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DIRECT TAXES PROPOSALS UNION BUDGET 2016-2017: 

MAJOR DIRECT TAX PROPOSALS
Additional Resource Mobilisation
 
Rationalization of taxation of income by way of dividend: It is proposed to amend the Income-tax Act so as to provide that any income by way of dividend in excess of Rs. 10 lakh shall be chargeable to tax in the case of an individual, Hindu undivided family (HUF) or a firm who is resident in India, at the rate of ten percent. The taxation of dividend income in excess of ten lakh rupees shall be on gross basis. These amendments are proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Change in rate of Securities Transaction tax in case where option is not exercised: Section 98 of the Finance (No.2) Act, 2004 provides that the securities transaction tax on sale of an option in securities where option is not exercised is 0.017 per cent of the option premium. It is proposed to increase the rate from 0.017 per cent.to 0.05 per cent. This amendment will take effect from1st June, 2016.
 
Equalisation Levy: It is proposed to insert a new Chapter titled "Equalisation Levy" in the Finance Bill, to provide for an equalisation levy of 6 % of the amount of consideration for specified services received or receivable by a non-resident not having permanent establishment ('PE') in India, from a resident in India who carries out business or profession, or from a non-resident having permanent establishment in India. Further, in order to reduce burden of small players in the digital domain, it is also provided that no such levy shall be made if the aggregate amount of consideration for specified services received or receivable by a non-resident from a person resident in India or from a non-resident having a permanent establishment in India does not exceed one lakh rupees in any previous year.

To provide certainty and to avoid interpretational issues, it is also proposed to define certain terms and expressions used therein. Further it also proposes to provide for the procedure to be adopted for collection and recovery of equalisation levy. In order to provide for the administrative mechanism of the equalisation levy, it also proposes to provide for statutory authorities and also prescribes the duties and powers of the authorities to administer the equalisation levy. In order to ensure effective compliance, it also proposes to provide for interest; penalty and prosecution in case of defaults with sufficient safeguards. Further, it also proposes to confer the power on the Central Government to make rules for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this Chapter and further provides that every rule made under this Chapter shall be laid before each House of Parliament.

In order to avoid double taxation, it is proposed to provide exemption under section 10 of the Act for any income arising from providing specified services on which equalisation levy is chargeable. In order to ensure compliance with the provisions this Chapter, it is further proposed to provide that the expenses incurred by the assessee towards specified services chargeable under this Chapter shall not be allowed as deduction in case of failure of the asseseee to deduct and deposit the equalisation levy to the credit of Central government. This Chapter will take effect from the date appointed in the notification to be issued by the Central Government.
 
Widening of Tax Base and Anti Abuse Measures
 
Tax Collection at Source (TCS) on sale of vehicles; goods or services: It is proposed to amend the aforesaid section to provide that the seller shall collect the tax at the rate of one per cent from the purchaser on sale of motor vehicle of the value exceeding ten lakh rupees and sale in cash of any goods (other than bullion and jewellery), or providing of any services (other than payments on which tax is deducted at source under Chapter XVII-B) exceeding two lakh rupees. It is also proposed to provide that the sub-section (1D) relating to TCS in relation to sale of any goods (other than bullion and jewellery) or services shall not apply to certain class of buyers who fulfil such conditions as may be prescribed. This amendment will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
Tax on distributed income to shareholder: It is proposed to amend section 115QA to provide that the provisions of this section shall apply to any buy back of unlisted share undertaken by the company in accordance with the provisions of the law relating to the Companies and not necessarily restricted to section 77A of the Companies Act, 1956. It is further proposed to provide that for the purpose of computing distributed income, the amount received by the Company in respect of the shares being bought back shall be determined in the prescribed manner. The rules would thereafter be framed to provide for manner of determination of the amount in various circumstances including shares being issued under tax neutral reorganisations and in different tranches.
The amendment will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
Levy of tax where the charitable institution ceases to exist or converts into a non-charitable organization: It is proposed to amend the provisions of the Act and introduce a new Chapter to provide for levy of additional income-tax in case of conversion into, or merger with, any non-charitable form or on transfer of assets of a charitable organisation on its dissolution to a non-charitable institution. Refer Finance Bill for the elements of the regime. Further, the recipient of assets of the trust, which is not a charitable organisation, shall also be liable to be held as assessee in default in case of non-payment of tax and interest. However, the recipient's liability shall be limited to the extent of the assets received. These amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
Measures to phase out deductions
 
Phasing out of deductions and exemptions: Based on the above guiding principles and taking into account the response of the stakeholders on the proposed phasing out plan, the incentives under the Act are proposed to be phased out in the manner as tabulated. These amendments mentioned in table 1 will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years. Refer Finance Bill for details
 
Measures to promote socio-economic growth
 
Exemption of income of Foreign Company from storage and sale of crude oil stored as part of strategic reserves: It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 10 of the Act to provide that any income accruing or arising to a foreign company on account of storage of crude oil in a facility in India and sale of crude oil therefrom to any person resident in India shall not be included in the total income, if, 

I. such storage and sale by the foreign company is pursuant to an agreement or an arrangement entered into by the Central Government or approved by the Central Government; and

II. having regard to the national interest, the foreign company and the agreement or arrangement are notified by the Central Government in this behalf.

Since the storage of oil is expected to begin in the current financial year, this exemption would be available from the previous year 2015-16, i.e. assessment year 2016-17. This amendment will take effect retrospectively from 1stApril, 2016 and will accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2016-17 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Exemption in respect of certain activity related to diamond trading in "Special Notified Zone": It is proposed to amend section 9 of the Act to provide that in the case of a foreign company engaged in the business of mining of diamonds, no income shall be deemed to accrue or arise in India to it through or from the activities which are confined to display of uncut and unassorted diamonds in a Special Zone notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette in this behalf. This amendment will take effect retrospectively from 1stApril, 2016 and will accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2016-17 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Extending the benefit of initial additional depreciation under section 32(1)(iia) for power sector: It is proposed to amend this section so as to provide that an assesse engaged in the business of transmission of power shall also be allowed additional depreciation at the rate of 20% of actual cost of new machinery or plant acquired and installed in a previous year. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Taxation of Income from 'Patents': It is proposed to insert new section 115BBF to provide that where the total income of the eligible assessee income includes any income by way of royalty in respect of a patent developed and registered in India, then such royalty shall be taxable at the rate of ten per cent ( plus applicable surcharge and cess) on the gross amount of royalty. No expenditure or allowance in respect of such royalty income shall be allowed under the Act. For the purpose of this concessional tax regime an eligible assessee means a person resident in India, who is the true and first inventor of the invention and whose name is entered on the patent register as the patentee in accordance with Patents Act, 1970 and includes evey such person, being the true and the first inventor of the invention, where more than one person is registered uas pententee under Patents Act, 1970 in respect of that patent. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Tax incentives for start-ups: It is proposed to insert a new Section 54EE to provide exemption from capital gains tax if the long term capital gains proceeds are invested by an assessee in units of such specified fund, as may be notified by the Central Government in this behalf, subject to the condition that the amount remains invested for three years failing which the exemption shall be withdrawn. The investment in the units of the specified fund shall be allowed up to Rs. 50 lakh.

