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Pros and Cons of GST Tax in India

Pros:

A healthier business platform:

It’s going to ease the stress of taxes from the Indian manufacturers. They now have to pay lower taxes, and it will increase the scope of a better business environment and flexibility.

Similar tax rate over the nation:

Everyone wants to scrap the rates to drag higher number of people towards his product. However, it has been seen in many occasions for the states to reduce the VAT prices to make it lucrative for the investors. In such cases, it’s definitely a loss for both centre and state. Through GST you can have a uniform tax rate that can avoid the above kind of issues.

Can unite the whole nation from economic point of view:

Similar tax rate at each state would make a better trade in the nation among various states. At present, no tax credits are offered for trading in the nation between the states. Ultimately, the whole nation can be chained perfectly through the economic thread.

Simple enough:

GST is always simple. There would be nothing baffling remain like a manufacturing or service works. The entire economic processes of the nation can be fairly taxed. You won’t have to scratch your brain about different taxes; a single tax would fix everything.

Undoubtedly, this is going to be simpler to get, and sleeker to operate as well. In fact, it could be made a policy point for a better understanding of VAT for the traders. Apparently, the whole process of management and understanding the taxation system will be simpler.

More number of tax payers:

GST can make a higher count of the tax payers. Hence, the cut in tax rates can be well manifested by the increase in number of tax payers.

Those were the positive parts. Now take a look at the negative sides that the GST involves.

Cons:

A dominating centre:

It’s quite apparent that the whole process of GST is going to make Centre a way lot powerful as the Centre has to specify the rate of revenue that has to be shared with the states. There is every chance for some states to put up with a loss in terms of tax sharing. In addition, the centre might fix everything about the whole recompense. The centre can hike the tax rates for states for compensation. Many protests are quite obvious to appear.

Not a good choice for some states:

Especially, the states like Jharkhand those are more dependent upon their products, rather than services now have to share their revenue with the government. It’s going to make a huge loss for them as they don’t have adequate service for compensation.

Not consumer friendly:

GST is going to fetch the amount from the consumers that used not to be taken from the manufacturers through tax credit system. Undoubtedly, this will make the consumers unhappy.

 

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Source: http://www.topbuzz.in/what-is-gst-tax-pros-and-cons-of-gst-tax-in-india.html

 

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When to book your international air tickets for the cheapest fare?

There is a mad rush to book air tickets as the holiday season is about to begin. Everyone is looking for cheap fares. There are various schools of thought on how to get the cheapest fare. Some people believe booking an air ticket at last minute gets you the cheapest fare. But that may not be true.

A survey by flight search app Skyscanner reveals 69 per cent of Indian travellers do not know the best time to book air tickets for holidays. 31 per cent of respondents correctly assume booking more than 12 weeks in advance is the best time to book flights.

11 per cent feel that booking last minute is the key to getting a good deal.

The survey reveals that bookings for Bali and Kuala Lumpur are best secured 25 weeks prior to departure. But both destinations receive most bookings two weeks prior to departure when flight prices witness a surge of 16 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
Travellers can save 17 per cent on fares to Amsterdam if they book 24 weeks in advance.

Budapest offers flexible weeks to travellers for getting the cheapest fares. One can book 12, 20 or 23 weeks before departure and still save 13 per cent on the flight ticket. The best time to book for Madrid is 15 weeks in advance.

For cheapest fares, September and December are the best month to travel, the survey says. February is ideal to visit Amsterdam and Budapest as travellers can save eight per cent and nine per cent respectively on tickets. April is best for Bali, when travellers can save up to 10 per cent on fares. If one books tickets in September to Kuala Lumpur, one can save 18 per cent on average fares.
One can save 17 per cent on average fare if one books for Madrid in November.

“Knowing the best time to book flights is key to getting a good deal. It’s surprising that nearly three-quarters of Indian travellers don’t know when the best time to book travel is. 69 per cent are way off in their estimations, guessing the best deals on flights can be found less than 12 weeks before departure,” said Skyscanner India Growth Manager Reshmi Roy.

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Source – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/spend/short-frequent-holidays-becoming-more-popular-in-india-yatra-summer-survey-2017/articleshow/58192479.cms

Here is why Direct mutual fund schemes fare better than regular plans.

Investors who had invested in mutual fund schemes via direct plans will be elated as these plans have delivered better gains than that of regular plans in the one-year period ended March 29.

Typically, when an investor who wishes to invest in a MF scheme, she has to go through brokers or intermediaries/distributors/advisors. The intermediaries charge a brokerage fee for their services.

The distribution charges, trail commission are paid to the intermediaries by the asset management companies from investors’ money. This shaves a fraction off the returns investors earn.

