Personal income taxes are soon to be altered to leave a bit more cash in taxpayers' pockets.
The cabinet has approved the proposed tax tweak, and the bill is now pending parliament's go-ahead. Coming at a time when consumer spending appears to be running out of steam, the tax change is likely to provide a moderate but welcome boost to the economy. It will also generate opportunities for businesses in sectors like retailing and financial services.
The income tax cut will cover not only 2014 and later years, but all of 2013 as well. For taxpayers, the upshot is two-fold: higher monthly take-home pay next year, with a significant windfall in the second quarter from unexpectedly higher refunds on excess taxes that employers have withheld during 2013 based on old rates.