It is proposed to amend section 54GB so as to provide that long term capital gains arising on account of transfer of a residential property shall not be charged to tax if such capital gains are invested in subscription of shares of a company which qualifies to be an eligible start-up subject to the condition that the individual or HUF holds more than fifty per cent shares of the company and such company utilises the amount invested in shares to purchase new asset before due date of filing of return by the investor.

It is proposed to amend section 54GB so as to provide that the expression "new asset" includes computers or computer software in case of technology driven start-ups so certified by the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification notified by the Central Government in the official Gazette. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Incentives for Promoting Housing for All: With a view to incentivise affordable housing sector as a part of larger objective of 'Housing for All', it is proposed to amend the Income-tax Act so as to provide for hundred per cent deduction of the profits of an assessee developing and building affordable housing projects if the housing project is approved by the competent authority before the 31stMarch, 2019 subject to certain conditions which inter alia, include:-

(i) The project is completed within a period of three years from the date of approval,

(ii) The project is on a plot of land measuring not less than 1000 sq. metres where the project is within 25 km from the municipal limits of four metros namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai & Kolkata and in any other area, it is measuring not less than 2000 sq. metres where the size of the residential unit in the said areas is not more than thirty sq. metres and sixty sq. metres, respectively,

(iii) where residential unit is allotted to an individual, no such unit shall be allotted to him or any member of his family, etc

The existing provisions of section 80EE provide a deduction of up to 1 lakh rupees in respect of interest paid on loan by an individual for acquisition of a residential house property. It is proposed to incentivise first-home buyers availing home loans, by providing additional deduction in respect of interest on loan taken for residential house property from any financial institution up to Rs. 50,000. This incentive is proposed to be extended to a house property of a value less than fifty lakhs rupees in respect of which a loan of an amount not exceeding thirty five lakh rupees has been sanctioned during the period from the 1st day of April, 2016 to the 31stday of March, 2017. It is also proposed to extend the benefit of deduction till the repayment of loan continues. The deduction under the proposed section is over and above the limit of Rs 2,00,000 provided for a self-occupied property under section 24 of the Act. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Tax incentive for employment generation: It is proposed to provide that the deduction under the said provisions shall be available in respect of cost incurred on any employee whose total emoluments are less than or equal to twenty five thousand rupees per month. No deduction, however, shall be allowed in respect of cost incurred on those employees, for whom the entire contribution under Employees' Pension Scheme notified in accordance with Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, is paid by the Government. It is further proposed to relax the norms for minimum number of days of employment in a financial year from 300 days to 240 days and also the condition of ten per cent increase in number of employees every year is proposed to be done away with so that any increase in the number of employees will be eligible for deduction under the provision. It is also proposed to provide that in the first year of a new business, thirty percent of all emoluments paid or payable to the employees employed during the previous year shall be allowed as deduction. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Relief and Welfare Measures
 
Provision for Tax benefits to Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme, 2015 and Rupee Denominated Bonds

(i) Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme, 2015: It is proposed to amend Section 47 of the Income-tax Act, so as to provide that any redemption of Sovereign Gold Bond under the Scheme, by an individual shall not be treated as transfer and therefore shall be exempt from tax on capital gains.It is also proposed to amend section 48 of the Income-tax Act, so as to provide indexation benefits to long terms capital gains arising on transfer of Sovereign Gold Bond to all cases of assessees. This amendment is proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
(ii) Rupee Denominated Bond: It is proposed to amend section 48 of the Act so as to provide that the capital gains, arising in case of appreciation of rupee between the date of issue and the date of redemption against the foreign currency in which the investment is made shall be exempt from tax on capital gains. This amendment is proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Consolidation of 'plans' within a 'scheme' of mutual fund: It is proposed to extend the tax exemption, available on merger or consolidation of mutual fund schemes, to the merger or consolidation of different plans in a mutual fund scheme. For this purpose, it is proposed to amend Section 47 so as to provide that any transfer by a unit holder of a capital asset, being a unit or units, held by him in the consolidating plan of a mutual fund scheme, made in consideration of the allotment to him of a capital asset, being a unit or units, in the consolidated plan of that scheme of the mutual fund shall not be considered transfer for capital gain tax purposes and thereby shall not be chargeable to tax. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Rationalization of limit of deduction allowable in respect of rents paid under Section 80GG: It is proposed to amend section 80GG so as to increase the maximum limit of deduction from existing Rs.2000 per month to Rs.5000 per month. These amendments are proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Tax Treatment of Gold Monetization Scheme, 2015: It is proposed to amend Clause (14) of section 2, so as to exclude Deposit Certificates issued under Gold Monetisation Scheme, 2015 notified by the Central Government, from the definition of capital asset and thereby to exempt it from capital gains tax. It is also proposed to amend clause (15) of section 10 so as to provide that the interest on Deposit Certificates issued under the Scheme, shall be exempt from income-tax. These amendments are proposed to be made effective retrospectively from the 1st day of April, 2016 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2016-17 and subsequent years.
 
Rationalization of section 56 of the Income-tax Act: It is proposed to amend the Act so as to provide that any shares received by an individual or HUF as a consequence of demerger or amalgamation of a company shall not attract the provisions of clause (vii) of sub-section (2) of section 56. These amendments are proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Rationalization of limit of rebate in income-tax allowable under Section 87A: It is proposed to amend section 87A so as to increase the maximum amount of rebate available under this provision from existing Rs.2,000 to Rs.5,000. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Increase in time period for acquisition or construction of self-occupied house property for claiming deduction of interest: It is proposed that second proviso of clause (b) of section 24 be amended to provide that the deduction under the said proviso on account of interest paid on capital borrowed for acquisition or construction of a self-occupied house property shall be available if the acquisition or construction is completed within five years from the end of the financial year in which capital was borrowed. This amendment will take effect from 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-2018 and subsequent years.

Simplification and rationalisation of provisions relating to taxation of unrealised rent and arrears of rent: 

It is proposed to simplify these provisions and merge them under a single new section 25A and bring uniformity in tax treatment of arrears of rent and unrealised rent. It is proposed to provide that the amount of rent received in arrears or the amount of unrealised rent realised subsequently by an assessee shall be charged to income-tax in the financial year in which such rent is received or realised, whether the assessee is the owner of the property or not in that financial year. It is also proposed that thirty per cent of the arrears of rent or the unrealised rent realised subsequently by the assessee shall be allowed as deduction. The amendment will take effect from 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-2018 and subsequent years.
 
Ease of doing Business/dispute resolution
 
Exemption from Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) on distribution made by an SPV to Business Trust: It is proposed to provide a special dispensation and exemption from levy of dividend distribution tax. The salient features of the proposed dispensation are:

(a) exemption from levy of DDT in respect of distributions made by SPV to the business trust;

(b) such dividend received by the business trust and its investor shall not be taxable in the hands of trust or investors;

(c) the exemption from levy of DDT would only be in the cases where the business trust either holds 100% of the share capital of the SPV or holds all of the share capital other than that which is required to be held by any other entity as part of any direction of any Government or specific requirement of any law to this effect or which is held by Government or Government bodies; and

(d) the exemption from the levy of DDT would only be in respect of dividends paid out of current income after the date when the business trust acquires the shareholding referred in (c) above in the SPV. The dividends paid out of accumulated and current profits upto this date shall be liable for levy of DDT as and when any dividend out of these profits is distributed by the company either to the business trust or any other shareholder. The amendment will take effect from1st June, 2016.
 
