Perks are no light Munch
DECEMBER 29, 2009
By Subhashree Kishore
"WE are a poor nation and must learn to live accordingly…", J.M Keynes advised the Britons in late 1940‘s. The same holds true for us Indians. If as a part of the harried that is salaried class you have been frothing at the lips about the volte face in FBT, vide Notification No. 94/2009, dated 18-12-2009, KINDLY (no pun intended) DESIST.
Tossing it up like Hercules and Lord Atlas
Rapid development comes with industrialisation. Companies, the architects of this growth must be allowed to function in a hassle free environment. It doesn't do for them to be worrying about and footing enormous tax bills. Think of the man hours lost in calculating value of perks, compliance cost and hours billed by tax experts. The employee meanwhile draws his salary rather freely, savours his perks and walks home with a heavy purse and light heart. An unfair world indeed! Shifting the burden on employees and also insisting that dues of the entire financial year be recovered before the taxed can recover from the shock is a master stroke. We can now have employees lean, mean, and hungry working harder to earn more. That would push up productivity.
Resisting winds of change
Some reports have cried hoarse that the new rules are hardly so, and it is just a reinstatement of the pre-2005 position. These cries have nothing new in them. Tax laws are never fair or clear. Besides we need to say something for constancy. The student of tax will, as his counterpart did over a decade ago, struggle with 1.6 L capacity of engine and myriad calculation of personal and professional use of car and value of accommodation.
Making the assessee green (about the gills)
Another fact which has escaped the notice of most of the mourners is that the rules are environment friendly. While perks in form of gas, electricity, air-conditioners and cars are taxable, expenses on mobile phones and telephones, actually incurred on behalf of the employee by the employer, are exempted. So, WALK AND TALK to your heart's content. Sceptics may argue that lobbyists would have asked phones to be exempted because they are indispensable to business, are easy to account and would make up a large figure of expense to set off against company earnings. The booming telecom industry would be hit if employees treated company mobiles like plague. So let us play the deaf adder to these cries.
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