Business taxation in India is characterised by high effective tax rates, a narrow tax base, and an uncertain tax environment for potential investors. However, India has now begun a process of significant business tax reform, including a staged reduction of the corporate income tax rate and removal of a range of business tax concessions. This paper sets the scene for these (and further) reforms by examining the taxation of business income in India with a particular focus on its impact on the investment climate. The paper calculates corporate effective tax rates to highlight the impact of the tax system on investment incentives, investigates the narrowness of the current tax base and the proposed base-broadening reforms, and examines the degree of investor certainty as to the tax rules and their application.

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