Budget 2021 has brought cheers to many in the business & professional world. Sensex started rising even before budget from 29th Jan 2021 & gained 4,446 points and achieved it’s peak to 50,731 as on 05th Feb 2021. In fact IMF already projected 11.5 % growth for India before Budget as on 26th Jan 2021. I try to analyse the expected opportunities provided or taken away in the Budget 2021 from we all practicing CA\CMA\CS’s as follows:-
1.1. Provisions are made more complicated by introduction of new sections or amendment in the existing sections especially in I-Tax law which provides ample room for planning and consequent litigation also.
1.2. New area of I-Tax practise shall emerge due to formation of New Dispute Resolution Committee u/s 245MA w.e.f. 1-4-2021 for small & medium tax payers. The eligibility criteria is the returned income of Rs. 50 lakh or less (if there is a return) and the aggregate amount of variation proposed in specified order is Rs. 10 lakh or less.
1.3. New Board for Advance Ruling in replacement Authority for Advance ruling as per Section 245Q read with 245R (2) \ (4) is proposed for speedy disposal of cases may open up new avenues.
1.4. Exemption u/s 80-1AC along with sec 54GB has been extended by 1 year till 31.03.2022 for Eligible Start-ups. It will provide extended opportunity for opening up such start-ups.
1.5. Introduction of New Section 148A w.r.to enquiries before issuing Notice u/s 148 as applicable for non-search or requisition cases although faceless shall also provide more opportunities.
2.1. GST Audit expected to go as per applicability date by amendment in sec 35 and 44 of CGST Act (F.Y. 2019-20 still to be completed by 28.02.21). Lot of representation against it is being made & hopefully provision may not ultimately pass also.
2.2. Limits for tax audit u/s 44AB in certain cases increased from Rs.5 to Rs.10 Cr wef A.Y. 2021-22 The way Govt is reducing tax audit burden on tax payers in each financial year, it certainly has no bright future for CA/CMA’s. However practically most of the tax payers may not be able to get it’s benefit due to restriction of 95 % digital transaction.
2.3. Faceless ITAT is proposed by inserting sub section in the section 255 to impart greater efficiency, transparency and accountability
2.4. Abolishment of Income-tax Settlement Commission on or after 1st February, 2021 as per proposed amendment u/s 245C
2.5. Provision of Presumptive taxation u/s 44ADA for LLPs proposed to be abolished wef A.Y. 2022-23. However for HUF, it is still allowed. Can HUF act as professional ?
2.6. ITR filling for senior citizens (75 years & above) having Pension and Interest income as per newly inserted section 194P has been exempted. However, Banks may outsource this work the way TDS return filling has been outsourced to CA Firms and practically it will be only complimentary return filling.
2.7. Reduction in time limit for belated/Revised returns u/s 139(5)/ (4) wef A.Y. 2022-23 by 3 months
2.8. Abolishing search & seizure assessment u/s 153A/C and merging it with reassessments u/s 148. Please note with this Central Circle be abolished and all assessment shall be faceless. However existing period of 6/10/16 years shall reduce to 3/10 years. There was great criticism of making Central Circle also faceless as done now w.e.f. 01.04.21.
3. Conclusion :- We need to diversify our skills and look for upgradation like Artificial
Intelligence, Forensic Audits, Valuation, Insolvency, Sector specific specialisation etc to capture new opportunities for Clients and Self alongwith our traditional field of attestation (Audit etc) and Consultancy (I-Tax, GST etc). In fact it will help in more effective utilisation of our infrastructure created with years of hard work and passion which may not be used optimally due to Government initiative of making all I-Tax assessments faceless and reduction in Audit requirements in each budget.
Author Manoj Kumar Anand is Delhi based Chartered Accountant and Insolvency Professional and Director in Mumbai based IPE `Decode Resolvency International Private Limited’. He has also co-authored a book on Valuation and is founder President of `AIIPA’ an association of Insolvency Professional and Co-Convener of BVSS-IBC Group.