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Why Are Direct Taxes More Important Than Indirect Taxes?

Why Are Direct Taxes More Important Than Indirect Taxes

Ahmedabad, a bustling city with a thriving economy, is witnessing a surge in individuals enrolling in Accounting Certificate Courses in Ahmedabad. As these aspiring accountants, acquiring a deep understanding of taxes is imperative.

Taxes constitute a significant revenue stream for the government, sourced from various aspects of our daily lives. Whether it’s the income we earn, the meals enjoyed at a restaurant, the cinematic experience at a multiplex, the use of roads for commuting, or even the simple act of purchasing a packet of biscuits from a general store – diverse forms of taxes are embedded in numerous aspects of our routine.

Understanding the intricacies of the different tax categories prevalent in India is equally crucial. The tax landscape in the country can be broadly divided into two main categories – direct and indirect taxes. Delving into the nuanced definitions and implications of these tax types provides a comprehensive perspective on our fiscal responsibilities.

As students delve into the intricacies of taxation, one question emerges: Why are direct taxes considered more crucial than indirect taxes?

Before we get into the important kind of tax, let’s understand taxes first.

What Is Direct Tax?

In straightforward terms, a direct tax is a levy that individuals directly remit to the authority imposing the tax. For example, income tax is mandated by the government, and individuals pay it directly to the governmental entity. These taxes are not transferable to any other entity or person. There exist several acts governing direct taxes.

In India, the administration of direct taxes falls under the purview of CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes), overseen by the Department of Revenue. This department not only manages the execution of direct taxes but also actively participates in planning and offering insights to the government concerning the implementation of direct taxes.

Common Types Of Direct Taxes In India

1. Income Tax:

The predominant form of direct tax in India is income tax. It is levied on the income earned in a financial year, guided by the income tax slabs set by the IT department. Individuals and businesses directly remit this tax to the IT department. Individual taxpayers can benefit from various tax deductions under different sections of the IT Act.

2. Securities Transaction Tax:

Engaging in stock trading incurs a small component known as the securities transaction tax for each trade. Regardless of whether the trade resulted in profits or not, this tax must be paid. Brokers collect this tax from traders, passing it on to the securities exchange, which subsequently remits it to the government.

3. Capital Gains Tax:

Each instance of capital gains triggers the obligation to pay capital gains tax. Whether arising from property sales or investments, the payment is determined by the capital gains and the duration of investment holding. Taxpayers must pay either LTCG (Long-Term Capital Gains) tax or STCG (Short-Term Capital Gains) tax based on specific criteria.

Indirect Tax Explained

Indirect taxes differ from direct taxes as they are not directly paid to the government by individuals. Instead, these taxes are levied on goods and services, creating a distinction from taxes imposed directly on income and profits. Unlike direct taxes, indirect taxes involve intermediaries who collect them from end-consumers, with the responsibility of passing on the received tax to the government.

Crucially, indirect taxes are not income-dependent, applying the same tax rate universally. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), operating under the Department of Revenue similar to CBDT, is the key authority overseeing indirect taxes in India.

Common Types Of Indirect Taxes In India

1. Goods and Services Tax (GST):

GST, a comprehensive indirect tax, amalgamated 17 different taxes like Service Tax, Central Excise, and State VAT. Applied to all goods and services based on GST council tax slabs, GST eliminated the cascading effect of the previous tax system.

2. Customs Duty:

Levied on imported items, regardless of the mode of transport (air, land, or sea), customs duty ensures taxation on every product entering India from a foreign country.

3. Value Added Tax (VAT):

VAT, a consumption tax, is imposed by state governments on products as their value increases throughout the supply chain. Although GST largely replaced VAT, some items, especially those containing alcohol, still incur VAT.

Why Are Direct Taxes More Important Than Indirect Taxes

Direct Taxes: A Foundation of Fiscal Responsibility

Direct taxes, including income tax, wealth tax, and capital gains tax, form the backbone of a nation’s fiscal responsibility. Unlike indirect taxes, which are levied on goods and services, direct taxes are imposed on individuals and businesses directly. This ensures a fair and equitable distribution of the tax burden, aligning with principles of social justice.

1. Progressivity and Fairness

Direct taxes exhibit progressivity, meaning the more one earns, the higher the percentage of income paid in taxes. This progressive nature ensures that those with higher incomes contribute proportionately more to government revenue. In contrast, indirect taxes, often regressive, impact lower-income groups more significantly.

2. Revenue Stability

Direct taxes provide a stable and predictable source of revenue for the government. As individuals and businesses pay taxes based on their earnings and profits, the government can forecast revenue streams more accurately. This stability facilitates effective fiscal planning and budgetary allocations, fostering economic stability.

Indirect Taxes: The Challenges They Pose

While indirect taxes play a role in government revenue, their nature introduces challenges that make them less favorable compared to direct taxes.

1. Burden on Lower Income Groups

Indirect taxes, such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), tend to place a relatively higher burden on lower-income groups. Basic necessities, which constitute a significant portion of expenditure for these groups, are subject to the same tax rates as luxury goods.

2. Inflationary Pressures

The cascading effect of indirect taxes can contribute to inflationary pressures. Taxation at multiple stages of production and distribution can lead to increased prices for goods and services, affecting consumers and potentially slowing economic growth.

Conclusion

In the landscape of taxation, direct taxes emerge as the cornerstone of a fair and sustainable fiscal policy. As individuals pursue an Accounting Certificate Course in Ahmedabad from Super 20 Training Institute, recognizing the importance of direct taxes becomes integral to navigating the complexities of financial management.

In conclusion, the emphasis on direct taxes over indirect taxes stems from principles of fairness, progressivity, and revenue stability. As the accounting professionals of tomorrow undergo training in Ahmedabad, a profound understanding of these principles will undoubtedly shape their approach to taxation and financial management.

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