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MAJOR DIRECT TAX PROPOSALS

Measures to Curb Black Money: It is also proposed to amend section 269T of the Income-tax Act so as to provide that no person shall repay any loan or deposit made with it or any specified advance received by it, otherwise than by an account payee cheque or account payee bank draft or by electronic clearing system through a bank account, if the amount or aggregate amount of loans or deposits or specified advances is twenty thousand rupees or more. The specified advance shall mean any sum of money in the nature of an advance, by whatever name called, in relation to transfer of an immovable property whether or not the transfer takes place. It is further proposed to make consequential amendments in section 271D and section 271E to provide penalty for failure to comply with the amended provisions of section 269SS and 269T, respectively. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of June, 2015.

Deduction for employment of new workmen: With a view to encourage generation of employment, it is proposed to amend the section so as to extend the benefit to all assessees having manufacturing units rather than restricting it to corporate assessees only. Further, in order to enable the smaller units to claim this incentive, it is proposed to extend the benefit under the section to units employing even 50 instead of 100 regular workmen. Accordingly, it is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of the aforesaid section. It is also proposed to amend clause (i) of the Explanation so as to provide “additional wages” to mean the wages paid to the new regular workmen in excess of fifty workmen employed during the previous year. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Raising the threshold for specified domestic transaction: It is proposed to amend section 92BA to provide that the aggregate of specified transactions entered into by the assesse in the previous year should exceed a sum of twenty crore rupees for such transaction to be treated as ‘specified domestic transaction’. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016.

Rationalisation of definition of charitable purpose in the Income-tax Act: It is proposed to amend the definition of charitable purpose to provide that the advancement of any other object of general public utility shall not be a charitable purpose, if it involves the carrying on of any activity in the nature of trade, commerce or business, or any activity of rendering any service in relation to any trade, commerce or business, for a cess or fee or any other consideration, irrespective of the nature of use or application, or retention, of the income from such activity, unless,-

(i) such activity is undertaken in the course of actual carrying out of such advancement of any other object of general public utility; and

(ii) the aggregate receipts from such activity or activities, during the previous year, do not exceed twenty percent. of the total receipts, of the trust or institution undertaking such activity or activities, for the previous year .

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Allowance of balance 50% additional depreciation: it is proposed to provide that the balance 50% of the additional depreciation on new plant or machinery acquired and used for less than 180 days which has not been allowed in the year of acquisition and installation of such plant or machinery, shall be allowed in the immediately succeeding previous year.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Raising the income-limit of the cases that may be decided by single member bench of ITAT: It is proposed to amend sub-section (3) of section 255 of the Income-tax Act so as to provide that a bench constituted of a single member may dispose of a case where the total income as computed by the Assessing Officer does not exceed fifteen lakh rupees.

This amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2015.

Procedure for appeal by revenue when an identical question of law is pending before Supreme Court: It is proposed to insert a new section 158AA so as to provide that notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, where any question of law arising in the case of an assessee for any assessment year is identical with a question of law arising in his case for another assessment year which is pending before the Supreme Court, in an appeal or in a special leave petition under Article 136 of the Constitution filed by the revenue, against the order of the High Court in favour of the assessee, the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner may, instead of directing the Assessing Officer to appeal to the Appellate Tribunal under sub-section (2) or sub-section (2A) of section 253, direct the Assessing Officer to make an application to the Appellate Tribunal in the prescribed form within sixty days from the date of receipt of order of the Commissioner (Appeals) stating that an appeal on the question of law arising in the relevant case may be filed when the decision on the question of law becomes final in the earlier case.

It is further proposed to provide that the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner shall proceed under sub-section (1) only if an acceptance is received from the assessee to the effect that the question of law in the other case is identical to that arising in the relevant case. It is also proposed to provide that where the order of the Commissioner (Appeals) is not in conformity with the final decision on the question of law in the other case (if the Supreme Court decides the earlier case in favour of the Department), the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner may direct the Assessing Officer to appeal to the Appellate Tribunal against such order within sixty days from the date on which the order of the Supreme Court is communicated to the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner and save as otherwise provided in the said section 158AA. This amendment will take effect from the 1st day of June, 2015.

