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Saturday, March 24, 2012

BUDGET 2012 IN SIMPLE FORM (TAXATION RELATED)

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Detailed Budget Highlights 2012-13
Individual, Hindu undivided family, association of persons, body of individuals, artificial juridical person
Paragraph A of Part-III of First Schedule to the Bill provides following rates of income-tax:-
(i) The rates of income-tax in the case of every individual (other than those mentioned in (ii) and (iii) below) or Hindu undivided family or every association of persons or body of individuals , whether incorporated or not, or every artificial juridical person referred to in sub-clause (vii) of clause (31) of section 2 of the Income-tax Act (not being a case to which any other Paragraph of Part III applies) are as under :—
Upto Rs. 2,00,000 Nil.
Rs. 2,00,001 to Rs. 5,00,000 10 per cent.
Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 10,00,000 20 per cent.
Above Rs. 10,00,000 30 per cent.
(ii) In the case of every individual, being a resident in India, who is of the age of sixty years or more but less than eighty years at any time during the previous year,—
Upto Rs. 2,50,000 Nil.
Rs. 2,50,001 to Rs. 5,00,000 10 per cent.
Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs.10,00,000 20 per cent.
Above Rs. 10,00,000 30 per cent.
(iii) in the case of every individual, being a resident in India, who is of the age of eighty years or more at anytime during the previous year, -
Upto Rs. 5,00,000 Nil.
Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 10,00,000 20 per cent.
Above Rs. 10,00,000 30 per cent.
No surcharge shall be levied in the cases of persons covered under paragraph-A of part-III of the First Schedule
Alternate Minimum Tax (AMT) on all persons other than companies
Under the existing provisions of the Income-tax Act, Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and Alternate Minimum Tax (AMT) are levied on companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) respectively. However, no such tax is levied on the other form of business organisations such as partnership firms, sole proprietorship, association of persons, etc.
In order to widen the tax base vis-à-vis profit linked deductions, it is proposed to amend provisions regarding AMT contained in Chapter XII-BA in the Income-tax Act to provide that a person other than a company, who has claimed deduction under any section (other than section 80P) included in Chapter VI-A under the heading “C – Deductions in respect of certain incomes” or under section 10AA, shall be liable to pay AMT.
Under the proposed amendments, where the regular income-tax payable for a previous year by a person (other than a company) is less than the alternate minimum tax payable for such previous year, the adjusted total income shall be deemed to be the total income of such person and he shall be liable to pay income-tax on such total income at the rate of eighteen and one-half per cent.
For the purpose of the above,
(i) “adjusted total income” shall be the total income before giving effect to provisions of Chapter XII-BA as increased by the deductions claimed under any section (other than section 80P) included in Chapter VI-A under the heading “C – Deductions in respect of certain incomes” and deduction claimed under section 10AA;
(ii) “alternate minimum tax:” shall be the amount of tax computed on adjusted total income at a rate of eighteen and onehalf per cent; and
(iii) “regular income-tax” shall be the income-tax payable for a previous year by a person other than a company on his total income in accordance with the provisions of the Act other than the provisions of Chapter XII-BA.
It is further provided that the provisions of AMT under Chapter XII-BA shall not apply to an individual or a Hindu undivided family or an association of persons or a body of individuals (whether incorporated or not) or an artificial juridical person referred to in section 2(31)(vii) if the adjusted total income of such person does not exceed twenty lakh rupees.
It is also provided that the credit for tax (tax credit) paid by a person on account of AMT under Chapter XII-BA shall be allowed to the extent of the excess of the AMT paid over the regular income-tax. This tax credit shall be allowed to be carried forward up to the tenth assessment year immediately succeeding the assessment year for which such credit becomes allowable. It shall be allowed to be set off for an assessment year in which the regular income-tax exceeds the AMT to the extent of the excess of the regular income-tax over the AMT.
Consequential amendments are also proposed to the provisions of section 140A relating to self-assessment, section 234A relating to interest for defaults in furnishing return of income, section 234B relating to interest for defaults in payment of advance tax and section 234C relating to interest for deferment of advance tax.
These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) on transfer of certain immovable properties (other than agricultural land)
Under the existing provisions of the Income-tax Act, tax is required to be deducted at source on certain specified payments made to residents by way of salary, interest, commission, brokerage, professional services, etc.
On transfer of immovable property by a non-resident, tax is required to be deducted at source by the transferee. However, there is no such requirement on transfer of immovable property by a resident except in the case of compulsory acquisition of certain immovable properties.
In order to collect tax at the earliest point of time and also to have a reporting mechanism of transactions in the real estate sector, it is proposed to insert a new provision to provide that every transferee, at the time of making payment or crediting any sum by way of consideration for transfer of immovable property (other than agricultural land), shall deduct tax, at the rate of 1% of such sum, if the consideration paid or payable for the transfer of such property exceeds –
(a) fifty lakh rupees in case such property is situated in a specified urban agglomeration; or
(b) twenty lakh rupees in case such property is situated in any other area.
