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    Prudent Advice on India’s Taxes

    Feb. 4 – As the Indian fiscal year nears to a close on the 31st of March, its time corporates and individuals calculate taxes due.

    Taxes in India are calculated as direct taxes and indirect taxes. Taxes on individuals, corporates, non-residents, capital gains tax and dividend tax are all classified as direct taxes.

    An individual who stays in India for more than 182 days or more in a fiscal year is liable to pay taxes ranging from 0-30 percent on his global and Indian income. A corporate is deemed to pay taxes on its income depending on whether it is classified as a foreign (40 percent) or an Indian company (30 percent). For non-resident Indian’s or those who have not lived in the country for more than 182 days taxes need to be paid on the income received or accrued in India. India has also entered into Double Tax Avoidance Agreements with 60 countries.

    Indirect taxes include customs duties on imported goods which could range from 0-20 percent, excise duties which range from 0-16 percent on most commodities, sales tax levied on the sale of goods which ranges from 0-15 percent, service tax which amounts to 10 percent and value added tax. A 2-3 percent education cess is also applicable on the total tax payable.

    As the national tax deadline nears at the end of March, write to Dezan Shira & Associates to help you better manage your taxes in India. The Economic Times also suggests various ways to help individuals lower the tax they pay.

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    India Revises 2008-09 GDP to 7.1 %

    Jan. 29 – Owing to heightened fears of global markets sinking India’s GDP lower, the Indian government released new GDP growth projections for this and the next year. Top government officials said they expect India’s GDP to grow by 7.1 percent this fiscal ending March 31, 2009. Projected growth in the 2009-10 fiscal is expected to increase slightly too to approximately 7 to 7.5 percent. India’s GDP growth was nine percent in 2007-2008, according to official data.

    India Inc expects the governement to pump in more money into the economy when they announce their third stimulus package in February. The annual budget, the last budget of the current government is also expected to be highly generous.

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    Satyam Chief Admits to US$1 billion Corporate Fraud

     

     

    Jan. 8 – In a case that some may liken to the scamster Bernard Madoff, Chairman of India's fourth-largest IT company Satyam, Ramalinga Raju resigned from his post and admitted to gross misrepresentation of the companies balance sheets. Satyam which is listed on both the Bombay Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange admitted to being involved in the country's biggest corporate fraud involving about Rs 8,000 crore (US$1.6 billion).

    Following the inflation of profits and assets, investors in Satyam Computer Services Ltd's American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) have filed two class action suits against the Indian software services firm. The company has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers since its listing on the New York Stock exchange.

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    SEBI Mulls Trade in Euro and Yen Futures

     

    Sept. 4 – As the dominance of the dollar as global currency drops, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), India's capital market regulator, said it is mulling the introduction of rupee-euro and rupee-yen contracts in currency futures soon. Currently, only rupee-dollar contracts are allowed for trading in currency futures. Sebi is in the process of studying the market for rupee-yen and rupee-euro and the contracts would be launched after considering the outcome of the study, Sebi Chairman C B Bhave told Business Standard. "Now, it is only rupee and dollar in currency futures. Later, we could see more hard currencies. NRIs and FIIs too can be allowed on this platform," Bhave added.

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    Government extends tax holiday for software firms

    April 30 – Giving impetus to Indian software companies to continue steaming ahead, Finance Minister P Chidambaram threw an extra year of corporate tax exemption to software exporters.

    The Hindustan Times reported that the scheme aided by which the country’s US$41 billion IT export grew to global heights, was set to expire in March 2009. STPI was introduced in 1999 to give a fillip to the then nascent Indian IT industry. Companies located in STPI are not taxed on revenues earned from exporting software (which includes writing codes or computers of US & UK companies).

    “As things stand, the Budget for 2009-10 may not be presented in February 2009 but only after the elections. In order to avoid any uncertainty as we draw close to March 31, .2009, it has been decided the exemptions continued until March 31, 2010,” Chidambaram said while replying to the debate on Finance Bill 2008-09 in the Lok Sabha.

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