With the economy slowly gaining momentum from the pandemic, a lot of hopes are riding on the Union Budget 2021. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is supposed to announce the first post-COVID Budget 2021 on February 1, is ready to steer the Indian economy back on the growth track.

Due to the global pandemic, almost all the sectors of the economy were knocked-off in 2020. However, there have been few indications that some of them are showing a quick recovery.

The major challenge for the Finance Minister is to hit the perfect balance between managing the fiscal deficit considerations and reviving broad-based growth.

While the auto and real estate sectors are still struggling, MSMEs across several sectors are still facing the financial crunch, resulting in little or no job creation. In the wake of the pandemic-induced economic shock, the government is expected to provide more tax breaks to netizens, so that they can have higher disposable incomes.

Now that the end of the pandemic is in sight, all eyes are on Union Budget 2021 in the hope of some much-awaited reliefs and incentives. The corporates and individual taxpayers are all expecting the tax concessions in this year`s budget.

Let us look at some of the most crucial expectations that the taxpayers have from the upcoming Union Budget 2021:

Tax Reliefs for Corporates

Before the pandemic struck the world, the corporate taxes in India were reduced to 22% for companies and 15% for manufacturing firms. So, any further reduction in corporate tax seems unlikely. However, to support the companies to cope up with the losses suffered during the lockdown, investment-based reliefs and flexible adjustment of the previous year`s losses could be in the pipeline.

Insurance Awareness

The importance of insurance in India has been low for many decades. In 2020, people became more aware due to the pandemic and the high medical costs related to it. Perhaps, this is an excellent time for the insurance sector to increase its foothold in the country.

Worst Hit Industries & Sectors

Several industries like aviation, food & beverages, tourism, etc., have suffered major losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The recovery time for these sectors will also be longer as compared to the other industries that are already on their path to recovery.

To provide relief to worst-hit sectors, the government may extend their 8-year-loss-carrying forward window. These industries will have minimal income levels in this as well as in the upcoming financial year until they recover completely.

Vivad se Vishwas Scheme

The introduction of Vivad se Vishwas Scheme was one of the highlights of the 2020 Budget. The government aimed to increase their tax revenues by offering to settle cases upon 100% payment of disputed taxes. This would result in the saving of interest as well as the penalty.

However, there were fewer takers of the scheme due to the pandemic. Thus, the government might consider extending this scheme so that more taxpayers can avail the benefit of this scheme in the upcoming Union Budget 2021.

While there are numerous expectations from Budget 2021, the government has announced various relief policies to keep the economy afloat.

The Budget 2021 will be announced on February 1. Finance Minister Sitharaman will deliver the longest ever budget speech last year. This year the Union Budget 2021 will be paperless.