CA Dev Kumar Kothari
EXPECTATION FROM NAMO GOVERNMENT:
The public of India at large and also investors abroad are given to understand that NAMO government will provide EASE of doing business.
However, for Indian citizens working in India ease of doing business and also carrying profession with ease seems to be a far distant dream. Except where work is done electronically in automatic manner through computers and software, there is no ease at all. In fact whenever, in most of cases, where physical role of a government authority (tax authority in particular) comes into play, there is clear cut fear of being harassed in mind of tax payers and the practioners. This is evident from requisitions issued by tax authorities, The information which are furnished in ITR, Tax audit report etc. are again required to be furnished in physical form. Even information which is available on click of a mouse, are called from tax payers.
Assessments contrary to facts, and law are common leading to high pitched demands which are forcefully collected. Even when restructuring of department is effected new tax authorities may attach bank accounts to collect tax demands, without verifying correct current position and without allowing an opportunity to assessee to make an update on recent position.
There have been many such cases in which demands contrary to binding judgments have been raised and assesse has been forced to pay such demands. Tax payer has to pay just to avoid harassment by way of more harassing assessments and other proceedings like revision, reassessment, rectification etc. Informal threatening of such actions, and showing provisions of penalty and prosecution and also issuing notices for the same are common threatening practices adopted by many just to collect tax forcibly, otherwise the tax payer may have to close down his business for which tax authorities have hardly any concern.
Let us hope that NAMO government will try its best to reduce personal discretion of tax authorities and scope of manual intervention and consequent scope of harassment.
Unreasonableness of tax authorities is ground reality:
Un reasonableness of tax authorities is a ground realities when we find repeated high pitched assessments and forceful recovery of tax leading to un-necessary tax demands, litigation between tax payer and tax authorities ultimately resulting into substantial reduction of demands made unreasonably by tax authorities.
Reasonable view of tax payer , his auditors and other tax-practioners must be viewed with respect by tax authorities and unreasonable behaviour by tax authorities should be avoided, if NAMO government really want to improve relations with public and tax payers.
Un reasonableness of tax authorities even in litigation is very common. This is evident that a large number of appeals are filed by revenue contrary to settled legal position and administrative policies.
Same thing apply to other type of reasonable requests by tax payers, tax practioners , tax auditors who play important role in compliance and also assist the tax department in collection of taxes.
However, unfortunately recently we notice that even the highest authority of tax department is acting very unreasonably on simple issue of extending last date for filing or ROI in cases where Tax Audit is required and tax audit report is to be uploaded electronically.
Delays due to laxity of CBDT:
It can be said that CDT is showing laxity in notifying ITR and other related forms which are required to be prepared for filing of ITR.
A reasonable time for preparing, filing and / or uploading ITR , tax audit report and other reports required in relation to ITR must be given by CBDT to tax payers, auditors, and other tax practioners.
The law as applicable for Assessment Year (AY) 2015-16 was well known long ago to the CBDT. An assessee can file his return of income just when AY commences that is on 01.04.2015 in relation to AY 2015-16.
If the ITR forms are available timely, tax payers , auditors and tax practioners could study them and planned to prepare related documents and reports after getting instructions, clarifications if required and also after imparting training and instructions to accountants, clerks and assistants of auditors.
In fact many times, experienced CA also require discussions and clarifications about many aspects of preparing reports. Therefore, reasonable time is required for all such activities. Thereafter data and information have to be collected, analysed, and presented in suitable manner so that ROI and other reports can be filled in and furnished- online or physical as the case may be
Why CBDT delays in notifying forms of Returns:
On one hand CBDT takes plea that there is not much change in AY 2015-16 in comparison to AY 2014-15 and therefore deny extension of time as requested by Chartered Accountants.
Therefore, the question arises is ‘Why CBDT takes long time and delay in notifying forms. There is no answer to this question. The reason is as usual, there is hardly any accountability of tax authorities particularly when it comes to general public of tax payers.
There is no accountability on wrong, illegal and unjust demands raised by tax authorities (they get shelter in concept ‘… I did it as per my understanding of law’.
Unreasonable view taken by CBDT:
From news reports we find that CBDT is rejecting prayers made by Chartered Accountants for extension of time for filing of ROI, TAR and other reports in view of short time available , after announcement of prescribed forms. First of all CBDT has delayed in rejection, then CA’s have to move High Courts, and then even High Courts directions have not been implemented in reasonable manner by CBDT.