It is further proposed to provide that where the consideration paid or payable for the transfer of such property is less than the value adopted or assessed or assessable by any authority of a State Government for the purposes of payment of stamp duty, the value so adopted or assessed or assessable shall be deemed as consideration paid or payable for the transfer of such immovable property.
For better compliance, it is also proposed to provide that a registering officer appointed under the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (Registrar) shall not register the transfer of any immovable property where taxes are required to be deducted under this provision unless the transferee furnishes proof of deduction and payment of TDS. For reducing the compliance burden on the transferee, it is also proposed that a simple one page challan for payment
of TDS would be prescribed containing details (including PAN) of transferor and transferee and also certain details of the property.
The transferee would not be required to obtain any Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number (TAN) or to furnish any TDS statement as this would be mostly a onetime transaction. The transferor would get credit of TDS like any other pre-paid taxes on the basis of information furnished by the transferee in the challan of payment of TDS.
This amendment will take effect from 1st October, 2012.
TDS on remuneration to a director
Under the existing provisions of the Income-tax Act, a company, being an employer, is required to deduct tax at the time of payment of salary to its employees including Managing director/whole time director. However, there is no specific provision for deduction of tax on the remuneration paid to a director which is not in the nature of salary.
It is proposed to amend section 194J to provide that tax is required to be deducted on the remuneration paid to a director, which is not in the nature of salary, at the rate of 10% of such remuneration.
This amendment will take effect from 1st July, 2012.
TCS on sale of certain minerals
Mining sector is an important segment of Indian economy but the trading of minerals remained largely unregulated resulting in non-reporting or under-reporting of trading in minerals trading transactions for the taxation purpose.
In order to collect tax at the earliest point of time and also to improve reporting mechanism of transactions in mining sector, it is proposed that tax at the rate of 1% shall be collected by the seller from the buyer of the following minerals:
(a) Coal;
(b) Lignite; and
(c) Iron ore.
However, the seller shall also not collect tax on sale of the said minerals if the same are purchased by the buyer for personal consumption. Further, the seller of these minerals shall not collect tax if the buyer declares that these minerals are to be utilized for the purposes of manufacturing, processing or producing articles or things.
This amendment will take effect from 1st July, 2012.
MEASURES TO PREVENT GENERATION AND CIRCULATION OFUNACCOUNTED MONEY
Cash credits under section 68 of the Act
Section 68 of the Act provides that if any sum is found credited in the books of an assessee and such assessee either
(i) does not offer any explanation about nature and source of money; or
(ii) the explanation offered by the assessee is found to be not satisfactory by the Assessing Officer, then, such amount can be taxed as income of the assessee.
The onus of satisfactorily explaining such credits remains on the person in whose books such sum is credited. If such person fails to offer an explanation or the explanation is not found to be satisfactory then the sum is added to the total income of the person. Certain judicial pronouncements have created doubts about the onus of proof and the requirements of this section, particularly, in cases where the sum which is credited as share capital, share premium etc. Judicial pronouncements, while recognizing that the pernicious practice of conversion of unaccounted money through masquerade of investment in the share capital of a company needs to be prevented, have advised a balance to be maintained regarding onus of proof to be placed on the company. The Courts have drawn a distinction and emphasized that in case of private placement of shares the legal regime should be different from that which is followed in case of a company seeking share capital from the public at large.
In the case of closely held companies, investments are made by known persons. Therefore, a higher onus is required to be placed on such companies besides the general onus to establish identity and credit worthiness of creditor and genuineness of transaction. This additional onus, needs to be placed on such companies to also prove the source of money in the hands of such shareholder or persons making payment towards issue of shares before such sum is accepted as genuine credit. If the company fails to discharge the additional onus, the sum shall be treated as income of the company and added to its income. It is, therefore, proposed to amend section 68 of the Act to provide that the nature and source of any sum credited, as share capital, share premium etc., in the books of a closely held company shall be treated as explained only if the source of funds is also explained by the assessee company in the hands of the resident shareholder. However, even in the case of closely held companies, it is proposed that this additional onus of satisfactorily explaining the source in the hands of the shareholder, would not apply if the shareholder is a well regulated entity, i.e. a Venture Capital Fund, Venture Capital Company registered with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent years.
Taxation of cash credits, unexplained money, investments etc.
Under the existing provisions of the Income-tax Act, certain unexplained amounts are deemed as income under section 68, section 69, section 69A, section 69B, section 69C and section 69D of the Act and are subject to tax as per the tax rate applicable to the assessee. In case of individuals, HUF, etc., no tax is levied up to the basic exemption limit. Therefore, in these cases, no tax can be levied on these deemed income if the amount of such deemed income is less than the amount of basic exemption limit and even if it is higher, it is levied at the lower slab rate.
