A Decade of Tax Tweaks: How Income Tax Rules Have Transformed in India under Narendra Modi’s regime

The Indian income tax landscape has witnessed a wave of changes over the past decade. From revisions in tax slabs to a push for digitalization, the government has aimed to simplify the system and incentivize specific sectors. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most significant income tax rule transformations of the past ten years:

  • Focus on Digital Transactions: A key shift has been the government’s growing emphasis on promoting digital payments. Initiatives like tax deductions for using debit and credit cards, along with a higher TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) for cash transactions above a certain limit, have nudged taxpayers towards a more digital financial path.
  • Boost for Investments: Recognizing the importance of savings and investments, the government has increased the deduction limit under Section 80C, a popular tax-saving avenue. This allows taxpayers to invest in instruments like Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) to claim tax benefits.
  • Tax Slab Revisions: Income tax slabs have witnessed adjustments over the years, aiming to ease the tax burden on various income brackets. While some budgets offered marginal relief, others introduced new tax slabs to cater to the growing middle class.
  • Rise of the New Tax Regime: In a recent move, the government introduced a new optional tax regime offering lower tax rates but with fewer deductions. While the traditional regime allows for various exemptions, the new regime simplifies the process and attracts a growing number of taxpayers.
  • Focus on Specific Sectors: The government has also used tax incentives to promote specific sectors. For instance, deductions for investments in startups and tax breaks for affordable housing projects are examples of targeted tax policies aimed at stimulating economic growth.

These are just some of the major transformations that have reshaped the Indian income tax system over the past decade. As the economic landscape continues to evolve, we can expect further refinements and adjustments to the tax regime in the years to come.

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