Govt committed to moderate tax rates: Chidambaram

Govt committed to moderate tax rates: Chidambaram New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram Thursday said the government is committed to moderate tax rates and is working towards modernising administration to minimise transaction cost and maximise taxpayer convenience.

The tax administration, he said, is faced with new challenges that include allocation of taxing rights and sharing of taxable income between countries from cross-border deals, besides increasing tax revenues and providing quality service to tax payers.

Chidambaram was addressing the heads of the Revenue Department of BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. India holds the chair of the grouping.

"India has been modernising its tax administration in a way that will minimise transaction costs and maximise taxpayer convenience, without compromising the deterrence factor," he said.

Chidambaram, who is scheduled to unveil the Union Budget for 2013-14 on February 28, said the government is committed to a stable tax regime, moderate tax rates, non-adversarial tax administration and a fair mechanism for dispute resolution.

He also emphasised on the need for greater cooperation among BRICS countries in the area of tax administration.

Chidambaram said it was necessary to hold deliberations to address issues of mutual interest.

This would help BRICS countries to play a more proactive role in modifying and developing existing international standards on international taxation and transfer pricing in order to safeguard their tax revenue interests, he said.

During the two-day meeting the participants are likely to deliberate on issues of mutual concerns related to tax administration, including those pertaining to international taxation, transfer pricing, cross border tax evasion and avoidance, tax dispute resolution mechanisms.

The meeting, the first of its kind, was attended by Brazil Federal Revenue Secretary Carlos Alberto Freitas, Russia's Federal Tax Service Deputy Commissioner Aleksey Overchuk.

China Commissioner of State Administration of Taxation Xiao Jie and South Africa's Commissioner Oupa Magashula also attended the meeting.

Besides, Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose and CBDT Chairperson Poonam Kishore Saxena and other senior officials of the tax department were part of the Indian delegation.

PTI