Tax benefits under section 80C for the girl child under the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme: A new clause (11A) is proposed to be inserted in section 10 of the Act so as to provide that any payment from an account opened in accordance with the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules, 2014 shall not be included in the total income of the assessee. As a result, the interest accruing on deposits in, and withdrawals from any account under the scheme would be exempt. Section 80C of the Act is proposed to be made so as to provide that a sum paid or deposited during the year in the Scheme in the name of any girl child of the individual or in the name of any girl child for whom such individual is the legal guardian, would be eligible for deduction under section 80C of the Act. These amendments will take effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2015

Amendment in section 80D relating to deduction in respect of health insurance premia: It is proposed to amend section 80D so as to raise the limit of deduction from fifteen thousand rupees to twenty five thousand rupees. It is further proposed to raise the limit of deduction for senior citizens from twenty thousand rupees to thirty thousand rupees. It is also proposed to define a ‘very senior citizen’ to mean an individual resident in India who is of the age of eighty years or more at any time during the relevant previous year.

These amendments will take effect from the 1st April, 2016

Raising the limit of deduction under section 80DDB: It is proposed to amend section 80DDB so as to provide that the assessee will be required to obtain a prescription from a specialist doctor for the purpose of availing this deduction. Further, it is also proposed to amend section 80DDB to provide for a higher limit of deduction of upto eighty thousand rupees, for the expenditure incurred in respect of the medical treatment of a “very senior citizen”

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Raising the limit of deduction under section 80DD and 80U for persons with disability and severe disability: It is proposed to amend section 80DD and section 80U so as to raise the limit of deduction in respect of a person with disability from fifty thousand rupees to seventy five thousand rupees. It is further proposed to amend the section so as to raise the limit of deduction in respect of a person with severe disability from one lakh rupees to one hundred and twenty five thousand rupees.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Raising the limit of deduction under 80CCC: It is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of the said section so as to raise the limit of deduction under section 80CCC from one lakh rupees to one hundred and fifty thousand rupees, within the overall limit provided in section 80CCE.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Additional deduction under 80CCD: It is proposed to omit sub-section (1A). In addition to the enhancement of the limit under section 80CCD(1), it is further proposed to insert a new sub-section (1B) so as to provide for an additional deduction in respect of any amount paid, of upto fifty thousand rupees for contributions made by any individual assessees under the NPS

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Enabling of filing of Form 15G/15H for payment made under life insurance policy: It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 197A for making the recipients of payments referred to in section 194DA also eligible for filing self-declaration in Form No.15G/15H for non-deduction of tax at source in accordance with the provisions of section 197A.

This amendment will take effect from 1st June, 2015

Relaxing the requirement of obtaining TAN for certain deductors: It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 203A of the Act so as to provide that the requirement of obtaining and quoting of TAN under section 203A of the Act shall not apply to the notified deductors or collectors.

This amendment will take effect from 1st June, 2015.

Abolition of levy of wealth-tax under Wealth-tax Act, 1957: It is proposed to abolish the levy of wealth tax under the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 with effect from the1st April, 2016. It is also proposed that the objective of taxing high net worth persons shall be achieved by levying a surcharge on tax payer earning higher income as levy of surcharge is easy to collect & monitor and also does not result into any compliance burden on the assessee and administrative burden on the department. The details regarding levy of enhanced surcharge on this account are given under the heading “Rates of Income-tax”. It is also proposed that information relating to assets which is currently required to be furnished in the wealth-tax return shall be captured by suitably modifying income-tax return.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Rationalisation of provisions of section 11 relating to accumulation of Income by charitable trusts and institutions: it is proposed to amend the Act to provide that the said Form shall be filed before the due date of filing return of income specified under section 139 of the Act for the fund or institution. In case the Form 10 is not submitted before this date, then the benefit of accumulation would not be available and such income would be taxable at the applicable rate. Further, the benefit of accumulation would also not be available if return of income is not furnished before the due date of filing return of income.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Assessment of income of a person other than the person in whose case search has been initiated or books of account, other documents or assets have been requisitioned: it is proposed to amend the aforesaid section to provide that notwithstanding anything contained in section 139, section 147, section 148, section 149, section 151 and section 153, where the Assessing Officer is satisfied that any money, bullion, jewellery or other valuable article or thing belongs to, or any books of account or documents seized or requisitioned pertain to, or any information contained therein, relates to, any person, other than the person referred to in section 153A, then the books of account or documents or assets seized or requisitioned shall be handed over to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over such other person and that Assessing Officer shall proceed against each such other person and issue such other person notice and assess or reassess income of such other person in accordance with the provisions of section 153A.

This amendment will take effect from the 1st day of June, 2015.