Modification in conditions of special taxation regime for off shore funds Section 9A: It is proposed to modify these conditions to provide that the eligible investment fund for purposes of section 9A, shall also mean a fund established or incorporated or registered outside India in a country or a specified territory notified by the Central Government in this behalf. It is also proposed to provide that the condition of fund not controlling and managing any business in India or from India shall be restricted only in the context of activities in India.

The amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and shall apply to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Enabling provision for implementation of various provisions of the Act in case of a foreign company held to be resident in India: It is proposed to: -

(a) defer the applicability of POEM based residence test by one year and the determination of residence based on POEM shall be applicable from 01/04/17.

(b) provide a transition mechanism for a company which is incorporated outside India and has not earlier been assessed to tax in India. The Central Government is proposed to be empowered to notify exception, modification and adaptation subject to which, the provisions of the Act relating to computation of income, treatment of unabsorbed depreciation, setoff or carry forward and setoff of losses, special provision relating to avoidance of tax and the collection and recovery of taxes shall apply in a case where a foreign company is said to be resident in India due to its POEM being in India for the first time and the said company has never been resident in India before.

(c) provide that these transition provisions would also cover any subsequent previous year upto the date of determination of POEM in an assessment proceedings. However, once the transition is complete, then normal provision of the Act would apply.

(d) provide that in the notification, certain conditions including procedural conditions subject to which these adaptations shall apply can be provided for and in case of failure to comply with the conditions, the benefit of such notification would not be available to the foreign company.

(e) provide that every notification issued in exercise of this power by the Central Government shall be laid before each house of the Parliament.

The amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and shall apply from assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Introduction of Presumptive taxation scheme for persons having income from profession: It is proposed to provide for presumptive taxation regime for professionals. In this regard, new section 44ADA is proposed to be inserted in the Act to provide for estimating the income of an assesse who is engaged in any profession referred to in sub-section (1) of section 44AA such as legal, medical, engineering or architectural profession or the profession of accountancy or technical consultancy or interior decoration or any other profession as is notified by the Board in the Official Gazette and whose total gross receipts does not exceed fifty lakh rupees in a previous year, at a sum equal to fifty per cent of the total gross receipts, or, as the case may be , a sum higher than the aforesaid sum earned by the assessee. The scheme will apply to such resident assessee who is an individual, Hindu undivided family or partnership firm but not Limited Liability partnership firm.

Under the scheme, the assessee will be deemed to have been allowed the deductions under section 30 to 38. Accordingly, the written down value of any asset used for the purpose of the profession of the assessee will be deemed to have been calculated as if the assessee had claimed and had actually been allowed the deduction in respect of depreciation for the relevant assessment years. It is also proposed that the assessee will not be required to maintain books of account under sub-section (1) of section 44AA and get the accounts audited under section 44AB in respect of such income unless the assessee claims that the profits and gains from the aforesaid profession are lower than the profits and gains deemed to be his income under sub-section (1) of section 44ADA and his income exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Increase in threshold limit for audit for persons having income from profession: It is proposed to increase the threshold limit of total gross receipts, specified under section 44AB for getting accounts audited, from twenty five lakh rupees to fifty lakh rupees in the case of persons carrying on profession. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Increase in threshold limit for presumptive taxation scheme for persons having income from business:
It is proposed to increase the threshold limit of one crore rupees specified in the definition of "eligible business" to two crore rupees. It is also proposed that the expenditure in the nature of salary, remuneration, interest etc. paid to the partner as per clause(b) of section 40 shall not be deductible while computing the income under section 44AD as the said section 40 does not mandate for allowance of any expenditure but puts restriction on deduction of amounts , otherwise allowable under section 30 to 38.It is also proposed that where an eligible assessee declares profit for any previous year in accordance with the provisions of this section and he declares profit for any of the five consecutive assessment years relevant to the previous year succeeding such previous year not in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1), he shall not be eligible to claim the benefit of the provisions of this section for five assessment years subsequent to the assessment year relevant to the previous year in which the profit has not been declared in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1).Further as the turnover limit of presumptive taxation scheme has been enhanced to rupees two crore, it is proposed to provide that eligible assessee shall be require to pay advance tax. However, in order to keep the compliance minimum in his case, it is proposed that he may pay advance tax by 15th March of the financial year.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Deduction in respect of provision for bad and doubtful debt in the case of Non-Banking Financial: companies: It is proposed to amend the provision of clause (viia) of sub-section (1) of section 36 so as to provide deduction from total income (computed before making any deduction under this clause and Chapter-VIA) on account of provision for bad and doubtful debts to the extent of five per cent of the total income in the case of NBFCs. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Rationalisation of scope of tax incentive under section 32AC: It is proposed to amend the sub-section (1A) of section 32AC so as to provide that the acquisition of the plant & machinery of the specified value has to be made in the previous year. However, installation may be made by 31.03.2017 in order to avail the benefit of investment allowance of 15%. It is further proposed to provide that where the installation of the new asset is in a year other than the year of acquisition, the deduction under this sub-section shall be allowed in the year in which the new asset is installed. These amendments will take effect retrospectively from 1stApril, 2016 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2016-17 and 2017-18.
 
Exemption from requirement of furnishing PAN under section 206AA to certain non-resident: It is proposed to amend the said section 206AA so as to provide that the provisions of this section shall also not apply to a non-resident, not being a company, or to a foreign company, in respect of any other payment, other than interest on bonds, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed. This amendment will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
Applicability of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on foreign companies for the period prior to 01.04.2015: 
It is proposed to amend the Income-tax Act so as to provide that with effect from 01.04.2001, the provisions of section 115JB shall not be applicable to a foreign company if -

(i) the assessee is a resident of a country or a specified territory with which India has an agreement referred to in sub-section (1) of section 90 or the Central Government has adopted any agreement under sub-section (1) of section 90A and the assesse does not have a permanent establishment in India in accordance with the provisions of such Agreement; or

(ii) the assessee is a resident of a country with which India does not have an agreement of the nature referred to in clause (i) above and the assessee is not required to seek registration under any law for the time being in force relating to companies.

This amendment is proposed to be made effective retrospectively from the 1stday of April, 2001 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2001-02 and subsequent years.
 
Tax Incentives to International Financial Services Centre: It is proposed to amend the section 10 so as to provide for exemption from tax on capital gains to the income arising from transaction undertaken in foreign currency on a recognised stock exchange located in an International Financial Services Centre even when securities transaction tax is not paid in respect of such transactions. It is proposed to amend section 115JB so as to provide that in case of a company, being a unit located in International Financial Services Centre and deriving its income solely in convertible foreign exchange, the Minimum Alternate Tax shall be chargeable at the rate of nine per cent. Further, it is proposed to amend section 115-O so as to provide that no tax on distributed profits shall be chargeable in respect of the total income of a company being a unit located in International Financial Services Centre, deriving income solely in convertible foreign exchange, for any assessment year on any amount declared, distributed or paid by such company, by way of dividends (whether interim or otherwise) on or after the 1st day of April, 2017 out of its current income, either in the hands of the company or the person receiving such dividend. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
It is proposed to amend section 113A of the Finance (No.2) Act, 2004 so as to provide that the provisions of Chapter VII shall not apply to taxable securities transactions entered into by any person on a recognized stock exchange located in International Financial Services Centre where the consideration for such transaction is paid or payable in foreign currency, thereby exempting such transaction from securities transaction tax.
 