In order to curb the practice of laundering of unaccounted money by taking advantage of basic exemption limit, it is proposed to tax the unexplained credits, money, investment, expenditure, etc., which has been deemed as income under section 68, section 69, section 69A, section 69B, section 69C or section 69D, at the rate of 30% (plus surcharge and cess as applicable). It is also proposed to provide that no deduction in respect of any expenditure or allowance shall be allowed to the assessee under any provision of the Act in computing deemed income under the said sections.
This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
Compulsory filing of income tax return in relation to assets located outside India
Under the existing provisions of section 139, every person is required to furnish a return of income if his income during the previous year relevant to the assessment year exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to tax. The return of income has to be furnished in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed.
It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 139 so that furnishing of return of income under section 139 may be made mandatory for every resident having any asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India or signing authority in any account located outside India. Furnishing of return by such a resident would be mandatory irrespective of the fact whether the resident taxpayer has taxable income or not.
This amendment will take effect retrospectively from the 1st day of April, 2012 and will accordingly apply to assessment year 2012-13 and subsequent assessment years.
Penalty on undisclosed income found during the course of search
Under the existing provisions of section 271AAA of the Income-tax Act, no penalty is levied if the assessee admits the undisclosed income in a statement under sub-section (4) of section 132 recorded in the course of search and specifies the manner in which such income has been derived and pays the tax together with interest, if any, in respect of such income.
As a result, undisclosed income (for the current year in which search takes place or the previous year which has ended before the search and for which return is not yet due) found during the course of search attracts a tax at the rate of 30% and no penalty is leviable.
In order to strengthen the penal provisions, it is proposed to provide that the provisions of section 271AAA will not be applicable for searches conducted on or after 1st July, 2012. It is also proposed to insert a new provision in the Act (section 271AAB) for levy of penalty in a case where search has been initiated on or after 1st July, 2012. The new section provides that,-
(i) If undisclosed income is admitted during the course of search, the taxpayer will be liable for penalty at the rate of 10% of undisclosed income subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions.
(ii) If undisclosed income is not admitted during the course of search but disclosed in the return of income filed after the search, the taxpayer will be liable for penalty at the rate of 20% of undisclosed income subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions.
(iii) In a case not covered under (i) and (ii) above, the taxpayer will be liable for penalty at the rate ranging from 30% to 90% of undisclosed income.
These amendments will take effect from the 1st day of July, 2012 and will, accordingly, apply to any search and seizure action taken after this date.
Turnover or gross receipts for audit of accounts and presumptive taxation
I. Under the existing provisions of section 44AB, every person carrying on business is required to get his accounts audited if the total sales, turnover or gross receipts in the previous year exceed sixty lakh rupees. Similarly, a person carrying on a profession is required to get his accounts audited if the total sales, turnover or gross receipts in the previous year exceed fifteen lakh rupees.
In order to reduce the compliance burden on small businesses and on professionals, it is proposed to increase the threshold limit of total sales, turnover or gross receipts, specified under section 44AB for getting accounts audited, from sixty lakh rupees to one crore rupees in the case of persons carrying on business and from fifteen lakh rupees to twenty five lakh rupees in the case of persons carrying on profession.
II. It is also proposed that for the purposes of presumptive taxation under section 44AD, the threshold limit of total turnover or gross receipts would be increased from sixty lakh rupees to one crore rupees.
These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
Exemption for Senior Citizens from payment of advance tax
Under the existing provisions of Income-tax Act, every assessee is required to pay advance tax if the tax liability for the previous year exceeds ten thousand rupees. In case of senior citizens who have passive income of the nature of interest, rent, etc., the requirement of payment of advance tax results in raising compliance burden.
In order to reduce the compliance burden of such senior citizens, it is proposed that a resident senior citizen, not having any income chargeable under the head “Profits and gains of business or profession”, shall not be liable to pay advance tax and such senior citizen shall be allowed to discharge his tax liability (other than TDS) by payment of self assessment tax.
This amendment will take effect from the 1st April, 2012. Accordingly, the aforesaid senior citizen would not be required to pay advance tax for the financial year 2012-13 and subsequent financial years.
Wealth Tax – Exemption of residential house allotted to employee etc. of a company
Under the existing provisions of section 2 of the Wealth-tax Act, the specified assets for the purpose of levy of wealth tax do not include a residential house allotted by a company to an employee or an officer or a whole time director if the gross annual salary of such employee or officer, etc. is less than five lakh rupees. Considering general increase in salary and inflation since revision of this limit, it is proposed to increase the existing threshold of gross salary from five lakh rupees to ten lakh rupees for the purpose of levying wealth-tax on residential house allotted by a company to an employee or an officer or a whole time director.