It is learnt that CBDT has extended date only in some areas and rejected in other states. This is not reasonable on part of CBDT.
Extension of time is not a big issue- it is revenue neutral also, Then why so much hard stand about it?
Extension of time is really not a big issue. It is also mostly revenue neutral. A major part of tax is paid as advance tax, TDS, TCS etc. Particularly so in case of assesses who are required to file return by 30th September.
The revenue impact can only be in respect of self-assessment tax, and some deductions which are allowed based on payment made within due date for example u/s 43B and 40a.ia. In past also Board has extended due date with rider that the extension is only for filing of return and not for other matters alike eligibility for making claims or interest payable etc. Similar stand could have been taken by CBDT for this year also.
Changes in software , forms utilities for filling forms and uploading them etc.:
We find that there have been many changes in forms and software in utilities for filing / uploading of ITR and reports. For example , dates of changes in some forms and utilities , as downloaded from website of IT department are given below which shows that many important changes have been made on 24/09/2015 that is just a week before last date.
Schema of ITR Forms for AY 2015-16
|ITR Schema||Release Date||Updated on||Change Document|
Schema of Forms(Other than ITR)
|Form Schema||Release Date||Updated on||Change Document|
|Form 10B||–||24/09/2015||Version 1.1|
|Form 3CA-3CD||20/08/2014||24/09/2015||Version 1.3|
|Form 3CB-3CD||20/08/2014||24/09/2015||Version 1.3|
Schema of Form BB (Return of Net Wealth) for AY 2015-16
|Form Schema||Initial Release Date||Updated on||Change Document|
|Form BB||15/07/2015||05/09/2015||Version 1.1|
ITR Validation Rules for AY 2015-16
|ITR||Release Date||Updated on|
Tax payers/ tax practioners are also facing difficulties in filling and saving forms because of failure in saving data, distortion of data etc. Many times website and utilities of IT department are also very slow.
Information of website taxguru.in:
Readers may refer to reports, articles, and updates on the following link and other links provided therein for time to time updates:
A summary is given below:
30.09.2015 6.45 PM Bombay High Court Instructed CBDT to extend due date to 31.10.2015
30.09.2015- 5.10- Hearing in Bombay High Court is still in Process.
30.09.2015- 4.30 PM CBDT rejects KSCAA representation which Karnataka HC instructed to Consider
30.09.2015- 4.20 PM Download Order of Karnataka High Court (Dharwad Bench) in the case of Chandramappa Ramanna Dhavalagi Vs Union of India, WP 110253/2015- Click Here
30.09.2015- 3.30 PM CBDT Extends date for Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and for Union Territory of Chandigarh. – CBDT extends date only in Punjab, Haryana, UT of Chandigarh and Gujarat
30.09.2015- 1.30 PM Copy of Gujarat High Court Order Available for Download. We will upload analysis also soon. Detailed Status of Writ filed in Gujarat High Court
30.09.2015- 12.15 PM Orissa High Court has also followed the Judgments of Gujarat and Punjab & Haryana High Court and instructed CBDT to extend due date to 31.10.2015.
30.09.2015-8 AM- As per news with us CBDT is expected to issue a Press Release /Order today Clarifying their stand on instruction of Hon’ble Punjab and Gujarat High Court. Further we have not received any official or non official confirmation from any reliable source regarding filing of Appeal by CBDT in supreme court against the High Court Orders.
We would also like to inform you that as per information with CBDT has also not yet acted on instruction of Karnataka High court Judgment in which Hon’ble high court has asked it Consider ICAI representation and decide accordingly.
Why keeping tax payers and tax auditors on tenterhook:
It is clear that CBDT has kept CA and tax payers on tenterhook till last moment.
Should Tax Auditors go on strikes?
It seems that in our country, without making strong protests, authorities do not listen to reasonable request of tax payers, tax practioners. It is worth to mention that members of some professional bodies have habit of going on strikes, and their demands are listened and relief is allowed.
Author recall Chakka Jam by transporters on levy of service tax , as a result of protest, they were relieved of service tax and responsibility was cast upon service receivers. Similarly Advocates were relieved of collecting and paying service tax and duty is cast upon service receiver. Whereas CA, CWA, CS have to comply with service tax, though there services and position both are more or less similar to Advocates. The difference is Advocates are popular for making protests whereas other professionals have till now, mostly avoided protests.
Should these professionals also adopt practices like pen down strikes, non-cooperation, walkout etc.