Provisions of Section 10(23FB) and Section 115U of the Act were intended to ensure a tax pass through status to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) registered Venture Capital Fund (VCF) or Venture Capital Company (VCC). Section 10(23FB) granted exemption in respect of income of such VCF/VCC. The benefit was available if investment by such VCC/VCF was in unlisted shares of a domestic company, i.e. a Venture Capital Undertaking (VCU). Section 115U ensures that income, in the hand of the investor through VCF/VCC is taxed in like manner and to the same extent as if the investment was directly made by investor in the VCU. Further, TDS provisions are not applicable to any payment made by the VCF to its investor and payment by VCC to the investor is exempted from Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT).
Section 10(23FB) further provides that income of a SEBI regulated VCF or VCC, derived from investment in a domestic company i.e. Venture Capital Undertaking (VCU), is exempt from taxation, provided the VCU is engaged in only nine specified businesses. The working of VCF, VCC or VCU are regulated by SEBI and RBI. In order to avoid multiplicity of conditions in different regulations for the same entities, the sectoral restriction on business of VCU is required to be removed from Income Tax Act and such VCU is to be allowed to be governed by conditions imposed by SEBI and RBI.
The provisions of section 115U currently allow an opportunity of indefinite deferral of taxation in the hands of investor. With a view to rationalize the above position and to align it with the true intent of a pass-through status, it is proposed to amend section
10(23FB) and section 115U to provide that.-
(i) The venture Capital undertaking shall have same meaning as provided in relevant SEBI regulations and there would be no sectoral restriction.
(ii) Income accruing to VCF/ VCC shall be taxable in the hands of investor on accrual basis with no deferral.
(iii) The exemption from applicability of TDS provisions on income credited or paid by VCF/ VCC to investors shall be withdrawn.
These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2013, and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent years.