This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
Relief from long-term capital gains tax on transfer of residential property if invested in a manufacturing small or medium enterprise
The Government had announced National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) in 2011, one of the goals of which is to incentivise investment in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the manufacturing sector. It is proposed to insert a new section 546B so as to provide rollover relief from long term capital gains tax to an individual or an HUF on sale of a residential property (house or plot of land) in case of re-investment of sale consideration in the equity of a new start-up SME company in the manufacturing sector which is utilized by the company for the purchase of new plant and machinery This relief would be subject to the conditions that-
(i) the amount of net consideration is used by the individual or HUF before the due date of furnishing of return of income under sub-section (1) of section 139, for subscription in equity shares in the SME company in which he holds more than 50% share capital or more than 50% voting rights.
(ii) The amount of subscription as share capital is to be utilized by the SME company for the purchase of new plant and machinery within a period of one year from the date of subscription in the equity shares.
(iii) If the amount of net consideration subscribed as equity shares in the SME company is not utilized by the SME company for the purchase of plant and machinery before the due date of filing of return by the individual or HUF, the unutilised amount shall be deposited under a deposit scheme to be prescribed in this behalf.
(iv) Suitable safeguards so as to restrict the transfer of the shares of the company, and of the plant and machinery for a period of 5 years are proposed to be provided to prevent diversion of these funds. Further, capital gains would be subject to taxation in case any of the conditions are violated.
(v) The relief would be available in case of any transfer of residential property made on or before 31st March, 2017.
The proposed amendments in the provisions of the Income-tax Act shall be effective from 1st April, 2013 and would accordingly apply to assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years
Reduction of the eligible age for senior citizens for certain tax reliefs
The Finance Act, 2011 amended the effective age of a senior citizen being an Indian resident from sixty-five years of age to sixty years for the purposes of application of various tax slabs and rates of tax under the Income Tax Act, 1961 for income earned during the financial year 2011-12 (assessment year 2012-13).
There are certain other provisions of the Act in which the age for qualifying as a senior citizen is now proposed to be similarly amended.
(i) Section 80D of the Income-tax Act provides for a deduction in respect of premia paid towards a health insurance policy for the assessee or his family (spouse and dependent children) and a further deduction is also allowed for buying a health insurance policy for parent(s). Where the premium is paid to effect or keep in force an insurance on the health of any person who is a senior citizen, the deductions are allowable up to a higher sum of Rs. 20,000/- instead of Rs. 15,000/-.
(ii) Section 80DDB of the Income-tax Act provides for a deduction up to Rs. 40,000/- for the medical treatment of a specified disease or ailment in the case, inter alia, of an individual or his dependant. This deduction is enhanced to Rs. 60,000/- where the amount actually paid is in respect of any of the above persons who is a senior citizen.
(iii) Section 197A(1C) of the Income-tax Act provides that in respect of tax deduction at source under section 193 (interest on securities) or section 194 (dividends) or section 194A (interest other than interest on securities) or section 194EE (payments in respect of deposits under NSS etc.) or section 194K (income in respect of units), no deduction of tax shall be made in the case of a senior citizen, if such individual furnishes a declaration in the prescribed form (Form No. 15H) to the effect that the tax on his estimated total income of the previous year in which such income is to be included in computing his total income will be nil.
In all of the above-mentioned provisions, i.e., under sections 80D, 80DDB and 197A the effective age for a “senior citizen” who can avail of the benefit is mentioned as sixty-five years or more at any time during the relevant previous year. In order to make the effective age of senior citizens uniform across all the provisions of the Income Tax Act, it is proposed to reduce the age for availing of the benefits by a senior citizen under the aforesaid sections (sections 80D, 80DDB and 197A) from sixty-five years to sixty years.
The amendments to section 80D and section 80DDB will take effective from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
The amendment to section 197A will take effect from 1st July, 2012.
Deduction in respect of interest on deposits in savings accounts
Under the proposed new section 80TTA of the Income-tax Act, a deduction up to an extent of ten thousand rupees in aggregate shall be allowed to an assessee, being an individual or a Hindu undivided family, in respect of any income by way of interest on deposits (not being time deposits) in a savings account with—
(i) a banking company to which the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949), applies (including any bank or banking institution referred to in section 51 of that Act);
(ii) a co-operative society engaged in carrying on the business of banking (including a co-operative land mortgage bank or a co-operative land development bank); or
(iii) a post office, as defined in clause (k) of section 2 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 (6 of 1898).
However, where the aforesaid income is derived from any deposit in a savings account held by, or on behalf of, a firm, an association of persons or a body of individuals, no deduction shall be allowed in respect of such income in computing the total income of any partner of the firm or any member of the association or body.