On the other hand, direct MF plans don’t involve intermediaries. Hence, the expense ratio which includes all fees, commission, and fund management charges are lower, making the return higher than that of regular MF plans.

In the past one-year, direct schemes have given about 100 basis points of additional annual compounded return (a basis point is a hundredth of a percentage point).

Since direct plans have between 50 and 100 bps less of expense fees in the case of equity schemes and as there is no component of distributor commission, these tend to offer relatively more return to investors, on the back of a higher investible sum.

The varying returns are quite visible. For instance, top schemes like HDFC Top 200-Direct Plan gave 30.23 percent average returns while regular plan delivered 29.29 percent. Similarly, Reliance Equity Opportunities Fund-Direct Plan offered 19.65 percent vs 18.70 percent given under regular plan.

ICICI Prudential Dynamic Fund’s direct plan gave 32 percent average return as against 31 percent by regular plan.

MF_DirectVsRegular

 

The Securities and Exchange Board of India has been pushing for the availability of direct plans to investors for several years.

As on January-end, 65 percent assets by institutional and HNI investors were in direct plans. However, only 12 percent of investments by retail investors are through the direct plans.

“Usually, HNIs and institutions opt for direct plans. There are very less retail participants who are aware of these direct plans,” said Rajesh Krishnamoorthy, Managing Director, iFast Financial India, a platform provider for independent advisers and MF distributors.

He further said that these plans are yet to pick up momentum among investors in a widespread manner.

The primary reason is a lack of financial literacy among potential investors, particularly non-wealthy individuals.

 

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Source- http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/mutual-funds-business/direct-mutual-fund-schemes-fare-better-than-regular-plans-here-is-why-2249999.html

4 Things You Must Know About Taxes

Saving tax every year requires systematic and well ahead of time planning. Before you can begin to save tax, you should know these 4 basic points about saving on income tax.

#1. If you pay rent then you can use it to save tax

House Rent Allowance (HRA) is a key source of tax saving. HRA forms part of the salary you receive from your employer and is subtracted from your gross income.

Lowest of the three is deducted:

(i) Actual HRA provided by the employer

(ii) 50% of Basic plus Dearness Allowance if situated in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata; otherwise 40% Basic plus DA.

(iii) Actual house rent paid, minus 10% of Basic + DA

Make sure you take rent receipts from your house owner. If the annual rent paid is in excess of Rs. 1,00,000, copies of registered lease agreement and home owner’s PAN card must be submitted.

#2. You can save tax and grow wealth at the same time

Certain tax saving mutual funds such as ELSS Funds, EPF, PPF, NSC, etc. made in accordance with section 80C of the Income Tax Act, give tax rebate. No tax has to be paid at the time of investing, earning and redemption, subject to a maximum limit as prescribed under the section.

#3. Some expenses are tax deductible

There are certain personal expense allowances provided by your employer which are eligible for exemption from tax. Some of them are:

1. Medical Expenses including preventive health check-ups

2. Medical Insurance Premium

3. Education Loan Interest

4. Housing Loan Interest and Principal

5. Life Insurance Premium

6. Dependents Healthcare

The exact amount of tax deduction from different tax saving instruments varies.

#4. Doing good can save you taxes too

Donating to a charitable cause can help you save tax. Section 80G of the Income Tax Act allows you to deduct up to 10% of your adjusted gross income by donating to certain charities.

 

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Source- https://scripbox.com/blog/4-things-you-must-know-about-taxes-if-you-want-to-pay-less

 

11 Tips for Safe Online Shopping

1. Use Familiar Websites
Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. If you know the site, chances are it’s less likely to be a rip-off. We all know Amazon.com and that it carries everything under the sun; likewise, just about every major retail outlet has an online store, from Target to Best Buy to Home Depot. Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com, for example)—those are the oldest tricks in the book.

2. Look for the Lock
Never ever, ever buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed—at the very least. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser.

Never, ever give anyone your credit card over email. Ever.

3. Don’t Tell All
No online shopping store needs your social security number or your birthday to do business. However, if crooks get them, combined with your credit card number for purchases, they can do a lot of damage. The more they know, the easier it is to steal your identity. When possible, default to giving up the least amount of information.

4. Check Statements
Don’t wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Make sure you don’t see any fraudulent charges, even originating from sites like PayPal. (After all, there’s more than one way to get to your money.)

5. Inoculate Your PC
Swindlers don’t just sit around waiting for you to give them data; sometimes they give you a little something extra to help things along. You need to protect against malware with regular updates to your anti-virus program.

