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Old 17th December 2016, 10:24   #1711
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

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Unfortunately, it is a law from 1961. Political parties never had to pay income tax because of that. Current government can't change that. All parties benefit from it.

Ever since 1961, political parties could accept any amount of money without incurring tax. But their accounts will be audited and balance sheet available for scrutiny. As a result they used to keep the black cash out of their accounts to escape scrutiny.

Now they are depositing old 500/1000 into their accounts. That means we can look at the source of these black money, as they have to explain where all the money came from. Not sure why this is a bad thing.

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Parties are not required to keep on record the source of the donation if it is less than Rs. 20k, isnt it? By the law they are not required to maintain any record, except I think names.
How will a CA make entries for these, as required by the banks/IT deptt/EC?
By law, wont the parties be able to use the fake lists that they have been for so long and say that they are not bound to keep details of donors, hence they have not? Now take my money?
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Old 17th December 2016, 10:26   #1712
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

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Unfortunately, it is a law from 1961. Political parties never had to pay income tax because of that. Current government can't change that.
Why not? Why can't the law be amended or repealed?

Isn't the current government reviewing all old laws and nullifying obsolete ones? This is their opportunity to bring in some real change (for a change).
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Old 17th December 2016, 11:09   #1713
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

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Who's we? If you mean common Joe public, let's not forget these are institutions the common public isn't even allowed to query under RTI, forget demand official scrutiny on.
This has been the case since 1961. Why the sudden outrage? Before demonetization, parties didn't fully utilize this clause because they preferred to use cash and keep it out of the books. Now they are using it like any individual, except they have no penalty to pay thanks to the 1961 law. Keep in mind IT department has full visibility to the accounts and balance sheet, since they have to file their IT returns (ITR) every year.
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Parties are not required to keep on record the source of the donation if it is less than Rs. 20k, isnt it? By the law they are not required to maintain any record, except I think names.
This is the exact rule that applies to every business, not just political parties. If your company receives an amount <20K in cash, they don't need to record the source using PAN/TIN, just name should do. But the amount is liable for tax for companies.
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By law, wont the parties be able to use the fake lists that they have been for so long and say that they are not bound to keep details of donors, hence they have not? Now take my money?
Technically, political parties are like charitable organizations. They are non-profit by definition. Hence they enjoy this status.

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Why not? Why can't the law be amended or repealed?
Enough MPs in LS and RS must vote to repeal it. Why would any party repeal a law that is so beneficial to them?

Last edited by Samurai : 17th December 2016 at 11:14.
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Old 17th December 2016, 11:44   #1714
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

@Samurai: The outrage isn't sudden, not at all.

We're also using a penal code written more than a century ago which was pro-bureaucracy keeping prevalent conditions in mind then, and nothing substantial has been changed for 7 decades since we had full rights to change it. So if I question it now, is it sudden outrage too? And if that's the standard to follow if one intends to be outraged, why the sudden outrage about Corruption, something that's existed since two humans existed?

It's amusing that in a democracy that's built on 'for the people, by the people, of the people' principles, the people we choose from among us to govern and serve (not rule) the rest don't have an obligation to play by the same rules, and people just like us are willing to write that travesty off as merely 'unfortunate', as if it's an unchangeable force of nature that can't be contested.

Unless we're willing to deem such things 'unacceptable' and demand that everyone is treated to the same standard, it's just blatant hypocrisy no matter how much sugar we pile on the stinking mess.

When we say all 'citizens' are accountable, it's about time we treated our 'rulers' by the same definition of 'citizen'.

Anything else and we're just perpetuating double standards, and it's ironic that the ones getting screwed over are the first to rise in defence of those screwing them over. Unfortunate? Maybe to you. I choose 'Unacceptable'.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 17th December 2016 at 11:53.
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Old 17th December 2016, 17:00   #1715
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

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Unfortunate? Maybe to you. I choose 'Unacceptable'.
That's great. So what are you going to do about it?

By definition, political parties are non profit organizations. That is why they are exempt from income tax. If you change them into for-profit organizations, then the exemption can be removed. Turning them into for-profit might open a whole new can of worms.
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Old 17th December 2016, 17:22   #1716
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That's great. So what are you going to do about it?
My duty as a common citizen, which I've been doing all along. Pay my taxes in full, vote my conscience (which gets difficult without a NOTA option on the ballot so most of my votes probably get disqualified), refuse to take the 'easy' way out when dealing with bureaucracy and helping out within my local community as much as I can.

My apologies if you expected a chest-thumping,"l'll change the world in one fell swoop" answer that seems to be in vogue nowadays.

I believe in incremental, local and personal change adding upto a larger context, not a big bang theory of change. YMMV.

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By definition, political parties are non profit organizations. That is why they are exempt from income tax. If you change them into for-profit organizations, then the exemption can be removed. Turning them into for-profit might open a whole new can of worms.
Non-profit?

That's akin to asking one to believe the <Insert alcoholic brand of your choice here> ads on TV are actually selling music CDs and soda

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 17th December 2016 at 17:25.
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Old 17th December 2016, 18:13   #1717
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

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My apologies if you expected a chest-thumping,"l'll change the world in one fell swoop" answer that seems to be in vogue nowadays.
No. Since you found it unacceptable, I was expecting some concrete suggestion from you to solve the problem. I said unfortunate because I am aware of the principal-agent problem inherent in the political system.

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Non-profit?

That's akin to asking one to believe the <Insert alcoholic brand of your choice here> ads on TV are actually selling music CDs and soda
Are you serious? You really don't know the difference between legal corruption and illegal corruption? Currently, as non-profit organizations, they can only do illegal corruption. Your idea of making them for-profit, will allow them to do legal corruptions. Legal corruption, if allowed can be much bigger than illegal corruption, because nobody will go to jail. In USA, legal corruption is huge compared to illegal corruption.