This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
Disallowance of business expenditure on account of non-deduction of tax on payment to resident payee
A related issue to the above is the disallowance under section 40(a)(ia) of certain business expenditure like interest, commission, brokerage, professional fee, etc. due to non-deduction of tax. It has been provided that in case the tax is deducted in subsequent previous year, the expenditure shall be allowed in that subsequent previous year of deduction.
In order to rationalise the provisions of disallowance on account of non-deduction of tax from the payments made to a resident payee, it is proposed to amend section 40(a)(ia) to provide that where an assessee makes payment of the nature specified in the said section to a resident payee without deduction of tax and is not deemed to be an assessee in default under section 201(1) on account of payment of taxes by the payee, then, for the purpose of allowing deduction of such sum, it shall be deemed that the assessee has deducted and paid the tax on such sum on the date of furnishing of return of income by the resident payee.
These beneficial provisions are proposed to be applicable only in the case of resident payee.
These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
Fee and penalty for delay in furnishing of TDS/TCS Statement and penalty for incorrect information in TDS/TCS Statement
As per the existing provisions of the Income-tax Act, a deductor is required to furnish a periodical TDS statement (quarterly) containing the details of deduction of tax made during the quarter by the prescribed due date. A substantial number of the deductors are not furnishing their TDS statement within the prescribed due date. Delay in furnishing of TDS statement results in delay in granting of credit of TDS to the deductee and consequently results into delay in issue of refunds to the deductee tax payers or raising of infructuous demand against the deductee tax payers. Further, in large number of cases, the deductors are not furnishing correct information like PAN of the deductee, amount of tax deducted, etc. in the TDS statement. Furnishing of correct information in respect of tax deduction is critical for processing of return of income furnished by the deductee because credit for TDS is granted to the deductee on the basis of information furnished by the deductor.
Under the existing provisions of section 272A, penalty of Rs.100 per day is levied for delay in furnishing of TDS statement, however, no specific penalty is specified for furnishing of incorrect information in the TDS statement. The said provisions of penalty are not proved to be effective in reducing or eliminating defaults relating to late furnishing of TDS statement.
In order to provide effective deterrence against delay in furnishing of TDS statement, it is proposed –
(i) to provide for levy of fee of Rs.200 per day for late furnishing of TDS statement from the due date of furnishing of TDS statement to the date of furnishing of TDS statement. However, the total amount of fee shall not exceed the total amount of tax deductible during the period for which the TDS statement is delayed, and
(ii) to provide that in addition to said fee, a penalty ranging from Rs.10,000 to Rs.1,00,000 shall also be levied for not furnishing TDS statement within the prescribed time.
In view of the levy of fee for late furnishing of TDS statement, it is also proposed to provide that no penalty shall be levied for delay in furnishing of TDS statement if the TDS statement is furnished within one year of the prescribed due date after payment of tax deducted along with applicable interest and fee.
In order to discourage the deductors to furnish incorrect information in TDS statement, it is proposed to provide that a penalty ranging from Rs.10,000 to Rs.1,00,000 shall be levied for furnishing incorrect information in the TDS statement. Consequential amendment is proposed in section 273B so that no penalty shall be levied if the deductor proves that there was a reasonable cause for the failure.
Consequential amendment is also proposed in section 272A to provide that no penalty under this section shall be levied
for late filing of TDS statement in respect of tax deducted on or after 1st July, 2012.
Amendments on the similar lines for levy of fee and penalty for delay in furnishing of TCS statement and furnishing of incorrect information in the TCS statement are also proposed to be made.
These amendments will take effect from 1st July, 2012 and will, accordingly, apply to the TDS or TCS statement to be furnished in respect of tax deducted or collected on or after 1st July, 2012.
Threshold for TDS on compensation or consideration for compulsory acquisition
Under the existing provisions of the section 194LA of the Income-tax Act, a person responsible for paying any compensation or consideration for compulsory acquisition of immovable property (other than agricultural land) is required to deduct tax at the rate of 10% in case the consideration exceeds one lakh rupees.
In order to reduce the compliance burden of small assessees, it is proposed to increase the aforesaid threshold limit from one lakh rupees to two lakh rupees.
This amendment will take effect from 1st July, 2012.
Extension of time for completion of assessments and reassessments
The existing provisions of section 153 and 153B, inter alia, provides the time limit for completion of assessment and reassessment of income by the Assessing Officer. Time limits have been provided for completion of assessment or
reassessment under section 143(3), 147, 153A, 153C, etc. Further, these time limits get extended if a reference is made under section 92CA to the Transfer Pricing Officer during the course of assessment/reassessment proceedings. These time limits are either from the end of the financial year in which the notice for initiation of the proceedings was served or from the end of the assessment year to which the proceedings relate.
