TCS on Foreign Tours & Travel
As they say, the devil lies in the details, Budget 2020 has got a lot of catches to relate to. One of the important ones is that our FM Nirmala Sitharaman has seemed to have zeroed on folks traveling abroad on foreign tours & travel, their travel plan being booked by travel agents as part of small holiday packages. This is very common now in both Govt & Private Sector employees.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has raised alarm bells for those who travel abroad on tour package booked by others, which is a common trend to oblige senior officials in government and private sectors in the country.
Come, April 1, 2020, every foreign traveler will have to pay 5% (PAN holder) and 10% (non-PAN holder) TCS (Tax Collection at Source) on the total amount of tour package. Once the TCS is charged, total income for individuals will automatically be grossed up as liability & thus a large entity will be encircled with the realms of Income-tax department, which often escapes the TAX FILED income as per IT RETURN.
More often than not, there is black money involved as trips are often financed by the business houses in return for undue favors from bureaucrats, govt officials and other business entities in society. Trips can be a form of bribe or enticement in return for the aforesaid work insight.
As it may look, that every foreign visitor whether he is an income taxpayer or not will now be part of the tax gambit. However, there is a relief for people whose annual income is under the threshold limit (under Rs 5 lakh) visits a foreign country. These folks can apply for a refund of TCS from the Dept. of Income-tax.
The move is seen very effective as it will restrain the massive use of unaccounted money into the system via Foreign Tours and large no. of individuals n entities will be added newly to the mainstream Tax System @ GOI.
On top of levy of taxes, Govt intends to bank on new-age technology like DATA Analytics, etc. to retrieve information about frequent flyers who often end up spending lavishly on Global tours and travel. 5% TCS is a huge sum on the foreign travel package bill which will increase the burden of this distinctive travel class. Travel Industry is also looking to change and adapt to the new business dynamics. With all this, this can turn to abound to challenging provision for government employees and their family members, doctors, etc. who visit abroad on sponsorship.
Key Changes –
- Every foreign traveler has to pay 5% and 10% tax collection at sources (TCS) on the total amount of tour package
- Stop the practice of Concentration of Tour operators with a view of group bookings as an operator maligning the process with illicit funding via unorganised channels.
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