Further, it is proposed to insert section 132A in Chapter VII of the Finance Act, 2013 so as to provide that the provisions of chapter VII shall also not apply to taxable commodities transactions entered into by any person on a recognized association located in unit of International Financial Services Centre where the consideration for such transaction is paid or payable in foreign currency, thereby exempting such transaction from commodities transaction tax. The above two amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
The Income Declaration Scheme, 2016: An opportunity is proposed to be provided to persons who have not paid full taxes in the past to come forward and declare the undisclosed income and pay tax, surcharge and penalty totalling in all to forty-five per cent of such undisclosed income declared. The scheme is proposed to be brought into effect from 1st June 2016 and will remain open up to the date to be notified by the Central Government in the official gazette. The scheme is proposed to be made applicable in respect of undisclosed income of any financial year upto 2015-16. Tax is proposed to be charged at the rate of thirty per cent on the declared income as increased by surcharge at the rate of twenty five per cent of tax payable (to be called the Krishi Kalyan cess). A penalty at the rate of twenty five per cent of tax payable, is also proposed to be levied on undisclosed income declared under the scheme. It is proposed that following cases shall not be eligible for the scheme:

¨ where notices have been issued under section 142(1) or 143(2) or 148 or 153A or 153C, or
¨ where a search or survey has been conducted and the time for issuance of notice under the relevant provisions of the Act has not expired, or
¨ where information is received under an agreement with foreign countries regarding such income,
¨ cases covered under the Black Money Act, 2015, or
¨ persons notified under Special Court Act, 1992, or
¨ cases covered under Indian Penal Code, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
 
It is proposed that payment of tax, surcharge and penalty may be made on or before a date to be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette and non-payment up to the date so notified shall render the declaration made under the scheme void. It is proposed to provide that declarations made under the scheme shall be exempt from wealth-tax in respect of assets specified in declaration. It is also proposed that no scrutiny and enquiry under the Income-tax Act and Wealth-tax Act be undertaken in respect of such declarations and immunity from prosecution under such Acts be provided. Immunity from the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 is also proposed for such declarations subject to certain conditions. It is proposed to provide that where a declaration under the scheme has been made by misrepresentation or suppression of facts, such declaration shall be treated as void. It is also proposed that nothing contained in the Scheme shall be construed as conferring any benefit, concession or immunity on any person other than the person making the declaration under this Scheme. In cases where any declaration has been made but no tax and penalty referred to the scheme has been paid within the time specified, the undisclosed income shall be chargeable to tax under the Income-tax Act in the previous year in which such declaration is made. In cases where any income has accrued, arisen or received or any asset has been acquired out of such income prior to commencement of this Scheme, and no declaration in respect of such income is made under the Scheme such income shall be deemed to have accrued, arisen or received, or the value of the asset acquired out of such income shall be deemed to have been acquired or made, in the year in which a notice under section 142, section 143(2) or section 148 or section 153A or section 153C of the Income-tax Act is issued by the Assessing Officer and the provisions of the Income-tax Act shall apply accordingly. It is further proposed that if any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Scheme, the Central Government may, by order, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Scheme, remove the difficulty by an order not after the expiry of a period of two years from the date on which the provisions of this Scheme come into force and such order be laid before each House of Parliament. It is proposed that the Central Board of Direct Taxes under the control of Central Government be provided the power to make rules, by notification in the Official Gazette, for carrying out the provisions of this Scheme and such rules made be laid before each House of Parliament in the manner provided in the scheme.
 
The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2016: It is proposed to bring the Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2016 in relation to tax arrear and specified tax. The salient features of the proposed scheme are as under:

¨ The scheme be applicable to "tax arrear" which is defined as the amount of tax, interest or penalty determined under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 in respect of which appeal is pending before the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) or the Commissioner of Wealth-tax (Appeals) as on the 29th day of February, 2016.

¨ The pending appeal could be against an assessment order or a penalty order.

¨ The declarant under the scheme be required to pay tax at the applicable rate plus interest upto the date of assessment. However, in case of disputed tax exceeding rupees ten lakh, twenty-five percent of the minimum penalty leviable shall also be required to be paid.

¨ In case of pending appeal against a penalty order, twenty-five percent of minimum penalty leviable shall be payable alongwith the tax and interest payable on account of assessment or reassessment.

¨ Consequent to such declaration, appeal in respect of the disputed income and disputed wealth pending before the Commissioner (Appeals) shall be deemed to be withdrawn.

In addition to the above, the scheme proposes that person may also make a declaration in respect of any tax determined in consequence of or is validated by an amendment made with retrospective effect in the Income-tax Act or Wealth-tax Act, as the case may be, for a period prior to the date of enactment of such amendment and a dispute in respect of which is pending as on 29.02.2016(referred to as specified tax). For availing the benefit of the Scheme, such declarant shall be required to withdraw any writ petition or any appeal filed against such specified tax before the Commissioner (Appeals) or the Tribunal or High Court or Supreme Court, before making the declaration and shall also be required to furnish a proof of such withdrawal. Further if any proceeding for arbitration conciliation or mediation has been initiated by the declarant or he has given any notice under any law or agreement entered into by India, whether for protection of investment or otherwise, he shall be required to withdraw such notice or claim for availing benefit under this Scheme. It is proposed that person making declaration in respect of specified tax shall be required to furnish an undertaking in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner, waiving the right, whether direct or indirect, to seek or pursue any remedy or claim in relation to the specified tax which otherwise be available to them under any law, in equity, by statute or under an agreement, whether for protection of investment or otherwise, entered into by India with a country or territory outside India. It is proposed that no appellate authority or Arbitrator or Conciliator or Mediator shall proceed to decide an issue relating to the specified tax in the declaration in respect of which an order is made by the designated authority or in respect of the payment of the sum determined to be payable. It is proposed that where the declarant violates any of the conditions referred to in the scheme or any material particular furnished in the declaration is found to be false at any stage, it shall be presumed as if the declaration was never made under this Scheme and all the consequences under the Income-tax Act or Wealth-tax Act under which the proceedings against declarant were or are pending, shall be deemed to have been revived. The declarant under the scheme shall get immunity from institution of any proceeding for prosecution for any offence under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth-tax Act. In case of specified tax the declarant shall also get immunity from imposition of penalty under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth-tax Act. However, in case of tax arrears immunity from penalty is proposed to be of the amount that exceeds the penalty payable as per the scheme. The scheme provides waiver of interest under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth-tax Act in respect of specified tax. However, waiver of interest in respect of tax arrears is to the extent the interest exceeds the amount of interest referred in the scheme. In the following cases a person shall not be eligible for the scheme:-

(i) Cases where prosecution has been initiated before 29.02.2016.
(ii) Search or survey cases where the declaration is in respect of tax arrears.
(iii) Cases relating to undisclosed foreign income and assets.
(iv) Cases based on information received under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement under section 90 or 90A of the Income-tax Act where the declaration is in respect of tax arrears.
(iv) Person notified under Special Courts Act, 1992.
(v) Cases covered under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act or Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974.
 