It is proposed to amend the aforesaid sections The existing period and the new extended period for completion of pending proceedings and subsequent proceedings under these provisions is given below:
Limitation of time
Proceedings under section Current time allowed Proposed Period
143 21 months from the end of the A.Y. 24 months
143 and 92CA 33 months from the end of the A.Y. 36 months
148 9 months from the end of the F.Y. in which notice issued 12 months
148 and 92CA 21 months from the end of the F.Y. in which notice issued 24 months
250 or 254 or 263 9 months from the end of the F.Y. in which order received 12 months
250 or 254 or 263, and 92CA 21 months from the end of the F.Y. in which order received 24 months
Consequential amendments have been made in the provisions of section 17A of the Wealth-tax Act for increasing the time
limit by three months for completion of assessment/reassessment proceedings.
These amendments will take effect from 1st July, 2012.
Assessment of charitable organization in case commercial receipts exceed the specified threshold
Sections 11 and 12 of the Act exempt income of any charitable trust or institution, if such income is applied for charitable purposes in India and such institution is registered under section 12AA of the Act. Section 10(23C) of Income Tax Act also provides exemption in respect of approved charitable funds or institutions. Section 2(15) of the Act provides definition of charitable purpose. It includes “advancement of any other object of general
public utility” as charitable purpose provided that it does not involve carrying on of any activity in the nature of trade, commerce or business. The 2nd proviso to said section provides that in case where the activity of any trust or institution is of the nature of advancement of any other object of general public utility, and it involves carrying on of any activity in the nature of trade, commerce or business; but the aggregate value of receipts from the commercial activities does not exceed Rs. 25,00,000/- in the previous year, then the purpose of such institution shall be considered as charitable, and accordingly, the benefits of exemption shall be available to it.
Thus, a charitable trust or institution pursuing advancement of object of general public utility may be a charitable trust in one year and not a charitable trust in another year depending on the aggregate value of receipts from commercial activities. There is, therefore, need to expressly provide in law that no exemption would be available for a previous year, to a trust or institution to which first proviso of sub-section 2(15) become applicable for that particular previous year. However, this temporary excess in one year may not be treated as altering the very nature of the trust or institution so as to lead to cancellation of registration or withdrawal of approval or rescinding of notification issued in respect of trust or institution. Therefore, there is need to ensure that if the purpose of a trust or institution does not remain charitable due to application of first proviso on account of commercial receipt threshold provided in second proviso in a previous year. Then, such trust or institution would not be entitled to get benefit of exemption in respect of its income for that previous year for which such proviso is applicable. Such denial of exemption shall be mandatory by operation of law and would not be dependent on any withdrawal of approval or cancellation of registration or a notification being rescinded. It is, therefore, proposed to amend section 10(23C), section 13 and section 143 of the Act to ensure that such organization does not get benefit of tax exemption in the year in which it’s receipts from commercial activities exceed the threshold whether or not the registration or approval granted or notification issued is cancelled, withdrawn or rescinded.
This amendment will take effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2009 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2009-10 and subsequent assessment years.
Presumptive taxation not to apply to professions etc.
Finance (No.2) Act, 2009 substituted Section 44AD in the Income-tax Act to provide for a presumptive income scheme for small businesses with effect from 1st April, 2011. Under this scheme a sum equal to 8% of the total turnover or gross receipts is deemed to be the profits and gains from business. This presumptive scheme is applicable only to a person carrying on any business, except business of plying, hiring or leasing goods carriage, having turnover or gross receipt of less than 60 lakh rupees. It is proposed to amend section 44AD to clarify that this presumptive scheme is not applicable to (i) a person carrying on profession as referred to in sub-section (1) of section 44AA; (ii) persons earning income in the nature of commission or brokerage income; or (iii) a or a person carrying on any agency business.
This amendment will take effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2011 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2011-12 and subsequent assessment years.
Liability to pay advance tax in case of non-deduction of tax
Under the existing provisions of section 209 of the Income-tax Act, the amount of advance tax payable is computed by reducing the amount of income-tax which would be deductible or collectible during the financial year from income-tax on estimated income.
Therefore, in cases where the assessee receives or pays any amount (on which the tax was deductible or collectible) without deduction or collection of tax, it has been held by Courts that he is not liable to pay advance tax to the extent the tax is deductible or collectible from such amount.
In order to make an assessee liable for payment of advance tax in respect of income which has been received or paid without deduction or collection of tax, it is proposed to amend the aforesaid section to provide that where a person has received any income without deduction or collection of tax, he shall be liable to pay advance tax in respect of such income.
This amendment will take effect from the 1st April, 2012 and would, accordingly, apply in relation to advance tax payable for the financial year 2012-13 and subsequent financial years.
Capital gains tax from sale of agricultural land by a Hindu undivided family (HUF)
Capital gains on transfer of land which, in the two years preceding the year in which it has been sold, has been used for agricultural purposes by assessee or his parent, is exempt if the whole of capital gains has been reinvested in the purchase of agricultural land in the next two years. It is now proposed that this benefit be also granted to a HUF. Accordingly, it is proposed to amend the provisions of section 54B of the IT Act to provide that the rollover relief is available if the land is used for agricultural purposes by an individual or his parent, or by a HUF.