Last edited by Samurai : 17th December 2016 at 18:16.
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Old 17th December 2016, 18:19   #1718
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Received on WhatsApp

Me to my newspaper vendor: Why don't you take payment through PayTM?
My newspaper vendor to me: Why do you still read a newspaper?
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Old 17th December 2016, 19:26   #1719
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

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Received on WhatsApp

Me to my newspaper vendor: Why don't you take payment through PayTM?
My newspaper vendor to me: Why do you still read a newspaper?
What if we continue this conversation further.

Me to my newspaper vendor: Never thought of that. Yes. Let me do that.
My newspaper vendor to me:



(Okay, that was off topic. But couldn't help myself).
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Old 17th December 2016, 19:27   #1720
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...Since you found it unacceptable, I was expecting some concrete suggestion from you to solve the problem.
So incremental change isn't concrete? Only disruptive change is? Look around beyond the obvious and superficial, and you'll find quite the opposite. Disruptive change is visible and chaotic but temporary more often than not, incremental change at grassroots is slow and invisible, but lasting.

The world is being changed by people and acts most of which never get within a mile of newsreels.

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You really don't know the difference between legal corruption and illegal corruption?
You really want me to tell tell you the keyword there is 'legal', not 'corruption'? Change what's legal (which the current govt. knows a thing or two about ), and watch the dominoes fall in line.


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Your idea of making them for-profit, will allow them to do legal corruptions. Legal corruption, if allowed can be much bigger than illegal corruption, because nobody will go to jail. In USA, legal corruption is huge compared to illegal corruption.
Not my idea at all, I just laughed at the notion anyone with two brain cells would believe the non-profit mumbo-jumbo. I just believe every income should be accountable to the last penny, taxation or exemption comes later.

Tax-exempt should not mean disclosure-exempt. I know disclosure rules apply to non-profits too, but lax laws and ever worse vigilance makes it near impossible to police such organizations.

If the current govt. is serious about transparency, it would be a good first step to make RTI universal, exempting only sensitive departments (defense etc.). I won't hold my breath though.

Talking tough about world-changing acts is easy, the devil's in the minute detail.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 17th December 2016 at 19:34.
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Old 17th December 2016, 19:45   #1721
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

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Not my idea at all, I just laughed at the notion anyone with two brain cells would believe the non-profit mumbo-jumbo. I just believe every income should be accountable to the last penny, taxation or exemption comes later.
Chetan_Rao. On a lighter note, I agree with you that a political party being non-profit is a funny thought in itself.

But on a more serious note, in my view the logic is as follows. The legal view here taken is that the money being paid to the political party is "tax paid" money in the first place. (I can almost see you laughing and falling off the chair here, but as I said, this is just the logical view). Now, when the money comes to the political party, they do not add value to that money and increase it (i.e. they do not make a profit on it). Hence technically they should not be taxed. Because if you do that then technically you are double taxing money. Also, the next way to look at this is that political parties are not businesses and hence do not generate income on their own (By now you are probably rolling on the floor). Hence they need to rely on donations to raise funds for their daily operations. Hence that money cannot be considered as a gift as well. So out of purview of gift tax as well.
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Old 17th December 2016, 19:53   #1722
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When I pay someone using PayTM or other mobile wallets they get my mobile number!

Is there any way I can keep that private. Unfortunately my phone does not have dual sim's and hence I am a little worried that complete strangers will get my mobile number.

This could be especially problematic for some of the most vulnerable people in our societies.
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Old 17th December 2016, 20:15   #1723
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... Hence technically they should not be taxed......
Please re-read the bit of my post you quoted, or the whole thing if you will.

I'm only asking for full disclosure and accountability, just like a common citizen is expected to do, even if they fall in the exempt brackets.

Tax exemptions are fine, disclosure exemptions or rather loopholes shouldn't be. Whether such organisations deserve any exemptions at all is a topic for a different debate.

And yes, thanks for the giggle.
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Old 18th December 2016, 00:27   #1724
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Default Re: Government scraps Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes!

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So incremental change isn't concrete? Only disruptive change is? Look around beyond the obvious and superficial, and you'll find quite the opposite.
I asked you what are going to do about principal-agent problem in the political system. Your answer didn't address it.

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You really want me to tell tell you the keyword there is 'legal', not 'corruption'? Change what's legal (which the current govt. knows a thing or two about ), and watch the dominoes fall in line.
Obviously, you won't listen to me. May be you will believe a Harvard study on the same topic.

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Not my idea at all, I just laughed at the notion anyone with two brain cells would believe the non-profit mumbo-jumbo. I just believe every income should be accountable to the last penny, taxation or exemption comes later.
I head one for-profit company and another non-profit trust. So I am kind of familiar with the related laws. But you are right, I may not have the two brain cells required to understand it all.
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Old 18th December 2016, 00:42   #1725
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The actual issue isn't with political parties being tax exempt.
Section 80GGB states that even a company can donate any amount (no upper limit) to a political party and claim tax benefit for that amount.
This is a very blatant loophole which allows anyone to form a political party and route his company's income through that party and evade the tax net.
It is estimated that India has 1500 political parties out of which 400 have never even contested elections, which means they are only made to avail such unfair benefits.

Also, as Samurai has mentioned, the law states that any income of a political party coming from a business under the party's name is not tax exempt. So, like other NGOs/ Charitable trusts/ Religious Trusts, any non-profit income will most definitely be tax exempt as majority of that is via donations which come from individuals who are believed to be already taxed.
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