Simplification of approval regime for issue of notice for re-assessment: it is proposed to provide that no notice under section 148 shall be issued by an assessing officer upto four years from the end of relevant assessment year without the approval of Joint Commissioner and beyond four years from the end of relevant assessment year without the approval of the Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner or Principal Commissioner or Commissioner.

This amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2015.

Revision of order that is erroneous in so far as it is prejudicial to the interests of revenue: it is proposed to provide that an order passed by the Assessing Officer shall be deemed to be erroneous in so far as it is prejudicial to the interests of the revenue, if, in the opinion of the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner:

(a) the order is passed without making inquiries or verification which, should have been made;

(b) the order is passed allowing any relief without inquiring into the claim;

(c) the order has not been made in accordance with any order, direction or instruction issued by the Board under section 119; or

(d) the order has not been passed in accordance with any decision, prejudicial to the assessee, rendered by the jurisdictional High Court or Supreme Court in the case of the assessee or any other person.

This amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2015.

Clarification regarding deduction of tax from payments made to transporters: it is proposed to amend the provisions of section 194C of the Act to expressly provide that the relaxation under sub-section (6 ) of  section 194C of the Act from non-deduction of tax shall only be applicable to the payment in the nature of transport charges (whether paid by a person engaged in the business of transport or otherwise) made to an contractor who is engaged in the business of transport i.e. plying, hiring or leasing goods carriage and who is eligible to compute income as per the provisions of section 44AE of the Act (i.e a person who is not owning more than 10 goods carriage at any time during the previous year) and who has also furnished a declaration to this effect along with his PAN.

This amendment will take effect from 1st June, 2015.

Certain accountants not to give reports/certificates: It is proposed to amend section 288 of the Act to provide that an auditor who is not eligible to be appointed as auditor of a company as per the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 141 of the Companies Act, 2013 shall not be eligible for carrying out any audit or furnishing of any report/certificate under any provisions of the Act in respect of that company. On similar lines, ineligibility for carrying out any audit or furnishing of any report/certificate under any provisions of the Act in respect of non-company is also proposed to be provided. However, it is proposed to provide that the ineligibility for carrying out any audit or furnishing of any report/certificate in respect of an assessee shall not make an accountant ineligible for attending income-tax proceeding referred to in sub-section (1) of section 288 of the Act as authorised representative on behalf of that assessee. It is further proposed to provide that the person convicted by a court of an offence involving fraud shall not be eligible to act as authorised representative for a period of 10 years from the date of such conviction. (It is also proposed to revise the definition of ‘accountant’ in Explanation below section 288(2) of the Act on the lines of definition of ‘chartered accountant’ in the Companies Act, 2013).

These amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2015.

Cost of acquisition of a capital asset in the hands of resulting company to be the cost for which the demerged Company acquired the capital asset: Accordingly, it is proposed to amend sub-clause (e) of clause (iii) of sub-section (1) of section 49 of the Income-tax Act to include transfer under clause (vib) of section 47 and to provide that the cost of acquisition of an asset acquired by resulting company shall be the cost for which the demerged company acquired the capital asset as increased by the cost of improvement incurred by the demerged company.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016

OTHER DIRECT TAX PROPOSALS:

Measures to promote domestic manufacturing and improving the investment climate (Make in India): Deferment of provisions relating to General Anti Avoidance Rule (“GAAR”), Pass through status to Category –I and Category –II Alternative Investment, Fund Managers in India not to constitute business connection of offshore funds

Incentives for the State of Andhra Pradesh and the State of Telangana :

(A) Additional Investment Allowance: It is proposed to insert a new section 32AD in the Act to provide for an additional investment allowance of an amount equal to 15% of the cost of new asset acquired and installed by an assessee,

(B) Additional Depreciation at the rate of 35%

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Taxation Regime for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (Invit): In order to provide parity, it is proposed that,-

(i) the sponsor would get the same tax treatment on offloading of units under an Initial offer on listing of units as it would have been available had he offloaded the underlying shareholding through an IPO.

(ii) the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2004 be amended to provide that STT shall be levied on sale of such units of business trust which are acquired in lieu of shares of SPV, under an Initial offer at the time of listing of units of business trust on similar lines as in the case of sale of unlisted equity shares under an IPO.

(iii) the benefit of concessional tax regime of tax @15 % on STCG and exemption on LTCG under section 10(38) of the Act shall be available to the sponsor on sale of units received in lieu of shares of SPV subject to levy of STT.