This amendment will take effect from 1st day of April, 2013 and will accordingly apply to assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
Reference to a Valuation Officer
Under the provisions of section 55A, where in the opinion of the Assessing Officer value of asset as claimed by the assessee is less than its market value, he may refer the valuation of a capital asset to a Valuation Officer. Under section 55 in a case where the capital asset became the property of the assessee before 1st April, 1981, the assessee has the option of substituting the fair market value of the asset as on 1st April, 1981 as the cost of the asset. In such a case the adoption of a higher value for the cost of the asset as the fair market value as on 1st April, 1981, would lead to a lower amount of capital gains being offered for tax.
Accordingly, it is proposed to amend the provisions of section 55A of the Income-tax Act to enable the Assessing Officer to make a reference to the Valuation Officer where in his opinion the value declared by the assessee is at variance from the fair market value. Therefore, in case where the Assessing Officer is of the opinion that the value taken by the assessee as on 1.4.1981 is higher than the fair market value of the asset as on that date, the Assessing Officer would be enabled to make a reference to the Valuation Officer for determining the fair market value of the property.
This amendment will take effect from 1st day of July, 2012.
Rate of tax for short term capital gain under section 111A
Under the provisions of section 111A tax on short-term capital gains, in the case of equity shares in a company or units of an equity oriented fund on which Securities Transaction Tax (STT) has been paid, is levied at the rate of 15%. This rate was increased from 10% to 15% vide Finance Act, 2008 with effect from 1.4.2009. However, in the proviso to this section while providing relief, the rate of short-term capital gains tax is still referred to as 10% which needs to be corrected to 15%.
It is accordingly proposed to amend the provisions of proviso to section 111A of the Income-tax Act.
This amendment will take effect retrospectively from the 1st day of April, 2009 and will accordingly apply to assessment year 2009-10 and subsequent assessment years.
Exemption of any sum or property received by an HUF from its members
Under the existing provisions of clause (vii) of sub-section (2) of section 56 any sum or property received by an individual or HUF for inadequate consideration or without consideration is deemed as income and is taxed under the head “Income from other sources”. However, in the case of an individual, receipts from relatives are excluded from the purview of this section and are therefore treated as not taxable. The definition of relative as given in this sub-clause is only in relation to an individual and not in relation to a HUF.
It is therefore proposed to amend the provisions of section 56 so as to provide that any sum or property received without consideration or inadequate consideration by an HUF from its members would also be excluded from taxation.
This amendment will take effect retrospectively from the 1st day of October, 2009.
Processing of return of income where scrutiny notice issued
Under the existing provisions, every return of income is to be processed under sub-section (1) of section 143 and refund, if any, due is to be issued to the taxpayer. Some returns of income are also selected for scrutiny which may lead to raising a demand for taxes although refunds may have been issued earlier at the time of processing.
It is therefore proposed to amend the provisions of the Income-tax Act to provide that processing of return will not be necessary in a case where notice under sub–section (2) of section 143 has already been issued for scrutiny of the return.
This amendment will take effect from the 1st day of July, 2012.
Prohibition of cash donations in excess of ten thousand rupees
Section 80G of the Income-tax Act provides for a deduction in respect of donations to certain funds, charitable institutions, etc. subject to specified conditions. The deduction is allowed in respect of any donation being a sum of money. Similarly, section 80GGA of the Income-tax Act provides for a deduction in respect of certain donations for scientific research or rural development made to research associations, universities, colleges or other associations/institutions, subject to specified conditions.
Currently, there is no provision in either of the aforesaid sections specifying the mode of payment of money. Therefore, it is proposed to amend sections 80G and 80GGA so as specify therein that any payment exceeding a sum of ten thousand rupees shall only be allowed as a deduction if such sum is paid by any mode other than cash.
These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
Eligibility conditions for exempt life insurance policies
Under the existing provisions contained in section 10(10D) of the Income-tax Act, any sum received under a life insurance policy, including the sum allocated by way of bonus on such policy, is exempt. For this purpose, it is necessary that the premium payable for any of the years shall not exceed 20% of the actual capital sum assured. It is proposed to reduce the threshold of premium payable to 10% of the actual capital sum assured from 20% of the actual capital sum assured. Accordingly, it is proposed to amend section 10(10D) so as to provide that the exemption for insurance policies issued on or after 1st April, 2012 would only be available for policies where the premium payable for any of the years during the term of the policy does not exceed 10% of the actual capital sum assured. Further, in order to ensure that the life insurance products are not designed to circumvent the prescribed limits by varying the capital sum assured from year to year, it is also proposed to provide that the capital sum assured would be the minimum of the sum assured in any of the years of the policy. Insertion of a new Explanation 2 has been proposed towards this effect by referring to the new definition of “actual capital sum assured” under Explanation of section 80C(3A). This Explanation will apply to insurance policies issued on or after the 1st April, 2012.
