1. Start-ups – The existing provisions of section 80-IAC of the Act provide for a deduction of an amount equal to one hundred per cent of the profits and gains derived from an eligible business by an eligible start-up for three consecutive assessment years out of seven years, at the option of the assessee, subject to the condition that the eligible start-up is incorporated on or after 1st April, 2016 but before 1st April, 2021 and the total turnover of its business does not exceed twenty-five crore rupees.

In order to further rationalize the provisions and extend more benefits to the start-ups, it is proposed to amend section 80-IAC of the Act so as to provide that-

(i) the deduction under the said section 80-IAC shall be available to an eligible start-up for a period of three consecutive assessment years out of ten years beginning from the year in which it is incorporated, at the option of the assessee;

(ii) the deduction under the said section shall be available to an eligible start-up, if the total turnover of its business does not exceed one hundred crore rupees in any of the previous years beginning from the year in which it is incorporated.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-22 and subsequent assessment years.

2. Affordable Housing Project – The existing provisions of section 80-IBA of the Act, inter alia, provide that where the gross total income of an assessee includes any profits and gains derived from the business of developing and building affordable housing projects, there shall, subject to certain conditions specified therein, be allowed a deduction of an amount equal to one hundred per cent of the profits and gains derived from such business. The conditions contained in the section, inter alia, prescribes that the project to be approved by the competent authority during the period from 1st June, 2016 to 31st March, 2020.

In order to incentivize building affordable housing and to boost the supply of such houses, the period of approval of the housing project by the competent authority is proposed to be extended to 31st March, 2021.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-22 and subsequent assessment years.

3. Loan for Affordable Housing – The existing provisions of section 80EEA of the Act provide for a deduction in respect of interest on loan taken from any financial institution for acquisition of an affordable residential house property. The deduction allowed is up to one lakh fifty thousand rupees and is subject to certain conditions. One of the conditions is that loan has been sanctioned by the financial institution during the period from 1st April, 2019 to 31st March, 2020.

The said deduction is aimed to incentivize first time buyers to invest in residential house property whose stamp duty does not exceed forty-five lakh rupees. In order to continue promoting purchase of affordable housing, the period of sanctioning of loan by the financial institution is proposed to be extended to 31st March, 2021.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-22 and subsequent assessment years.

4. New Companies engaged in Generation of Electricity –Section 115BAB provided that new manufacturing domestic companies set up on or after 1st October, 2019, which commence manufacturing or production by 31st March, 2023 and do not avail of any specified incentives or deductions, may opt to pay tax at a concessional rate of 15 per cent. Representations have been received from various stakeholders requesting to provide that the benefit of the concessional rate under section 115BAB of the Act may also be extended to business of generation of electricity, which otherwise may not amount to manufacturing or production of an article or thing. Accordingly, it is proposed to explain that, for the purposes of this section, manufacturing or production of an article or thing shall include generation of electricity.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2020 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2020-21 and subsequent assessment years.

5. TDS on fees for technical services (other than professional services) – Section 194J of the Act provides that any person, not being an individual or a HUF, who is responsible for paying to a resident any sum by way of fees for professional services, or fees for technical services, or any remuneration or fees or commission by whatever name called (other than those on which tax is deductible under section 192 of the Act, to a director), or royalty or any sum referred to in clause (va) of section 28, shall, at the time of payment or credit of such sum to the account of the payee, deduct an amount equal to ten per cent as income-tax.

Section 194C of the Act provides that any person responsible for paying any sum to a resident for carrying out any work (including supply of labor for carrying out any work) in pursuance of a contract shall at the time of payment or credit of such sum deduct an amount equal to one per cent in case payment is made to an individual or a HUF and two per cent in other cases.

It is noticed that there are large number of litigations on the issue of short deduction of tax treating assessee in default where the assessee deducts tax under section 194C, while the tax officers claim that tax should have been deducted under section 194J of the Act.

Therefore to reduce litigation, it is proposed to reduce rate for TDS in section 194J in case of fees for technical services (other than professional services) to two per cent from existing ten per cent. The TDS rate in other cases under section 194J would remain same at ten per cent.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2020.