A declaration under the scheme may be made to the designated authority not below the rank of Commissioner in such form and verified in such manner as may be prescribed. The designated authority shall within sixty days from the date of receipt of the declaration, determine the amount payable by the declarant. The declarant shall pay such sum within thirty days of the passing such order and furnish proof of payment of such sum. Any amount paid in pursuance of a declaration shall not be refundable under any circumstances.
No matter covered by order of designated authority shall be reopened in any other proceeding under the Income-tax Act, 1961 or Wealth-tax Act, 1957. The designated authority shall subject to the conditions provided in the scheme grant immunity from instituting any proceeding for prosecution for any offence under the two Acts in respect of matters covered in the declaration. Nothing contained in this Scheme shall be construed as conferring any benefit, concession or immunity on the declarant in any proceedings other than those in relation to which the declaration has been made. It is proposed that the Central Government may be given the power to issue such orders, instructions and directions for the proper administration of this Scheme to persons employed in the execution of this Scheme shall observe and follow such orders, instructions and directions of the Central Government. In case any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Scheme, the Central government may by order not inconsistent with the provisions of this Scheme remove the difficulty. However, no such order shall be made after the expiry of a period of two years from the date on which the provisions of this Scheme come into force. Every such order, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament.

It is proposed that the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Scheme. Every rule made under this Scheme be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament in the manner specified in the scheme.
 
Providing Time limit for disposing applications made by assessee under section 273A, 273AA or 220(2A): It is proposed to amend section 220 to provide that an order accepting or rejecting application of an assessee shall be passed by the concerned Principal Chief Commissioner, Chief Commissioner, Principal Commissioner or Commissioner within a period of twelve months from the end of the month in which such application is received. It is further proposed to amend section 273A and section 273AA to provide that an order accepting or rejecting the application of an assessee shall be passed by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner within a period of twelve months from the end of the month in which such application is received.
It is also proposed to provide that no order rejecting the application of the assessee under section 220 or 273A, 273AA shall be passed without giving the assessee an opportunity of being heard. However, in respect of applications pending as on 1st day of June, 2016, the order under said sections shall be passed on or before 31stMay, 2017. These amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
Providing legal framework for automation of various processes and paperless assessment: It is proposed to amend the relevant provisions of the Act so as to provide adequate legal framework for paperless assessment in order to enhance efficiency and reduce the burden of compliance. A series of changes are proposed to achieve this end. It is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of section 282A so as to provide that notices and documents required to be issued by income-tax authority under the Act shall be issued by such authority either in paper form or in electronic form in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed.It is proposed to amend sub-section (2) of section 143 to provide that notice under the said sub-section may be served on the assessee by the Assessing Officer or the prescribed income-tax authority, either to attend the office of the Assessing Officer or to produce, or cause to be produced before the Assessing Officer any evidence on which the assessee may rely in support of the return. It is also proposed to amend the existing provision of section 2 by inserting new clause (23C) to define the term "hearing" to include communication of data and documents through electronic mode. These amendments will take effect from the 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Rationalisation Measures
 
Rationalization of tax deduction at source provisions relating to payments by Category-I and Category-II Alternate Investment Funds to its investors:It is proposed to amend section 194LBB to provide that the person responsible for making the payment to the investor shall deduct income-tax under section 194LBB at the rate of ten per cent where the payee is a resident and at the rates in force where the payee is a non-resident (not being a company) or a foreign company. Further, it is proposed to amend section 197 to include section 194LBB in the list of sections for which a certificate for deduction of tax at lower rate or no deduction of tax can be obtained. Consequential changes are also proposed to be made to the definition of "rates in force" so as to include section 194LBB in it. These amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
New Taxation Regime for securitisation trust and its investors: It is proposed to amend the provisions of the Act to substitute the existing special regime for securitisation trusts by a new regime elements.Further, it is proposed to provide that the current regime of distribution tax shall cease to apply in case of distribution made by securitisation trusts with effect from 01.06.2016. These amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
BEPS action plan - Country-By-Country Report and Master file: It is proposed to include essential elements of OECD report in the Act while remaining aspects can be detailed in rules. The amendments will be effective from 1st April, 2017 and shall apply for the Assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.
 
Exemption of Central Government subsidy or grant or cash assistance, etc. towards corpus of fund established for specific purposes from the definition of Income: It is proposed to amend section 2(24) to provide that subsidy or grant by the Central Government for the purpose of the corpus of a trust or institution established by the Central Government or State government shall not form part of income. This amendment will take effect from 1stApril, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Extension of scope of section 43B to include certain payments made to Railways: It is proposed to amend section 43B so as to expand its scope to include payments made to Indian Railways for use of Railway assets within its ambit. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Clarification regarding set off losses against deemed undisclosed income:It is proposed to amend the provisions of the sub-section (2) of section 115BBE to expressly provide that no set off of any loss shall be allowable in respect of income under the sections 68 or section 69 or section 69A or section 69B or section 69C or section 69D. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2017and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18.
 
Taxation of Non-compete fees and exclusivity rights in case of Profession:It is proposed to amend clause (va) of section 28 of the Act to bring the non-compete fee received/receivable( which are recurring in nature) in relation to not carrying out any profession, within the scope of section 28 of the Act i.e. the charging section of profits and gains of business or profession. Further, it is also proposed to amend the proviso to clarify that receipts for transfer of right to carry on any profession, which are chargeable to tax under the head "Capital gains", would not be taxable as profits and gains of business or profession. It is also proposed to amend section 55 so as to provide that the 'cost of acquisition' and 'cost of improvement' for working out "Capital gains" on capital receipts arising out of transfer of right to carry on any profession shall also be taken as 'nil'. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Clarification regarding the definition of the term 'unlisted securities' for the purpose of Section 112 (1) (c): It is proposed to amend the provisions of clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 112 of the Income- tax Act, so as to provide that long-term capital gains arising from the transfer of a capital asset being shares of a company not being a company in which the public are substantially interested, shall be chargeable to tax at the rate of 10 per cent. These amendments are proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Time limit for carry forward and set off of such loss under section 73A of the Income-tax Act: It is proposed to amend section 80 so as to provide that the loss determined as per section 73A of the Act shall not be allowed to be carried forward and set off if such loss has not been determined in pursuance of a return filed in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 139. It is also proposed to amend the said sub-section (3) of section 139 so as to give reference of sub-section (2) of section 73A in the said sub-section. These amendments will take effect retrospectively from 1stApril, 2016 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2016-17 and subsequent years.
 
Amortisation of spectrum fee for purchase of spectrum: It is proposed to insert a new section 35ABA in the Act to provide for tax treatment of spectrum fee. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Rationalization of tax deduction at Source (TDS) provisions: In order to rationalise the rates and base for TDS provisions, the existing threshold limit for deduction of tax at source and the rates of deduction of tax at source are proposed to be revised.

192A Payment of accumulated balance due to an employee: 50,000
194BB Winnings from Horse Race: 10,000
194C Payments to Contractors: 1,00,000 (Aggregate annual limit)
194LA Payment of Compensation on acquisition of certain Immovable Property: 2,50,000
194D Insurance commission: 15,000
194G Commission on sale of lottery tickets: 15,000
194H Commission or brokerage: 15,000 (Aggregate annual limit)
 
Revision in rates of deduction of tax at source on various payments mentioned in the relevant sections of the Act:

194DA Payment in respect of Life Insurance Policy: 1%
194EE Payments in respect of NSS Deposits: 10%
194D Insurance commission: 5%
194G Commission on sale of lottery tickets: 5%
194H Commission or brokerage: 5%
These amendments will take effect from 1st June, 2016.
 