6. Use Strong Passwords
We like to beat this dead horse about making sure to utilize uncrackable passwords, but it’s never more important than when banking and shopping online.

7. Think Mobile
The National Retail Federation says that 5.7 percent of adults will use their mobile devices to do comparison shopping before making a purchase. (And 32.1 percent will comparison shop online with a computer, as well.) There’s no real need to be any more nervous about shopping on a mobile device than online. The trick is to use apps provided directly by the retailers, like Amazon, Target, etc. Use the apps to find what you want and then make the purchase directly, without going to the store or the website.

8. Avoid Public Terminals
Hopefully, we don’t have to tell you it’s a bad idea to use a public computer to make purchases, but we still will. If you do, just remember to log out every time you use a public terminal, even if you were just checking email.

What about using your own laptop to shop while you’re out? It’s one thing to hand over a credit card to get swiped at the checkout, but when you must enter the number and expiration date on a website while sitting in a public cafe, you’re giving an over-the-shoulder snooper plenty of time to see the goods. At the very least, think like a gangster: Sit in the back, facing the door.

9. Privatize Your Wi-Fi
If you do decide to go out with the laptop to shop, you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection. Only use the wireless if you access the Web over a virtual private network (VPN) connection. If you don’t get one from your employer, you can set up a free one with AnchorFree Hotspot Shield, if you’re willing to put up with the ads or pay $4.99 a month or $44.99 a year to skip the ads. There’s even an iOS app version of Hotspot Shield, but that will cost you $.99 per month or $9.99 a year after the first seven days.

By the way, now are not a good time to try out a hotspot you’re unfamiliar with. Stick to known networks, even if they’re free, like those found at Starbucks or Barnes & Noble stores that is powered by AT&T. Look for the network named “attwifi,” then open a browser to click into the “walled garden” to get final access. You can also find free Wi-Fi at McDonald’s, Panera Bread, and FedEx Office locations, not to mention libraries and local cafes.

10. Count the Cards
Gift cards are the most requested holiday gift every year, and this year will be no exception. Stick to the source when you buy one; scammers like to auction off gift cards on sites like eBay with little or no funds on them.

11. Know What’s Too Good to Be True
Once again, McAfee has compiled a Twelve Scams of Christmas list, all things to be aware of while shopping. The “coupon scam” offers a free product with purchase, in particular, an iPad (a very coveted gadget at any holiday) or even holiday job offers. Many of these “offers” will come in via social media. Beware even of your friends, who might innocently forward such a thing. Be very wary even if you get a message from a friend claiming he or she has been robbed, especially a friend overseas looking for money to be wire transferred, unless you absolutely can confirm it by talking to him or her personally. Skepticism in most cases can go a long way toward saving you from a stolen card number.

 

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Source- http://in.pcmag.com/software/91432/feature/11-tips-for-safe-online-shopping?/

New Financial Year: New Rules

Starting, 1st April 2017, there will a lot of changes in the financial policies. Here is a quick overview.

  • 1-page tax form for individuals with taxable income up to ₹5 Lacks (excluding business income)
  • 5% reduction in tax for total income between ₹2.5 lacks and ₹5 lacks.
  • ₹2500 per year Tax rebate for taxpayers with income up to ₹3.5 lacks, reduced from ₹5000 earlier.
  • 10% surcharge for taxpayers with income between ₹50 lacks and ₹1 crore a year.
  • 2 years will be the holding period for calculating long term capital gains on the immovable property instead of 3 years.
  • 2001: New base year for adjusting prices for inflation of assets instead of 1981.
  • ₹2 lacks cap on cash transactions.
  • 2% price hike for 875 drugs including those for treating diabetes, cancer, hypertension & hepatitis, that are on the list of National List of Essential Medicines.
  • 5% change in premium rates on general insurance in addition to the advanced third party motor insurance rate.

 

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Source-http://www.newsflicks.com/story/new-year-new-rules

Here is what to expect from GST Bill

The Narendra Modi government is all set to table the GST Bill in Parliament today and the Rajya Sabha is expected to give its approval to the same bringing entire India under a single tax regime allowing logical levies to be imposed.

  • The Bill amends the Constitution to introduce the goods and services tax (GST)
  • Parliament and state legislatures will have concurrent powers to make laws on GST. Only the center may levy an integrated GST (IGST) on the interstate supply of goods and services and imports.
  • Alcohol for human consumption has been exempted from the purview of GST. GST will apply to five petroleum products at a later date.
  • The GST Council will recommend rates of tax, a period of levy of an additional tax, principles of supply, special provisions to certain states etc. The GST Council will consist of the Union Finance Minister, Union Minister of State for Revenue, and state Finance Ministers.
  • The USIBC has encouraged a streamlined implementation of the GST, which will provide sufficient time for stakeholders to adjust their internal systems, needed to address the new GST infrastructure.