6. Modification of Residency Provisions – Section 6(1) of the Act provide for situations in which an individual shall be resident in India in a previous year. Clause(c) thereof provides that the individual shall be Indian resident in a year, if he,-

(i) has been in India for an overall period of 365 days or more within four years preceding that year, and

(ii) is in India for an overall period of 60 days or more in that year.

Clause (b) of Explanation 1 of said sub-section provides that an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin shall be Indian resident if he is in India for 182 days instead of 60 days in that year. This provision provides relaxation to an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin allowing them to visit India for longer duration without becoming resident of India.

Instances have come to notice where period of 182 days specified in respect of an Indian citizen or person of Indian origin visiting India during the year, is being misused. Individuals, who are actually carrying out substantial economic activities from India, manage their period of stay in India, so as to remain a non-resident in perpetuity and not be required to declare their global income in India.

Sub-section (6) of the said section provides for situations in which a person shall be “not ordinarily resident” in a previous year. Clause (a) thereof provides that if the person is an individual who has been non-resident in nine out of the ten previous years preceding that year, or has during the seven previous years preceding that year been in India for an overall period of 729 days or less. Clause (b) thereof contains similar provision for the HUF.

This category of persons has been carved out essentially to ensure that a non-resident is not suddenly faced with the compliance requirement of a resident, merely because he spends more than specified number of days in India during a particular year. The conditions specified in the present law in respect of this carve out have been the subject matter of disputes, amendments and further disputes. Further, due to reduction in number of days, as proposed, for visiting Indian citizen or person of Indian origin, there would be need for relaxation in the conditions.

The issue of stateless persons has been bothering the tax world for quite some time. It is entirely possible for an individual to arrange his affairs in such a fashion that he is not liable to tax in any country or jurisdiction during a year. This arrangement is typically employed by high net worth individuals (HNWI) to avoid paying taxes to any country/ jurisdiction on income they earn. Tax laws should not encourage a situation where a person is not liable to tax in any country. The current rules governing tax residence make it possible for HNWIs and other individuals, who may be Indian citizen to not to be liable for tax anywhere in the world. Such a circumstance is certainly not desirable; particularly in the light of current development in the global tax environment where avenues for double non-taxation are being systematically closed.

In the light of above, it is proposed that-

(i) the exception provided in clause (b) of Explanation 1 of sub-section (1) to section 6 for visiting India in that year be decreased to 120 days from existing 182 days.

(ii) an individual or an HUF shall be said to be “not ordinarily resident” in India in a previous year, if the individual or the manager of the HUF has been a non-resident in India in seven out of ten previous years preceding that year. This new condition to replace the existing conditions in clauses (a) and (b) of sub-section (6) of section 6.

(iii) an Indian citizen who is not liable to tax in any other country or territory shall be deemed to be resident in India.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-22 and subsequent assessment years.

7. Definition of “work” in section 194C of the Act – Section 194C of the Act provides for the deduction of tax on payments made to contractors. The section provides that any person responsible for paying any sum to a resident for carrying out any work (including supply of labor for carrying out any work) in pursuance of a contract shall at the time of such credit or at the time of payment whichever is earlier deduct an amount equal to one per cent in case payment is made to an individual or an HUF and two per cent in other cases. Clause (iv) of the Explanation of the said section defines “work”. Sub-clause (e) of this definition includes manufacturing or supplying a product according to the requirement or specification of a customer by using material purchased from such customer within the definition. However, it excludes manufacturing or supplying a product according to the requirement or specification of a customer by using material purchased from a person, other than such customer.

It has been noted that some assessee are using the escape clause of the section by getting the contract manufacturer to procure the raw material supplied through its related parties. As a result, a substantial amount of income escapes the tax net.

Therefore, to bring clarity in the section and plug the leakage, it is proposed to amend the definition of “work” under section 194C to provide that in a contract manufacturing, the raw material provided by the assessee or its associate shall fall within the purview of the ‘work’ under section 194C. Associate is proposed to be defined to mean a person who is placed similarly in relation to the customer as is the person placed in relation to the assessee under the provisions contained in clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 40A of the Act.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2020.

8. Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT)Section 115-O provides that, in addition to the income-tax chargeable in respect of the total income of a domestic company, any amount declared, distributed or paid by way of dividends shall be charged to additional income-tax at the rate of 15 per cent. The tax so paid by the company (DDT) is treated as the final payment of tax in respect of the amount declared, distributed or paid by way of dividend. Such dividend referred to in section 115-O is exempt in the hands of shareholders under clause (34) of section 10.The incidence of tax is, thus, on the payer company and not on the recipient, where it should normally be. The dividend is income in the hands of the shareholders and not in the hands of the company. The incidence of the tax should therefore, be on the recipient. Moreover, the present provisions levy tax at a flat rate on the distributed profits, across the board irrespective of the marginal rate at which the recipient is otherwise taxed. The provisions are hence, considered, iniquitous and regressive. The present system of taxation of dividend in the hands of company was re­introduced by the Finance Act, 2003 (with effect from the assessment year 2004-05) since it was easier to collect tax at a single point and the new system was leading to increase in compliance burden. However, with the advent of technology and easy tracking system available, the justification for current system of taxation of dividend has outlived itself.

In view of above, it is proposed to carry out amendments so that dividend or income from units are taxable in the hands of shareholders at the applicable rate and the domestic company or specified company are not required to pay any DDT. It is also proposed to provide that the deduction for expense under section 57 of the Act shall be maximum 20 per cent of the dividend or income from units. Similar changes proposed for dividends on Units of Mutual Funds.

Amendments as above will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-22 and subsequent assessment years.

9. Rationalization computation of cost of acquisitionThe existing provisions of section 55 of the Act provide that for computation of capital gains, an assessee shall be allowed deduction for cost of acquisition of the asset and also cost of improvement, if any. However, for computing capital gains in respect of an asset acquired before 1st April, 2001, the assessee has been allowed an option of either to take the fair market value of the asset as on 1st April, 2001 or the actual cost of the asset as cost of acquisition.

It is now proposed to rationalize the provision and to insert a proviso below sub-clause (ii) of clause (b) of Explanation under clause (ac) of sub-section (2) of the said section to provide that in case of a capital asset, being land or building or both, the fair market value of such an asset on 1st April, 2001 shall not exceed the stamp duty value of such asset as on 1st April, 2001 where such stamp duty value is available. It is also proposed to insert an Explanation so as to provide that for the purposes of sub-clause (i) and (ii), “stamp duty value” shall mean the value adopted or assessed or assessable by any authority of the Central Government or a State Government for the purpose of payment of stamp duty in respect of an immovable property.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-22 and subsequent assessment years.

10. Rationalization of Tax Audits – Under section 44AB of the Act, every person carrying on business is required to get his accounts audited, if his total sales, turnover or gross receipts, in business exceed or exceeds one crore rupees in any previous year. In case of a person carrying on profession he is required to get his accounts audited, if his gross receipt in profession exceeds, fifty lakh rupees in any previous year.

In order to reduce compliance burden on small and medium enterprises, it is proposed to increase the threshold limit for a person carrying on business from one crore rupees to five crore rupees in cases where,-

(i) Aggregate of all receipts in cash during the previous year does not exceed five per cent of such receipt; and

(ii) Aggregate of all payments in cash during the previous year does not exceed five per cent of such payment.

Further, to enable pre-filling of returns in case of persons having income from business or profession, it is required that the tax audit report may be furnished by the said assessee at least one month prior to the due date of filing of return of income.Further, the due date for filing return of income under sub-section (1) of section 139 is proposed to be amended by:-

(A) Providing 31st October of the assessment year (as against 30th September) as the due date for an assessee referred to in clause (a) of Explanation 2 of sub-section (1) of Section 139 of the Act;

(B) Removing the distinction between a working and a non-working partner of a firm with respect to the due date as mentioned in sub-clause (iii) of clause (a) of Explanation 2 of sub-section (1) of Section 139 of the Act.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2020 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2020-21 and subsequent assessment years.

The amendment relating to extending threshold for getting books of accounts audited will have consequential effect on TDS/TCS provisions as these provisions fasten liability of TDS/TCS on certain categories of person, if the gross receipt or turnover from the business or profession carried on by them exceed the monetary limit specified in clause (a) or clause (b) of section 44AB.

Therefore, it is proposed to amend these sections so that reference to the monetary limit specified in clause (a) or clause (b) of section 44AB of the Act is substituted with rupees one crore in case of the business or rupees fifty lakh in case of the profession, as the case may be. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2020.

Author Bio

More Under Income Tax

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Posts by Date

October 2020
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031