Enabling of Filing of Form 15G/15H for rental payments: It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 197A for making the recipients of payments referred to in section 194-I 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, 2016.
 
Rationalization of Section 50C in case sale consideration is fixed under agreement executed prior to the date of registration of immovable property: It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 50C so as to provide that where the date of the agreement fixing the amount of consideration for the transfer of immovable property and the date of registration are not the same, the stamp duty value on the date of the agreement may be taken for the purposes of computing the full value of consideration. It is further proposed to provide that this provision shall apply only in a case where the amount of consideration referred to therein, or a part thereof, has been paid by way of an account payee cheque or account payee bank draft or use of electronic clearing system through a bank account, on or before the date of the agreement for the transfer of such immovable property. These amendments are proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Rationalization of conversion of a company into Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): It is proposed to amend the said section so as to provide that, for availing tax-neutral conversion, in addition to the existing conditions, the value of the total assets in the books of accounts of the company in any of the three previous years preceding the previous year in which the conversion takes place, should not exceed five crore rupees. These amendments are proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Rationalisation of tax treatment of Recognised Provident Funds, Pension Funds and National Pension Scheme: It is proposed to amend section 10 so as to provide that in respect of the contributions made on or after the 1stday of April, 2016 by an employee participating in a recognised provident fund and superannuation fund, up to 40 % of the accumulated balance attributable to such contributions on withdrawal shall be exempt from tax. It is proposed provide that any payment in commutation of an annuity purchased out of contributions made on or after the 1stday of April, 2016, which exceeds forty per cent of the annuity, shall be chargeable to tax.
It is proposed to provide that any payment from National Pension System Trust to an employee on account of closure or his opting out of the pension scheme referred to in Section 80CCD, to the extent it does not exceed forty percent of the total amount payable to him at the time of closure or his opting out of the scheme, shall be exempt from tax. However, the whole amount received by the nominee, on death of the assessee shall be exempt from tax. It is proposed to amend the said section and said schedule so as to provide the limit of employer's contribution to one lakh and fifty thousand rupees, without attracting tax. Further with a view to bring all the pension plans under one umberalla, it is also proposed to amend:- (i) the said schedule so as to provide exemption to one-time portability from a recognised provident fund to National Pension System; (ii) clause (13) of section 10 so as to provide that any payment from an approved superannuation fund by way of transfer to the account of the employee under NPS referred to in section 80CCD and notified by the Central Government shall be exempt from tax. These amendments are proposed to be made effective from the 1st day of April, 2017 and shall accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent years.
 
Filing of return of Income: In order to rationalise the time allowed for filing of returns, completion of proceedings, and realization of revenue without undue compliance burden on the taxpayer, and to promote the culture of compliance, it is proposed to amend the above provisions of the Act. It is proposed to amend the sixth proviso to sub-section (1) of the section 139 to include that if a person during the previous year earns income which is exempt under clause (38) of section 10 and income of such person without giving effect to the said clause of section 10 exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to tax, shall also be liable to file return of income for the previous year within the due date. It is also proposed to substitute sub-section (4) of the aforesaid section to provide that any person who has not furnished a return within the time allowed to him under sub-section (1), may furnish the return for any previous year at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. It is also proposed to substitute sub-section (5) of the aforesaid section so as to provide that if any person, having furnished a return under sub-section (1) or under sub-section (4), or in a return furnished in response to notice issued under sub-section (1) of section 142, discovers any omission or any wrong statement therein, he may furnish a revised return at any time before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. It is also proposed to omit clause (aa) of the Explanation to sub-section (9) of aforesaid section to provide that a return which is otherwise valid would not be treated defective merely because self-assessment tax and interest payable in accordance with the provisions of section 140A has not been paid on or before the date of furnishing of the return. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-2018 and subsequent years.
 
Processing under section 143(1) be mandated before assessment: It is proposed to amend sub-section (1D) of the aforesaid section to provide that before making an assessment under sub-section (3) of section 143, a return shall be processed under sub-section (1) of section 143. The amendment will take effect from the 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-2018 and subsequent years.
 
Rationalisation of time limit for assessment, reassessment and recomputation: section 153 is proposed to be substituted with the following changes in time limit from the existing time limits:

(i) the period, for completion of assessment under section 143 or section 144 be changed from existing two years to twenty-one months from the end of the assessment year in which the income was first assessable;

(ii) the period for completion of assessment under section 147 be changed from existing one year to nine months from the end of the financial year in which the notice under section 148 was served;

(iii) the period for completion of fresh assessment in pursuance of an order under section 254 or section 263 or section 264, setting aside or cancelling an assessment be changed from existing one year to nine months from the end of the financial year in which the order under section 254 is received by the Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner or Principal Commissioner or Commissioner, or the order under section 263 or section 264 is passed by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner. It is further proposed to provide that the period for giving effect to an order, under sections 250 or 254 or 260 or 262 or 263 or 264 or an order of the Settlement Commission under sub-section (4) of section 245D, where effect can be given wholly or partly otherwise than by making a fresh assessment or reassessment shall be three months from the end of the month in which order is received or passed, as the case may be, by the Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner or Principal Commissioner or Commissioner. It is also proposed that in a case where it is not possible for the Assessing Officer to give effect to such order within the aforesaid period, for reasons beyond his control, the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner on receipt of such reasons in writing from the Assessing Officer, if satisfied, may allow additional time of six months to give effect to the said order. However, in respect of cases pending as on 1st June 2016, the time limit for passing such order is proposed to be extended to 31.3.2017.
 
It is also proposed that where the assessment, reassessment or recomputation is made on the assessee or any person in consequence of or to give effect to any finding or direction contained in an order under section 250, 254, 260, 262, 263, or section 264 or in an order of any court in a proceeding otherwise than by way of appeal or reference under the Income-tax Act, then such assessment, reassessment or recomputation shall be made on or before the expiry of twelve months from the end of the month in which such order is received by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner. However, for cases pending as on1.6.2016, the time limit for taking requisite action is proposed to be 31.3.2017 or twelve months from the end of the month in which such order is received, whichever is later.
 
It is also proposed that where an assessment is made on a partner of the firm in consequence of an assessment made on the firm under section 147, such assessment be made on or before the expiry of twelve months from the end of the month in which the assessment order in the case of the firm is passed. However, for cases pending as on 1.6.2016, the time limit for taking requisite action is proposed to be 31.3.2017 or twelve months from the end of the end of the month in which order in case of firm is passed, whichever is later.

It is also proposed to make consequential changes in time limit for completion of assessment or reassessment by the Assessing Officer in accordance with the extension of time limit provided to the Transfer Pricing Officer in certain cases by amendment in sub-section (3A) to section 92CA. The provisions of section 153 as they stood immediately before their amendment by the Finance Act, 2016, shall apply to and in relation to any order of assessment, reassessment or recomputation made before the 1st day of June, 2016. The amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Rationalisation of time limit for assessment in search cases: It is proposed to amend the time limit for completion of assessments made under section 153A or section 153C cases to bring it in sync with the new time limits provided for other cases. In order to simplify the provisions of existing section 153B by retaining only those provisions that are relevant to the current provisions of the Act, section 153B is proposed to be substituted with the following changes in time limit from the existing time limits as under:

(i) The limitation for completion of assessment under section 153A, in respect of each assessment year falling within six assessment years referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 153A and in respect of the assessment year relevant to the previous year in which search is conducted under section 132 or requisition is made under section 132A be changed from existing two years to twenty-one months from the end of the financial year in which the last of the authorisations for search under section 132 or for requisition under section 132A was executed.

