What is Finance Act?



Finance Bill is presented usually in the last week of February every year and this bill contains amendments in direct as well as indirect taxes

The Finance Act contains necessary amendments in the direct taxes (e.g. income tax and wealth tax) and indirect taxes (e.g. excise duties, custom duties and service tax) signifying the policy decisions of the Union Government.

Finance Bill is presented usually in the last week of February every year and this bill contains amendments in direct as well as indirect taxes. It is usually presented in the Parliament by the Finance Minister.

The finance bill is passed by both the houses of Parliament after it is being tabled and necessary recommendation / amendments have been made in it. Once this bill has been passed by the Parliament, it goes to the President for his assent. After President’s assent, the finance bill becomes the Finance Act.

The effective date of applicability of provisions of the Finance Act is usually mentioned in the notification in the official gazette or in the Act itself. Generally, the amendments by the Finance Act are made applicable from the first day of the next financial year e.g. generally, amendments by Finance Act, 2013 are effective from 1st April, 2014. Regarding indirect taxes, the ad valorem tax rates (tax rates based on value) are effective from the midnight of the date of presentation of the Union Budget.

First schedule to the annual Finance Act is divided into four parts:

  • Part I provides rates for current Assessment Year. For example, Part I of the Finance Act, 2013 provides income-tax rates for Assessment Year 2013-14;

  • Part II provides rates of TDS for the current financial year. For example, Part II of the Finance Act, 2013 provides rates of TDS for financial year 2013-14 (i.e. Assessment Year 2014-15);

  • Part III provides the rate of TDS under the head Income from ‘Salaries’ and the rates of advance tax for the current financial year. For example, Part III of the Finance Act, 2013 provides rates of advance tax for financial year 2013-14 (i.e. Assessment Year 2014-15).

  • Part IV provides for rules for computation of net agricultural income.

Read more:

Budget Glossary

Understanding the Budget process



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