Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday clarified that ‘Health and Education Cess’ is not allowed as business expenditure.
While presenting the union budget in the Parliament, Sitharaman said that the income-tax is not an allowable expenditure for computation of business income. This includes tax as well as surcharges. “The ‘Health and Education Cess’ is imposed as an additional surcharge on the taxpayer for funding specific government welfare programs,” she explained.
Noting that some courts have allowed ‘Health and Education Cess’ as business expenditure, which is against the legislative intent, the Finance Minister reiterated that any surcharge or cess on income and profits is not allowable as business expenditure.
Sitharaman announced that the government proposes to provide that no set off of any loss shall be allowed against undisclosed income detected during search and survey operations.
She pointed out that it has been observed that in many cases where undisclosed income or suppression of sales among others is detected, payment of tax is avoided by setting off of losses. “This proposal would bring certainty and would increase deterrence among tax evaders,” the minister said.