This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.
PROPOSALS INVOLVING CHANGES IN RATES OF DUTY
1) The effective rate of excise duty of 10% on non-petroleum products is being increased to 12% with a few exceptions where exemptions/concessions have been given.
2) Concessional rate of excise duty of 5% on non-petroleum products is being increased to 6%.
3) The lower rate of 1% on non-petroleum products is being increased to 2%. However, precious metal jewellery, coal and fertilizers would remain at 1%.
RATE OF SERVICE TAX
The rate of service tax is being increased from ten per cent. to twelve per cent
Life insurance service: Where the entire premium is not towards risk cover, the first year’s premium shall be taxed at the rate of three per cent. while subsequent premia shall attract tax at the rate of 1.5 per cent. Availment of full cenvat credit is being allowed.
Transport of passengers embarking in India for domestic and international journey by air : The dual rate structure of maximum service tax of Rupees 150 and Rupees 750 in case of economy class travel is being replaced by an ad valorem rate of twelve per cent. with abatement of sixty per cent. subject to the condition that no credit on inputs and capital goods is taken;
[The above changes will be applicable from 01.04.2012]
RENTING OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY SERVICE:
Constitutional validity of the levy of service tax on renting of immovable property has been the subject matter of litigation leading to pronouncement of court judgments favourable to revenue, including those of Honourable Delhi High Court and Honourable Supreme Court. Taking an overall view, the Government has decided to waive the penalty for those taxpayers who pay the service tax due on the renting of immovable property service (as on 06.03.2012), in full along with interest. For this purpose, a new section 80A is being inserted in the Finance Act, 1994. This scheme of penalty waiver will be open only for a period of six months from the date of enactment of the Finance Bill, 2012.
Service Tax Rules, 1994 is being amended as follows:
(a) The time period provided in rule 4A for issuance of invoice is being increased to thirty days. For banks and financial institutions providing banking and other financial services, the period shall be forty five days;
(b) Rule 6(4A) is being amended to allow unlimited amount of permissible adjustments.
(c) At present, in the case of export and, individuals and firms rendering eight specified services, the point of taxation is the date of payment subject to certain conditions. This special dispensation is being shifted from the Point of Taxation Rules to the Service Tax Rules.
(d) In case of exporters, the period extended by the Reserve Bank of India on specific requests is also being included in the period for which the tax liability is allowed to be deferred.
(e) The option of deferred payment is being allowed for all service providers rather than for specific services. The facility will be available only to individuals and partnership firms (including limited liability partnership) upto a turnover of taxable services of Rupees Fifty lakhs subject to the condition that their turnover of taxable services in previous year was below Rupees Fifty lakhs. For computing the above limits, the turnover of the whole entity is required to be summed up and not any single registration.
Highlights of Union-Budget 2012-13
Direct Taxes
(1)  Income tax exemption limit raised from Rs.1,80,000 to Rs.2,00,000; upper limit of 20 per cent tax slab raised from Rs.8 lakh to Rs.10 lakh
(2)  Interest from savings bank accounts deductible upto Rs.10,000; deduction of upto Rs.5,000 for preventive health check-up
(3)  Turnover limit for compulsory tax audit for SMEs raised from Rs.60 lakh to Rs.1 crore
(4)  STT reduced from 0.125% to 0.1%
(5)  Senior citizens without business income exempt from advance tax
(6)  15% rate for dividends from foreign companies extended for FY 2012-13
(7)  TCS on cash purchase of bullion and jewellery
(8)  TCS on cash purchase of immovable property above specified limit
(9)  Withholding tax rate on interest on ECB reduced from 20% to 5% for 3 years for specified sectors
(10)  General Anti Avoidance Rule being introduced to counter aggressive tax avoidance
(11)  Re-opening of tax assessments upto 16 years in case of overseas assets
(12)  White paper on Black Money to be introduced in the current session of Parliament
(13)  Tax @ 30% on unexplained credit or investment (slab rate benefit not available)
(14)  No change in corporate tax rate and tax structures
(15)  Cascading effect of DDT in a multi-layer corporate structure removed
(16)  82 Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements and 19 Tax Information Exchange Agreements finalised: FM
(17)  A number of measures proposed to deter generation and use of unaccounted money
Indirect Taxes
(1)  Service tax rate increased from 10% to 12%
(2)  All services to attract service tax except those in the negative list
(3)  General excise rate to be increased from 10% to 12%
(4)  Common tax code for Excise and Service tax
(5)  Relief in indirect taxes to sectors under stress; agriculture, infrastructure, mining, railways, roads, civil aviation, manufacturing, health and nutrition, and environment get duty relief

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