then gets the full proceeds at maturity. Normally, proceeds of a keyman insurance policy are taxable in the hands of whoever gets it; but the employee would argue that since he has been assigned the policy and had paid a premium, it was not a keyman insurance policy any more. And thus, the proceeds were tax free. Effectively, a company managed to transfer money to its employees, without the government being paid tax. In a recent case, the Delhi High Court ruled that such an instance was a legal way to avoid tax because this was specifically allowed. Escorts Health Institute was supposedly buying keyman insurance every year, and then assigning them to employees, thus effectively avoiding the tax. In Budget 2013, the Finance Minister has plugged this loophole. It is now specifically stated that even if a keyman insurance policy is assigned, it will remain a keyman insurance policy. This means that proceeds will be fully taxed. The change works for any assignment done or proceeds received after April 1, 2013. The lesson to learn is: Don’t screw with the Income Tax department. Escorts might have gotten a high court order in their favour, but this change means that any future policy maturity from now on (or April onwards) will be fully taxed in their hands. Meaning, all that litigation and time and money spent is effectively worthless.
  37. 37. Page 37 Our opinion: Keyman policies were a tax avoidance method forever. We were first approached by agents for it in the late 90s as a “tax-efficient” measure, when I was running my company with four co-founders. Just as we were figuring out whether to do this, the tax department came up with a notification that indicated they wanted to curb the abuse by taxing proceeds. Luckily we decided it wasn’t worth our time to try and save taxes this way. In that sense, I believe this was a method to avoid tax and was quasi-legal, depending on the specific wording of the tax law to make their case. The income tax department hasn’t acted retrospectively – that is, taxed past proceeds – but only those that come in the future, and this is quite within their rights.
  38. 38. Page 38 The Service Tax Amnesty Scheme While small service providers are exempt from paying service tax until after they receive Rs. 10 lakh in any year, many such providers earn more and don’t file service tax payments, thinks the Finance Ministry. However, such providers may be very difficult to trace and many simply won’t know they face a penalty for not having filed such taxes. Giving them the benefit of doubt, the FM has announced a “Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme, 2013”. The amnesty scheme allows people to voluntarily disclose and pay service tax, if they might have not filed since 2007, but understand that they need to. They need to: file a declaration before December 31, 2013 pay half their dues by Dec 31, 2013 and the remaining by Jun 30, 2014. they will not have to pay any interest or penalty for the fact that they haven’t filed so far. But this only applies to people who voluntarily file. If they’ve been served a notice or proceedings have been started against them, no such amnesty is available. Service Tax Collections have been growing fast (ignore the first two years as it was a strong base). In 2012-13, the expected growth is 36% (remember, the year is not over yet). To maintain the same growth, the government will have to collect around 48,000 cr. more next year.
  39. 39. Page 39 In fact, service tax is now going to be 32% of indirect taxes:
  40. 40. Page 40 With service tax becoming bigger and bigger as a percentage of taxes, they must expect that this tax will be more and more in focus. Our economy has a huge services focus – and service tax is applicable on nearly everything, from haircuts to credit card interest. This amnesty scheme isn’t really as much to collect tax as to ensure that people who haven’t yet paid up will now join the tax system and pay up in future. I believe that to make this really effective, the way ahead will be to increase enforcement – meaning, more and more notices will be sent out and scrutiny increased. How will this pan out? In budgetary terms, we’ll only know next year. I believe the “cash” economy will return, slowly, as people tell you to start paying in hard currency instead, and we’ll oblige. After all, who doesn’t want to save 12%?
  41. 41. Page 41 What We Lost: Over 573,000 cr. From Tax Benefits In the process of revealing the budget, the government also reveals what they would have lost through various tax saving schemes. I have added the benefits to firms, corporate entities and partnerships into one data set and classified various items in broad terms as "Corporates". Corporates Eat Up 80,000 Cr. The government has lost nearly 100,000 crore of gross benefits due to the lack of taxation due to such tax benefits. However, with the minimum alternate tax (about 20%) which applies even if you use tax benefits, this figure will come down by about 20,000 cr. to 80,000 cr. The 80,000 cr. amount is huge - remember that the entire food subsidy is 90,000 cr. However some level of industry subsidy is required to ensure either social justice or to encourage an industry like power. Accelerated Depreciation: Some assets that usually take a long time to depreciate are allowed to be depreciated faster (such as wind energy plants could take 80% depreciation a year until 2012). This reduces their taxable profit, and thus their tax payments. At a gross level, this accounts for nearly 40% of the overall industry subsidy at 38,000 cr. Export Promotion Zones: From units in SEZs to STPI programs to special export oriented zones, the benefits given to exporters have substantially lowered their income taxes. IT companies having
  42. 42. Page 42 STPI clearance, for instance, would not pay any taxes for the most of the last decade; the only savior was the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) which ensured they did pay a bit. However, with them receiving no tax exemptions abroad, their tax payments abroad accounted for much of the MAT - meaning the Indian government still gets very little. This accounts for over 12,000 cr. of subsidy. Location Preference: Certain locations - Himachal, Sikkim, the North East, Uttaranchal, and Jammu and Kashmir are given a special treatment for tax purposes - investments in plants there can result in lower or zero taxes. (Nearly 10,000 cr. of benefits). Power, Petroleum (mineral oils actually), Housing: These are all specific sector based exemptions. Housing, despite all of the other benefits we've given (interest not taxable for individuals, a deduction for rental income etc.) still gets further benefits of over 3,000 cr. a year in lower taxes. Given that it is now a speculatory game, we should definitely look at ending exemptions for this industry. Scientific research benefits provide companies tax deductions when they spend the money on doing actual R&D. Infrastructure tax deductions are used to promote investment in something that is long term (from telecom to roads and other stuff). Note that the tiny items above are things like Food (where they do provide some benefits to cold- chain creation, transport/storage of grains etc.) and waste management and so on (comes under "Other"). Given the above, we have our priorities wrong. There's hardly anything about education in there, or sport, or water. Food is altogether tiny as a proportion. The outsized items are accelerated depreciation, housing and SEZ creation, none of which will help India's long term story quite that much. Individuals Take 36,000 cr. of subsidies Individuals, too, get tax benefits and that impact has been quantified.
