Introduction: The Ministry of Finance, under the Department of Revenue, has issued a significant notification – Notification No. 98/2023 – related to income tax exemptions. This notification, dated 6th November, 2023, pertains to the ‘Press Council of India’ and specifies certain income sources that qualify for exemption under clause (46) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
1. Power of Notification: This notification is issued in accordance with the powers vested in the Central Government by clause (46) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961).
2. Recipient of Exemption: The Press Council of India (PAN AAABP0351P), an entity established under Para 1 of Chapter II of the Press Council of India Act, 1978 (Central Act), is the beneficiary of this notification. The specified income of the Press Council of India that qualifies for exemption includes:
(a) Levy of fees on publishers and newspapers.
(b) Interest earned on Fixed Deposits Receipts (FDRs) and Savings bank accounts of Press Council of India.
3. Conditions for Effectiveness: The notification outlines specific conditions for the exemption to be effective, which include:
(a) The Press Council of India should not engage in any commercial activity.
(b) The activities and the nature of the specified income should remain consistent throughout the financial years.
(c) The Press Council of India must file a return of income in compliance with the provisions of clause (g) of sub-section (4C) of section 139 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
4. Retrospective Application: This notification is applicable retrospectively for the assessment year 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023, and 2023-2024, which correspond to the financial years 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023, respectively.
5. Explanatory Memorandum: The notification includes an explanatory memorandum certifying that no individual or entity will be adversely affected by granting retrospective effect to this notification.
Conclusion: Notification No. 98/2023, issued by the Ministry of Finance, provides valuable insight into the income tax exemptions extended to the Press Council of India. This notification acknowledges the specified sources of income for which the Press Council of India can claim tax exemption and sets clear conditions to ensure that the exemption is not abused. The retrospective application emphasizes the government’s commitment to supporting the press industry, and the explanatory memorandum reassures that this decision won’t negatively impact any party. This notification represents a crucial development in the regulatory framework governing the taxation of specific entities and their income sources.
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
(Department of Revenue)
(CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES)
S.O. 4828(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (46) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), the Central Government hereby notifies for the purposes of the said clause, ‘Press Council of India’ (PAN AAABP0351P), a body established under Para 1 of Chapter II of the Press Council of India Act, 1978 (Central Act), in respect of the following specified income arising to that body, namely:-
(a) Levy of fees on publishers and news papers; and
(b) Interest earned on FDRs and Savings bank accounts of Press Council of India.
2. This notification shall be effective subject to the conditions that Press Council of India,-
(a) shall not engage in any commercial activity;
(b) activities and the nature of the specified income shall remain unchanged throughout the financial years; and
(c) shall file return of income in accordance with the provision of clause (g) of sub-section (4C) of section 139 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
3. This notification shall be deemed to have been applied for the assessment year 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021- 2022, 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 relevant to financial years 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 20222023 respectively.
[Notification No. 98/2023 F. No. 300196/8/2018-ITA-I]
VIKAS SINGH, Director (ITA)-I
It is certified that no person is being adversely affected by giving retrospective effect to this notification.