V Vivek Rajan
Since the parliament is not in session and the President of India is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, this Ordinance has come into force with effect from 20th September 2019.
Amendments made by the Ordinance
1. Insertion of new sections 115BAA and 115BAB
These sections are introduced so as to give a big boost to the corporate sector and provide the required fillip to the manufacturing sector.
With these reduced rates, India’s rate of corporate tax is on par with nations that typically attract investments and the following table has the corporate tax rate of few countries
|Name of the Country||Rate of Corporate tax|
|India||25.17% and 17.01%|
|Germany||Progressive 14% to 42%|
2. Section- 115BAA- Tax on income of certain domestic companies
Every domestic company, from FY 2019-20, shall have the option of Getting taxed at the base rate of 22% and an effective rate of 25.17% ( after surcharge) subject to following conditions-
3. Section- 115BAB- Tax on income of certain new domestic manufacturing companies
The AO has the power to make appropriate additions where it appears that the company and any other person have taken steps to claim more benefit under this section than what is normally expected to arise. This power extends to cases involving a specified domestic transaction u/s 92BA and in that scenario the principles of section 92F would come into play.
4. Amendment of Section 115JB
With effect from AY 2020-2021, the rate of tax u/s 115JB has been reduced from 18.5% to 15%.
The provisions of Section 115JB shall not apply to
a. Any income accruing or arising to a company from life insurance business u/s 115B
b. A company who has exercised the option referred u/s 115BAA or 115BAB (covered above)
5. Amendment of Section 115QA
The Central Government as part of its budget in July 2019 had announced 20% tax on buy-back of shares by listed companies. The Government vide this ordinance has exempted such tax on buy-back of shares in respect of which public announcement has been made before the 05th of July 2019, in accordance with the regulations of SEBI Act, 1992.
This one time offer would benefit major IT companies and few examples are as under
|Wipro Limited||Rs. 10,500 Crore buy-back programme announced in June 2019|
|Infosys Limited||Rs. 8260 Crore buy-back commencing in March 2019 and ending in August 2019|
6. Withdrawal of enhanced surcharge
The enhanced surcharge introduced by Finance (No.2) Act, 2019 shall not apply on capital gains arising on sale of equity share in a company or unit of equity oriented fund or unit of business trust liable for STT, in the hands of individual, HUF, AOP, BOI , AJP
The above measures would cost the Central Government Rs.1,45,000 crore a year in terms of revenue foregone. The dividend received from the Reserve Bank of India of Rs. 1,76,000 crores is a cushion and this would help in offsetting this loss of revenue of Rs.1,45,000 crores.
As a final remark, the onus is on the corporate sector now to deliver not only in terms of fresh investments but also in the form of passing of this benefit of lower taxes to the consumers and investors.
(The author is a Chennai based Chartered Accountant in Practice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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