Extension of eligible period of concessional tax rate under section 194LD – It is proposed to amend section 194LD to provide that the concessional rate of 5% withholding tax on interest payment under the section will now be available on interest payable upto 30th June, 2017.

This amendment will take effect from 1st June, 2015.

Reduction in rate of tax on Income by way of Royalty and Fees for technical services in case of non-residents: In order to reduce the hardship faced by small entities due to high rate of tax of 25%, it is proposed to amend the Act to reduce the rate of tax provided under section 115A on royalty and FTS payments made to non-residents to 10%.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Exemption to income of Core Settlement Guarantee Fund (SGF) of the Clearing Corporations: It is proposed to exempt the income of the Core SGF arising from contribution received and investment made by the fund and from the penalties imposed by the Clearing Corporation subject to similar conditions as provided in case of Investor Protection Fund set up by a recognised stock exchange or a commodity exchange or a depository. This amendment will take effect from 1st April,

Tax neutrality on merger of similar schemes of Mutual Funds: It is proposed to provide tax neutrality to unit holders upon consolidation or merger of mutual fund schemes provided that the consolidation is of two or more schemes of an equity oriented fund or two or more schemes of a fund other than equity oriented fund. It is further proposed that the cost of acquisition of the units of consolidated scheme shall be the cost of units in the consolidating scheme and period of holding of the units of the consolidated scheme shall include the period for which the units in consolidating schemes were held by the assessee.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April 2016

Enabling the Board to notify rules for giving foreign tax credit: it is proposed to amend section sub-section (2) of section 295 of the Income-tax Act so as to provide that CBDT may make rules to provide the procedure for granting relief or deduction, as the case may be, of any income-tax paid in any country or specified territory outside India, under section 90, or under section 90A, or under section 91, against the income-tax payable under the Act. This amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2015.

One hundred per cent deduction for National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse: It is proposed amend section 80G so as to provide hundred percent deduction in respect of donations made to the said National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Tax benefits for Swachh Bharat Kosh and Clean Ganga Fund: It is proposed to provide that donations made by any donor to the Swachh Bharat Kosh and donations made by domestic donors to Clean Ganga Fund will be eligible for a deduction of hundred per cent from the total income. However, any sum spent in pursuance of Corporate Social Responsibility under sub-section (5) of section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013, will not be eligible for deduction from the total income of the donor. it is also proposed to amend section 10(23C) of the Act so as to exempt the income of Swachh Bharat Kosh and Clean Ganga Fund from income-tax. These amendments will take effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2015

Clarity regarding source rule in respect of interest received by the non-resident in certain cases: These amendments shall be effective from 1st April, 2016

Furnishing of return of income by certain universities and hospitals referred to in section 10 (23C) of the Act: It is proposed to amend the Act in order to provide that entities covered under clauses (iiiab) and (iiiac) of clause (23C) of section 10 shall be mandatorily required to file their return of income. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Power of the Central Board of Direct Taxes to prescribe the manner and procedure for computing period of stay in India: It is proposed to amend the Act to provide that in the case of an Individual, being a citizen of India and a member of the crew of a foreign bound ship leaving India, the period or periods of stay in India shall, in respect of such voyage, be determined in the manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed. This amendment will take effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2015

Rationalising the provisions of section 115JB: it is proposed to amend the section 115JB so as to provide that the share of a member of an AOP, in the income of the AOP, on which no income–tax is payable in accordance with the provisions of section 86 of the Act, should be excluded while computing the MAT liability of the member under 115JB of the Act. The expenditures, if any, debited to the profit loss account, corresponding to such income (which is being proposed to be excluded from the MAT liability) are also proposed to be added back to the book profit for the purpose of computation of MAT. It is, therefore, proposed to amend the provisions of section 115JB so as to provide that income from transactions in securities (other than short term capital gains arising on transactions on which securities transaction tax is not chargeable) arising to a Foreign Institutional Investor, shall be excluded from the chargeability of MAT and the profit corresponding to such income shall be reduced from the book profit. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Amendments relating to Global Depository receipts (GDRs): it is proposed to amend the Act in order to continue the tax benefits only in respect of such GDRs as defined in the earlier depository scheme. These amendments will take effect from the 1st day of April, 2016

Settlement Commission: It is proposed to amend clause (iv) of the Explanation to provide that a proceeding for any assessment year, other than the proceedings of assessment or reassessment referred to in clause (i) or clause (iii) or clause (iiia), shall be deemed to have commenced from the date on which a return of income is furnished under section 139 or in response to notice under section 142 and concluded on the date on which the assessment is made or on the expiry of two years from the end of relevant assessment year, in a case where no assessment is made. it is proposed to amend sub-section (6B) of section 245D of the Income tax Act to provide for additional time. it is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of section 245H of the Income-tax Act so as to provide that the Settlement Commission while granting immunity to any person shall record the reasons in writing in the order passed by it. it is proposed to amend section 245K of the Income-tax Act to provide that any person related to the person who has already approached the Settlement Commission once, also cannot approach the Settlement Commission subsequently. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of June, 2015.