(ii) The limitation for completion of assessment in case of other person referred to in section 153C shall be changed from existing two years to twenty-one months from the end of the financial year in which the last of the authorisation for search under Section 132 or requisition under section 132A was executed or nine months (changed from the existing one year) from the end of the financial year in which the books of account or documents or assets seized or requisition are handed over under section 153C to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over such other person, whichever is later.
 
The provisions of section 153B as they stood immediately before their amendment by the Finance Act, 2016, shall apply to and in relation to any order of assessment, reassessment or recomputation made before the 1st day of June, 2016. The amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Rationalisation of advance tax payment schedule under section 211 and charging of interest under section 234C: It is proposed to rationalise schedule for advance tax payment and prescribe the same advance tax schedule for all assessees other than an eligible assessee in respect of eligible business as referred to in section 44AD. The modification in payment schedule will facilitate forecasting of revenue collections during a financial year with greater accuracy. It is further proposed that an eligible assessee in respect of eligible business referred to in section 44AD opting for computation of profits or gains of business on presumptive basis, shall be required to pay advance tax of the whole amount in one instalment on or before the 15th March of the financial year. Consequential amendments are also proposed to be made to section 234C which provides for chargeability of interest for deferment of advance tax to bring it in sync with the amendments proposed in section 211. It is also proposed that interest under section 234C shall not be chargeable in case of an assessee having income under the head "Profits and gains of business or profession" for the first time, subject to fulfillment of conditions specified therein. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Payment of interest on refund: It is proposed to amend section 244A to provide that in cases where the return is filed after the due date, the period for grant of interest on refund may begin from the date of filing of return. In the interest of fairness and equity, it is further proposed to provide that an assessee shall be eligible to interest on refund of self-assessment tax for the period beginning from the date of payment of tax or filing of return, whichever is later, to the date on which the refund is granted. For the purpose of determining the order of adjustment of payments received against the taxes due, the prepaid taxes i.e. the TDS, TCS and advance tax shall be adjusted first. It is also proposed to provide that where a refund arises out of appeal effect being delayed beyond the time prescribed under sub-section (5) of section 153, the assessee shall be entitled to receive, in addition to the interest payable under sub-section (1) of section 244A, an additional interest on such refund amount calculated at the rate of three per cent per annum, for the period beginning from the date following the date of expiry of the time allowed under sub-section (5) of section 153 to the date on which the refund is granted. It is clarified that in cases where extension is granted by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner by invoking proviso to sub-section (5) of section 153, the period of additional interest, if any, shall begin from the expiry of such extended period. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Rationalisation of the provisions relating to Appellate Tribunal: It is proposed to omit the reference of "Senior Vice-President". Sub-section (2A) of section 253 provides that the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner may, if he objects to any direction issued by the Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) under sub-section (5) of section 144C in pursuance of which the Assessing Officer has passed an order completing the assessment or reassessment, direct the Assessing Officer to appeal to the Appellate Tribunal against such order. Further, sub-section (3A) of section 253 provides that every appeal under sub-section (2A) shall be filed within sixty days of the date on which the order sought to be appealed against is passed by the Assessing Officer in pursuance of the directions of the DRP under sub-section (5) of section 144C. In line with the decision of the Government to minimise litigation, it is proposed to omit the said sub-sections (2A) and (3A) of section 253 to do away with the filing of appeal by the Assessing Officer against the order of the DRP. Consequent amendments are proposed to be made to sub-section (3A) and (4) of the said provision also. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.

It is also proposed to provide that in cases where Department is already in appeal against the directions of DRP under sub-section (2A) of the section 253 (as it stood before the amendment of the Finance Act, 2016), no fee shall be payable. This amendment will take effect retrospectively from 1st July, 2012.

It is proposed to amend sub-section (2) of section 254 to provide that the Appellate Tribunal may rectify any mistake apparent from the record in its order at any time within six months from the end of the month in which the order was passed.It is proposed to amend the said sub-section (3) so as to provide that a single member bench may dispose of a case where the total income as computed by the Assessing Officer does not exceed fifty lakh rupees. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Rationalisation of penalty provisions: It is proposed that section 271 shall not apply to and in relation to any assessment for the assessment year commencing on or after the 1stday of April, 2017 and subsequent assessment years and penalty be levied under the newly inserted section 270A with effect from 1stApril, 2017. The new section 270A provides for levy of penalty in cases of under reporting and misreporting of income. Sub-section (1) of the proposed new section 270A seeks to provide that the Assessing Officer, Commissioner (Appeals) or the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner may levy penalty if a person has under reported his income. It is proposed that a person shall be considered to have under reported his income if,-

(a) the income assessed is greater than the income determined in the return processed under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 143;

(b) the income assessed is greater than the maximum amount not chargeable to tax, where no return of income has been furnished;

(c) the income reassessed is greater than the income assessed or reassessed immediately before such re-assessment;

(d) the amount of deemed total income assessed or reassessed as per the provisions of section 115JB or 115JC, as the case may be, is greater than the deemed total income determined in the return processed under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 143;

(e) the amount of deemed total income assessed as per the provisions of section 115JB or 115JC is greater than the maximum amount not chargeable to tax, where no return of income has been filed;
(f) the income assessed or reassessed has the effect of reducing the loss or converting such loss into income.

The amount of under-reported income is proposed to be calculated in different scenarios as discussed herein. In a case where return is furnished and assessment is made for the first time the amount of under reported income in case of all persons shall be the difference between the assessed income and the income determined under section 143(1)(a). In a case where no return has been furnished and the return is furnished for the first time, the amount of under-reported income is proposed to be:

(i) for a company, firm or local authority, the assessed income;
(ii) for a person other than company, firm or local authority, the difference between the assessed income and the maximum amount not chargeable to tax.

In case of any person, where income is not assessed for the first time, the amount of under reported income shall be the difference between the income assessed or determined in such order and the income assessed or determined in the order immediately preceding such order.

It is further proposed that in a case where under reported income arises out of determination of deemed total income in accordance with the provisions of section 115JB or section 115JC, the amount of total under reported income shall be determined in accordance with the following formula-
(A - B) + (C - D) where,

A = the total income assessed as per the provisions other than the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC (herein called general provisions);
B = the total income that would have been chargeable had the total income assessed as per the general provisions been reduced by the amount of under reported income;
C = the total income assessed as per the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC;
D = the total income that would have been chargeable had the total income assessed as per the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC been reduced by the amount of under reported income.

However, where the amount of under reported income on any issue is considered both under the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC and under general provisions, such amount shall not be reduced from total income assessed while determining the amount under item D.

It is clarified that in a case where an assessment or reassessment has the effect of reducing the loss declared in the return or converting that loss into income, the amount of under reported income shall be the difference between the loss claimed and the income or loss, as the case may be, assessed or reassessed.