 

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Source- http://www.financialexpress.com/photos/business-gallery/336806/gst-bill-highlights-today-rajya-sabha-parliament-narendra-modi-sonia-gandhi-rahul-gandhi/

 

10 Income Tax Rules That Will Change From April, See Details Here

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Finance Bill, completing the budgetary exercise for 2017-18. Since the Finance Bill is a Money Bill, it needs only to be cleared by the Lok Sabha. Starting from April 1, 2017, some income tax laws will change. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced a number of income tax changes in Budget 2017. In addition, some amendments were also introduced in the Finance Bill that was passed by the Lok Sabha. Here are some of the changes that income tax payers should note:

1) The tax rate on income between Rs. 2.5 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh will get halved to 5 per cent from 10 per cent. However, rebate under Section 87A gets reduced from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 2,500. And no rebate will be applicable for taxpayers having income above Rs. 3.5 lakh. This means tax savings of up to Rs. 7,700 for those with a taxable income between Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh. And for persons with taxable income between Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 50 lakh, tax savings of Rs. 12,900.

2) A 10 per cent surcharge will be applicable for individuals having income ranging from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 1 crore (existing surcharge of 15 per cent will remain the same for individuals having income above Rs. 1 crore.)

3) A simple one-page form will be introduced for filing tax return for individuals having a taxable income up to Rs. 5 lakh other than business income.

4) No deduction will be allowed for investment in Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme from Assessment Year 2018-19. This tax-saving scheme, announced in the Union Budget for financial year 2012-13, was designed exclusively for the first-time individual investors in the securities market with gross total income below a certain limit.

5) Income tax officials can reopen tax cases for up to 10 years if search operations reveal undisclosed income and assets of over Rs. 50 lakh. Currently, tax officers can go back up to six years to scrutinise the books of accounts of assessees. Taxpayers who do not file their returns on time will have to shell out a penalty of up to Rs. 10,000 from Assessment Year 2018-19. However, if the total income of the person does not exceed Rs. 5 lakh, the fee payable under this section shall not exceed Rs. 1,000.

6) The holding period of a property for qualifying as long-term gains will be reduced to two years, from three years. This will help save tax if a property is sold within two years of buying. The profit from the transaction will be treated as short-term capital gains and will be taxed according to the slab rate applicable to him/her.

7) The government has cut down tax benefits borrowers enjoyed on properties let out on rent. As per current tax laws, for properties rented out, a borrower could deduct the entire interest paid on home loan after adjusting for the rental income. On the other hand, borrowers of self-occupied properties get a deduction of Rs. 2 lakh on interest repayment on home loan. But on rented properties, the borrower can only claim a deduction of up to Rs. 2 lakh per year after adjusting for the rental income. And the amount above Rs. 2 lakh can be carried forward for eight assessment years. Since the interest component of home loan repaid in initial years is higher, experts say that the borrower may not be able to fully adjust the interest paid as deduction even in subsequent years.

8) Individuals will be required to deduct a 5 per cent TDS (tax deducted at source) for rental payments above Rs. 50,000 per month. Tax experts say that the move will ensure that persons who get a large rental income come into the tax net. It will be effective from June 1, 2017.

9) Partial withdrawals from National Pension System (NPS) will not attract tax. According to the proposed changes, NPS subscribers can withdraw 25 per cent of their contribution to the corpus for emergencies before retirement. Remember that withdrawal of 40 per cent of the corpus is tax-free on retirement.

10) Aadhaar number will be a must while applying for PAN as well as filing of income tax returns from July 1. To curb black money, the limit on cash transactions has been set at Rs. 2 lakh. The Finance Bill had originally proposed the cap at Rs. 3 lakh. If a person receives any sum in contravention of the tax law, he/she will be liable to pay, by way of penalty, a sum equal to the amount.

Source: http://profit.ndtv.com/news/your-money/article-10-income-tax-rules-that-will-change-from-april-see-details-here-1672913

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Clever Tips to Help You Save Money While Traveling

Here some of the best money-saving tips for exploring the world. You can be sure that you don’t need to be a millionaire to travel.

1. Rent an apartment or use a hospitality exchange

You can’t feel the atmosphere of the city when you live in one of its boring hotels. In fact, the soul of many destinations can be found in the neighbourhoods in which everyday locals live and work. So, renting an apartment instead of booking a hotel room is often the smarter choice (such as via airbnb.com), especially, when you are planning to stay for a longer term. Doing so, you’ll not only be able to save money but also integrate into the local community.

