Insurance: High surrender charges deter exits

Most people reading this article would have experienced the bank’s “relationship manager” trying to (mis)sell a life insurance policy to them. Harsh’s article in Business Standard on the economics that push the bank to cannibalise on their own deposits and convert them into Life Insurance premiums. Comments/ disagreements welcome.

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How to make tax return scrutiny less stressful

Centralised data collection by the Income Tax Department (ITD) has widened the tax base & led to higher tax compliance. Tax payers also benefit as more than 90%+ have their returns (and refunds) accepted within weeks instead of years earlier. The National Faceless assessment scheme (NaFAC) and the National Faceless Apellate Scheme (NFAC) were rung in by the ITD with lofty aims of simplifying the tax administration for those assessee’s whose returns were selected for detailed scrutiny (which remains a large number). Harsh’s article in the Business Standard on how a combination of stiff tax collection targets, overbearing and antioquated attitudes of the ITD officials and a complete lack of accountability had given a bad name to NaFAC and NFAC which otherwise might have taken their place among the host of population scale technologies such as Aadhar, UPI, Account Aggregator and ONDC that have been introduced by India in recent times.

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Limit Section 54 benefit to curb money laundering

Why the price of your flat is so high? The demand from ” Investors” with black money keeps the flat prices high for genuine users. The exemption for long term capital gains under section 54 encourages such money laundering activities. Harsh’s article in Business standard today suggesting how the government can limit the exemption so as to prevent money laundering and at the same time not impact the genuine buyers who may be upgrading their flats. This tax loophole should be closed to bring down the cost of flats for genuine buyers. Your comments are most welcome

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