FM Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget for financial year 2022-23 in the parliament on Tuesday. Soon after, several social media users claimed that the government has reduced the corporate tax for “crony industrialists” from 18 percent to 15 percent in the union budget. However, Newschecker has found out that Nirmala Sitharaman made no such announcement in the budget and the viral claim is false.
Congress leader Ripun Bora was among several social media users who claimed that “Corporate tax for crony industrialists has been reduced from 18% to 15%.”
A 30 per cent tax on income for sale or acquisition of virtual currency, launch of a new cryptocurrency by the RBI in the coming fiscal, a significant increase in capital expenditure, auction of 5G spectrum, LIC IPO were among some of the highlights of the Union Budget 2022-23. Gems and jewellery, mobile phones & chargers, textiles, leather goods, farming machines, chemicals like acetic acid and methanol are set to become cheaper in the coming fiscal year while the prices of umbrellas and imitation jewellery will rise.
To verify the veracity of the claim that the corporate tax has been reduced from 18 percent to 15 percent, we scanned Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech but did not find any mention of the same. However, we did come across a proposed reduction in Alternate Minimum Tax for ‘Cooperative Societies’ from 18.5 per cent to 15 per cent. Notably, companies pay Alternative Minimum Tax at 15 per cent currently.
At the counters 1:07:55 in the budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman can be heard saying, “Currently, cooperative societies are required to pay Alternate Minimum Tax at the rate of eighteen and one half per cent. However, companies pay the same at the rate of fifteen per cent. To provide a level playing field between co-operative societies and companies, I, propose to reduce this rate for the cooperative societies also to fifteen per cent.”
We looked up the official website of the Ministry of Finance and found a press release, dated February 1, 2022, titled ‘Co-operatives to pay Alternate Minimum Tax and Surcharge at reduced rate of 15% and 7% respectively,’ which states, ”The Government, in order to provide a level playing field between co-operative societies and companies proposes to reduce the Alternate Minimum Tax rate for co-operative societies to 15 per cent from the current 18.5 percent,” announced the FM in the budget.
In addition, we also came across a tweet by the government’s PIB Fact Check, dated February 1, 2022, which dismissed the claim that corporate tax has been reduced from 18 percent to 15 percent and called it fake.
The claim that the government has reduced corporate tax from 18 percent to 15 percent is misleading. The Alternate Minimum Tax for ‘cooperative societies’ has been reduced from 18.5 percent to 15 percent.
Result: Misleading/Partly false
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