Couch surfing is another great way of exploring places on a budget without spending a lot of money on accommodation (couchsurfing.com). Having registered on the website, you get an opportunity to connect with people who offer their space for free and share your own home with traveler.

2. Fly into an airport in a neighbouring city

Flying into major airports is usually much cheaper. Keep this in mind when choosing a flight. For example, if you want to visit Nice, it’ll most likely be easier and cheaper to get a flight to Milan with a low-cost airline and then take the train to Nice.

3. Don’t forget about budget airlines, and search for discount flight tickets

Airlines do offer discounted flights from time to time. In order to keep up to date on bargains offered by airlines, sign up for their newsletters. Another good option is to consider low-cost budget carriers. But bear in mind, please: if you’re booking low cost flights, your airline may charge additional fees for luggage and meals. In this case, you can travel light with carry-on luggage only and bring some snacks onto the plane yourself.

4. The cheapest flights tend to be early in the morning or late at night.

Early morning or late-night flights are less popular, and therefore cheaper. Moreover, scheduling your flight for that time of day will also help you to spend some more fantastic days on the beach, particularly if your vacation is not too long.

5. Use public transport instead of sightseeing buses

You can discover the major sights of many European cities through the window of an ordinary city bus. For example, in Berlin, the public bus no.100 offers the cheapest sightseeing tours. For only 3 Euros, you’ll pass most of the city’s main points of interest: Alexanderplatz, Unter den Linden (a magnificent boulevard), Berlin Cathedral, the Brandenburg Gate, the Tiergarten, Potsdamer Platz, the Berlin zoo, and more. In Venice, the Alilaguna boat line runs public boat trips from the airport to the city center. The cost is 15 Euros per person one way, which is six times cheaper than using a sleek private boat.

6. Buy a museum card

A museum card is a personal card that allows free entrance to almost all museums for the duration of one, two or even more days. They’re available in all major cities of the world. If you want to visit a lot of museums in a short space of time, with reduced admission fees and shorter waiting lines, one of these cards is definitely worth buying.

7. Think about payment methods in advance

If you often make purchases in Euros, it’s better to use a MasterCard instead of Visa credit card. The reason for this is quite simple: unlike MasterCard, Visa always charges a currency conversion fee. However, in some countries paying by credit card is not an option. So, to avoid high exchange rates, it is better to exchange currency at home before your trip. And don’t forget to have some cash with you.

8. Fortify yourself with a good lunch

Cafés and restaurants usually get most of their visitors during dinner time. That is why many of them offer significant discounts for breakfast and lunch. And don’t forget about the golden rule: ’Eat your breakfast alone, share your lunch with a friend, and give your dinner to your enemy.’

9. Book a secret hotel room

This is another great option for those who want to save money and are not afraid to experiment. Secret hotel rooms are unsold hotel rooms that are sold at a reduced price, typically somewhere 30%-50% less than their usual list price. The only catch in the process is that you don’t know upfront which hotel you’re booking the room in.

10. Use browser extensions to find active promo codes

In recent years, the online shopping industry has absolutely exploded, to the point that there are now many people who will only buy new products online. And when it comes to preparing for a vacation, buying travel-related stuff on the internet seems even more appealing. If you like online shopping, the Honey browser extension is something you definitely need. Just install it and this small program will help you to see all the coupons and sales available for a store.

11. Try the local cuisine without going to an expensive restaurant

Try some budget-friendly, delicious meals cooked by the locals. This is the best way to meet new people, make new friends and try out new cuisines.

12. Install travel apps and online maps on your smartphone

Search for the apps and maps that can be used offline, without an internet connection. Some of them can even replace a real tour guide.

13. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts and complementary services

For instance, you can negotiate room tariffs in the case of hotel bookings or ask for a free transfer from the airport to the city centre if such services are included in the cost of the ticket. And don’t forget to haggle (especially if you’re in an East Asian country): by doing so, you can cut the thing’s original price nearly in half.

14. Prepare for the trip in advance

While spontaneous travel can be a wonderful and exciting thing, it’s not the way to save money. In fact, you can keep costs down if you do a little planning in advance. Plan your transfer from the airport, learn about free museum exhibits, read the reviews of the local restaurants — this will all definitely help you reduce your travel-related expenses.

15. Vacation with friends

Those people who travel alone tend to pay 10-50 percent more for accommodation. If you head to Asia with 3-4 of your friends and plan to stay there for a long time, the chances are you’ll be able to rent a luxurious villa for a small amount of money.

 

Source: brightside.me

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