Sunday, October 25, 2009

CBDT, learn from IRCTC

While some of us may wail over poor internet penetration extending the longevity of high cost off-line systems, IRCTC is proving otherwise. To the uninitiated, IRCTC is India’s online railway reservation facilitator. One look at this report over its results is an eye opener. With the increasing penetration and use of the internet, IRCTC’s ticketing revenue has seen a remarkable increase over the past 3 years ( From Rs 7.04 billion (2006-07) to Rs 17.44 billion (2007-08) and to Rs 39.66 billion last year.

Just wondering. What if CBDT allows Income Tax assesses (and not-yet assesses) to pay a presumptive tax (say a base rate of 10% of total income) online and ask no further questions unless they have incontrovertible proof of evasion? I am sure people will have lesser incentive to evade taxes and that will widen the tax base and reduce the total cost of tax collection which currently is steep and getting steeper.

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