Calculation of under-reported income in a case where the source of any receipt, deposit or investment is linked to earlier year is proposed to be provided based on the existing Explanation 2 to sub-section (l) of section 271

(1). It is also proposed that the under-reported income under this section shall not include the following cases:

(i) where the assessee offers an explanation and the income-tax authority is satisfied that the explanation is bona fide and all the material facts have been disclosed;

(ii) where such under-reported income is determined on the basis of an estimate, if the accounts are correct and complete but the method employed is such that the income cannot properly be deducted therefrom;

(iii) where the assessee has, on his own, estimated a lower amount of addition or disallowance on the issue and has included such amount in the computation of his income and disclosed all the facts material to the addition or disallowance;

(iv) where the assessee had maintained information and documents as prescribed under section 92D, declared the international transaction under Chapter X and disclosed all the material facts relating to the transaction;

(v) where the undisclosed income is on account of a search operation and penalty is leviable under section 271AAB. It is proposed that the rate of penalty shall be fifty per cent of the tax payable on under-reported income. However in a case where under reporting of income results from misreporting of income by the assessee, the person shall be liable for penalty at the rate of two hundred per cent of the tax payable on such misreported income. The cases of misreporting of income have been specified as under:

(i) misrepresentation or suppression of facts;
(ii) non-recording of investments in books of account;
(iii) claiming of expenditure not substantiated by evidence;
(iv) recording of false entry in books of account;
(v) failure to record any receipt in books of account having a bearing on total income;
(vi) failure to report any international transaction or deemed international transaction under Chapter X.

It is also proposed that in case of company, firm or local authority, the tax payable on under reported income shall be calculated as if the under-reported income is the total income. In any other case the tax payable shall be thirty per cent of the under-reported income. It is also proposed that no addition or disallowance of an amount shall form the basis for imposition of penalty, if such addition or disallowance has formed the basis of imposition of penalty in the case of the person for the same or any other assessment year. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-2018 and subsequent years. Consequential amendments have been proposed in sections 119, 253, 271A, 271AA, 271AAB, 273A and 279 to provide reference to newly inserted section 270A.
 
Amendment of section 271AAB: It is proposed to amend that clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 271AAB to provide for levy of penalty on such undisclosed income at a flat rate of sixty per cent of such income.
 
Amendment of Section 272A: It is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of section 272A to further include levy of penalty of ten thousand rupees for each default or failure to comply with a notice issued under sub-section (1) of section 142 or sub-section (2) of section 143 or failure to comply with a direction issued under sub-section (2A) of section 142. It is further proposed to amend sub-section (3) of section 272A to provide that penalty in case of failure referred above shall be levied by the income tax authority issuing such notice or direction. It is also proposed to make consequential amendment to section 288 by insertion of a new clause (d) in sub- section (1) of section 272A in the Income-tax Act relating to penalty for failure to comply with the notices and directions specified therein. These amendments will take effect from the 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017 -2018 and subsequent years.
 
Provision for bank guarantee under section 281B: It is proposed that the Assessing Officer shall revoke provisional attachment of property made under sub-section (1) of the aforesaid section in a case where the assessee furnishes a bank guarantee from a scheduled bank, for an amount not less than the fair market value of such provisionally attached property or for an amount which is sufficient to protect the interests of the revenue. In order to help the Assessing Officer to determine the fair market value of the property, the Assessing Officer may, make a reference to the Valuation Officer, who may be required to submit the report of the estimate of the property to the Assessing Officer within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of such reference.

In order to ensure the revocation of attachment of property in lieu of bank guarantee in a time bound manner, it is proposed to provide that an order revoking the attachment be made by the Assessing Officer within fifteen days of receipt of such guarantee, and in a case where a reference is made to the Valuation Officer, within forty-five days from the date of receipt of such guarantee.

It is further proposed that where a notice of demand specifying a sum payable is served upon the assessee and the assesse fails to pay such sum within the time specified in the notice, the Assessing Officer may invoke the bank guarantee, wholly or partly, to recover the said amount. In a case where the assessee fails to renew the bank guarantee or fails to furnish a new guarantee from a scheduled bank for an equal amount fifteen days before the expiry of such guarantee, the Assessing Officer may in the interests of the revenue, invoke the bank guarantee. The amount realised by invoking the bank guarantee shall be adjusted against the existing demand which is payable and the balance amount, if any, be deposited in the Personal Deposit Account of the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner in the branch of Reserve Bank of India or the State Bank of India or of its subsidiaries or any bank as may be appointed by the Reserve Bank of India as its agent under the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 45 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 at the place where the office of the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner is situated. It is proposed that in a case where the Assessing Officer is satisfied that the bank guarantee is not required anymore to protect the interests of the revenue, he shall release that guarantee forthwith. These amendments will take effect from lst day of June, 2016. These amendments will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Processing under section 143(1) be mandated before assessment: It is proposed to amend sub-section (1D) of the aforesaid section to provide that before making an assessment under sub-section (3) of section 143, a return shall be processed under sub-section (1) of section 143. The amendment will take effect from the 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-2018 and subsequent years.
 
Extension of time limit to Transfer Pricing Officer in certain cases: It is proposed to amend sub-section (3A) of section 92CA to provide that where assessment proceedings are stayed by any court or where a reference for exchange of information has been made by the competent authority, the time available to the Transfer Pricing Officer for making an order after excluding the time for which assessment proceedings were stayed or the time taken for receipt of information, as the case may be, is less than sixty days, then such remaining period shall be extended to sixty days. The amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Assumption of jurisdiction of Assessing Officer: It is proposed to amend sub-section (3) of section 124 to specifically provide that cases where search is initiated under section 132 or books of accounts, other documents or any assets are requisitioned under section 132A, no person shall be entitled to call into question the jurisdiction of an Assessing Officer after the expiry of one month from the date on which he was served with a notice under sub-section (1) of section 153A or sub-section (2) of section 153C or after the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. This amendment will take effect from the 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Legislative framework to enable and expand the scope of electronic processing of information: It is proposed to amend section 133C to provide adequate legislative backing for processing of information and documents so obtained and making the outcome thereof available to the Assessing Officer for necessary action, if any. It is also proposed to amend Explanation 2 to section 147 to provide for reopening of cases by the AO on the basis of the information so received. It is proposed to expand the scope of adjustments that can be made at the time of processing of returns under sub-section (1) of section 143. It is proposed that such adjustments can be made based on the data available with the Department in the form of audit report filed by the assessee, returns of earlier years of the assessee, 26AS statement, Form 16, and Form 16A. However, before making any such adjustments, in the interest of natural justice, an intimation shall be given to the assessee either in writing or through electronic mode requiring him to respond to such adjustments. The response received, if any, will be duly considered before making any adjustment. However, if no response is received within thirty days of issue of such intimation, the processing shall be carried out incorporating the adjustments. These amendments will take effect from the 1st day of June, 2016.
 
Immunity from penalty and prosecution in certain cases by inserting new section 270AA: It is proposed to provide that an assessee may make an application to the Assessing Officer for grant of immunity from imposition of penalty under section 270A and initiation of proceedings under section 276C, provided he pays the tax and interest payable as per the order of assessment or reassessment within the period specified in such notice of demand and does not prefer an appeal against such assessment order. The assessee can make such application within one month from the end of the month in which the order of assessment or reassessment is received in the form and manner, as may be prescribed. It is proposed that the Assessing Officer shall, on fulfilment of the above conditions and after the expiry of period of filing appeal as specified in sub-section (2) of section 249, grant immunity from initiation of penalty and proceeding under section . These amendments will take effect from the 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017 -2018 and subsequent years.

Compiled By: CA Jitendra Lohia

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