  43. 43. Page 43 80 C deductions consist of deductions for insurance, housing loan principal, provident fund payments and so on. These add up to over 30,000 cr. for 2012-13. Senior Citizens get higher limits but this is an example of a valid subsidy. After all, if a country can't help its senior citizens then it really isn't much of a country. Even individuals (through partnerships or proprietorships) get business tax benefits for setting up infrastructure or stuff in specific locations, and that adds up to about 1,000 cr. The other items are really small. The gain of being a woman has vanished with gender equality coming into the budget last year, and Infra bonds no longer qualify for benefits. Customs, Excise Duty and Service Tax Indirect taxes account for a huge part of total revenue - over 50% of the government's revenue. Here too, companies get benefits that could have otherwise yielded tax.
  44. 44. Page 44 This is certainly not all. However, certain other tax saving items are not included in this list, for example:  The lack of capital gains tax on shares  Taxes lost on the housing income tax subsidy (deduction of 30% on rent received)  Taxes lost due to issue of tax free bonds  Taxes lost due to double taxation avoidance treaties with countries like Mauritius. 1,87,308 1,96,805 2,06,188 2,53,967 110.1% 129.0% 0.0% 20.0% 40.0% 60.0% 80.0% 100.0% 120.0% 140.0% 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 300000 Customs Excise Duty Revenue Lost: Indirect Taxes, 2011-12, Rs. Cr. Actually Collected Foregone Percent Lost
  45. 45. Page 45 Effective Tax Rate - the distribution It turns out that taxes aren't distributed evenly across industries. A quick map with all the listed industries (nearly 500,000 companies) gives you an idea of the skew. The average effective Tax-rate is about 22.85. At the lower extreme are cement and forest contractors, who pay effective tax rates of less than 10%! At the other extreme are courier agencies with over 36% effective rates, followed by beauty parlours and security agencies. All of these are the service industry. Are these bad? It's not that all these subsidies are bad. It is not as if all food subsidies and diesel subsidies are bad either. But the quantum of these taxes foregone is huge - together, they all add up to the humongous sum of 573,000 cr. , which is over 2/3rd of the government's projected revenue in 2012-13 (of 742,000 cr.).Another way to look at it is that we could have collected 70% more money than we did (and wipe out the fiscal deficit). Things don't work that way. Incentives are needed to make business competitive. However the scale of these subsidies make many of the other "outrageous" things pale in comparison.
  46. 46. Page 46 Our opinion: We believe that while some subsidies and incentives are required, we would promote better behaviour if we reduced the scale of such subsidies and incentives to more reasonable levels. Another way to look at things is - can we remove these subsidies and lower tax rates? For instance, if we could remove the 80C and other direct tax incentives to corporates, we could easily bring down the tax rates by 20% each, with wider slabs. An income of Rs. 6 lakh with no tax incentives at a single 7% slab brings in the same revenue as the same income with the guy having to invest 1 lakh in longer term avenues, and then there's the tax hassle of collating and checking this information as well. A simpler tax regime with almost zero incentives would be challenging but desirable.
  47. 47. Page 47 Closing Remarks While Budget 2013 was a damp squib in terms of exciting capital markets, or even generating front-page news interest for over a day, the announcements made in there will have far reaching consequences. We believe that the government will find it difficult to meet either the revenue targets (too high) and expenditure numbers (too low). With state elections coming up this year, it is quite likely that many "fiscal" changes will happen within the year, as the budget gets less relevant in policy making.(Who wants to subscribe to making changes only once a year?) Yet, as it stands, the budgets seems to have not given in to populist tendencies like free rice or free mobile phones (which are 6% more expensive, by the way). The fiscal deficit looks manageable. The economy looks like it will turn around. Real estate prices look like they won't crash. But that's just the veneer. We have no idea how rotten the wood is inside; the fact that we're at 4.5% GDP growth shows us there's a lot we don't know, and it will harm us. The problems that plague Indian growth will have to be handled by non-budgetary methods; a Direct Tax Code to simplify taxes, a GST to make indirect taxes easier and industry promotion methods that will require constant tweaking However, it would be good to have a government that is ready to react when things get worse, and open up our markets to our own selves (like allowing Indian companies to be suppliers to our own armed forces). Overall, Budget 2013 leaves much to desire. The impact on our lives is probably lesser than any other budget in the last decade, unless you are a diesel-SUV buying, mobile phone changing, cigarette smoking, Service tax evading, alcohol consuming resident, in which case the only benefit is that he didn't tax your inheritance when you die. For most of the rest of us, the budget documents will get consigned to that corner of our mind where we only remember one thing: Darn, he didn't cut our taxes. This document is a work in progress and we will add more chapters, graphs and funny moments over the next few days. All of you who have purchased this document will receive updates over email. If you don't, please connect with us . Contact: Deepak Shenoy: deepakshenoy@capitalmind.in Dheeraj Singh: dheeraj@dheerajsingh.com Visit: capitalmind.in for more!

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