Orders passed by the prescribed authority under section sub-clauses (vi) and (via) of clause (23C) of section 10 made appealable before Income-tax Appellate Tribunal: it is proposed to amend the said sub-section (1) of section 253 so as to provide that an assessee aggrieved by the order passed by the prescribed authority under sub-clause (vi) or (via) of section 10(23C) may appeal to the Appellate Tribunal.

This amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2015.

Interest for defaults in payment of advance tax in case of re-assessment and where additional income is disclosed before the Settlement Commission under section 245C: it is proposed to amend clause (3) of section 234B of the Income-tax Act to provide that the period for which the interest is to be computed will begin from the 1st day of April next following the financial year and end on the date of determination total income under section 147 or section 153A.

These amendments will take effect from 1st day of June, 2015.

Rationalisation of provisions relating to Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) and Tax Collection at Source (TCS): It is, therefore, proposed to amend the provisions of section 206C of the Act so as to allow the collector to furnish TCS correction statement. The proposed provision shall also incorporate the mechanism for computation of fee payable under section 234E of the Act. it is, further, proposed to provide that intimation generated after processing of TCS statement shall also be—

(i) subject to rectification under section 154 of the Act;

(ii) appealable under section 246A of the Act; and

(iii) deemed as notice of demand under section 156 of the Act.

It is proposed to amend the provisions of sections 200 and 206C of the Act to provide that where the tax deducted [including paid under section 192(1A)] / collected has been paid without the production of a challan, the PAO/TO/CDDO or any other person by whatever name called who is responsible for crediting such sum to the credit of the Central Government, shall furnish within the prescribed time a prescribed statement for the prescribed period to the prescribed income-tax authority or the person authorised by such authority by verifying the same in the prescribed manner and setting forth prescribed particulars. It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 272A of the Act so as to provide for a penalty of Rs.100/- for each day of default during

It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 195 of the Act to provide that the person responsible for paying any sum, whether chargeable to tax or not, to a non-resident, not being a company, or to a foreign company, shall be required to furnish the information of the prescribed sum in such form and manner as may be prescribed. Further proposed that in case of non-furnishing of information or furnishing of incorrect information under sub-section (6) of section 195(6) of the Act, a penalty of one lakh rupees shall be levied

These amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2015.

Simplification of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) mechanism for Employees Provident Fund Scheme (EPFS): It is, proposed to insert a new provision in Act for deduction of tax at the rate of 10% on pre-mature taxable withdrawal from EPFS. However, to reduce the compliance burden of the employees having taxable income below the taxable limit, it is also proposed to provide a threshold of payment of Rs.30,000/- for applicability of this proposed provision. These amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2015

Amendment to the conditions for determining residency status in respect of Companies: it is proposed to amend the provisions of section 6 to provide that a person being a company shall be said to be resident in India in any previous year, if- (i) it is an Indian company; or (ii) its place of effective management, at any time in that year, is in India. Further, it is proposed to define the place of effective management to mean a place where key management and commercial decisions that are necessary for the conduct of the business of an entity as a whole are, in substance made. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Prescribed conditions relating to maintenance of accounts, audit etc to be fulfilled by the approved in-house R&D Facility: In order to have a better and meaningful monitoring mechanism for weighted deduction allowed under section 35 (2AB) of the Act, it is proposed to amend the provisions of section 35(2AB) of the Act to provide that deduction under the said section shall be allowed if the company enters into an agreement with the prescribed authority for cooperation in such research and development facility and fulfills prescribed conditions with regard to maintenance and audit of accounts and also furnishes prescribed reports. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Amount of tax sought to be evaded for the purposes of penalty for concealment of income under clause (iii) of sub-section (1) of section 271: It is proposed to amend section 271 of the Act so as to provide that the amount of tax sought to be evaded shall be the summation of tax sought to be evaded under the general provisions and the tax sought to be evaded under the provisions of section 115JB or 115JC.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016

Compiled By: CA Jitendra Lohia


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