BUDGET 2020 HIGHLIGHTS ON PROPOSAL TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT FOR REMOVAL OF DIFFICULTIES FOR TAXPAYERS

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BUDGET 2020 HIGHLIGHTS ON PROPOSAL TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT FOR REMOVAL OF DIFFICULTIES FOR TAXPAYERS

In this article we will discussed number of changes that is proposed in the Union Budget – 2020 with regard to removal of difficulties

 

1) Excluding interest paid or payable to Permanent Establishment of a non-resident Bank for the purpose of disallowance of interest under section 94B.

Section 94B of the Act, inter alia, provides that deductible interest or similar expenses exceeding one crore rupees of an Indian company, or a permanent establishment (PE) of a foreign company, paid to the associated enterprises (AE) shall be restricted to 30 per cent. of its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) or interest paid or payable to AE, whichever is less. Further, a loan is deemed to be from an AE, if an AE provides implicit or explicit guarantee in respect of that loan. AE for the purposes of this section has the meaning assigned to it in section 92A of the Act. This section was inserted in the Act through the Finance Act, 2017 in order to implement the measures recommended in final report on Action Plan 4 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project under the aegis of G-20-Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to address the issue of base erosion and profit shifting by way of excess interest deductions.

Representations have been received to carve out interest paid or payable in respect of debt issued by a PE of a non-resident in India, being a person engaged in the business of banking for the reason that as per the existing provisions a branch of the foreign company in India is a non-resident in India. Further, the definition of the AE in section 92A, inter alia, deems two enterprises to be AE, if during the previous year a loan advanced by one enterprise to the other enterprise is at 50 per cent. or more of the book value of the total assets of the other enterprise. Thus, the interest paid or payable in respect of loan from the branch of a foreign bank may attract provisions of interest limitation provided for under this section.

– Proposed to amend section 94B of the Act so as to provide that provisions of interest limitation would not apply to interest paid in respect of a debt issued by a lender which is a PE of a non-resident, being a person engaged in the business of banking, 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.

 

2) Increase in safe harbour limit of 5 per cent. under section 43CA, 50C and 56 of the Act to 10 per cent.

Section 43CA of the Act, inter alia, provides that where the consideration declared to be received or accruing as a result of the transfer of land or building or both, is less than the value adopted or assessed or assessable by any authority of a State Government (i.e. “stamp valuation authority”) for the purpose of payment of stamp duty in respect of such transfer, the value so adopted or assessed or assessable shall for the purpose of computing profits and gains from transfer of such assets, be deemed to be the full value of consideration. The said section also provide that where the value adopted or assessed or assessable by the authority for the purpose of payment of stamp duty does not exceed one hundred and five per cent of the consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer, the consideration so received or accruing as a result of the transfer shall, for the purposes of computing profits and gains from transfer of such asset, be deemed to be the full value of the consideration.

Section 50C of the Act provides that where the consideration declared to be received or accruing as a result of the transfer of land or building or both, is less than the value adopted or assessed or assessable by stamp valuation authority for the purpose of payment of stamp duty in respect of such transfer, the value so adopted or assessed or assessable shall be deemed to be the full value of the consideration and capital gains shall be computed on the basis of such consideration under section 48 of the Act. The said section also provides that where the value adopted or assessed or assessable by the stamp valuation authority does not exceed one hundred and five per cent of the consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer, the consideration so received or accruing as a result of the transfer shall, for the purposes of section 48, be deemed to be the full value of the consideration.

Clause (x) of sub-section (2) of section 56 of the Act, inter alia, provides that where any person receives, in any previous year, from any person or persons on or after 1st April, 2017, any immovable property, for a consideration which is less than the stamp duty value of the property by an amount exceeding fifty thousand rupees, the stamp duty value of such property as exceeds such consideration shall be charged to tax under the head “income from other sources”. It also provide that where the assessee receives any immovable property for a consideration and the stamp duty value of such property exceeds five per cent of the consideration or fifty thousand rupees, whichever is higher, the stamp duty value of such property as exceeds such consideration shall be charged to tax under the head “Income from other sources”.

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) Providing an option to the assessee for not availing deduction under section 35AD.

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It is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of section 35AD to make the deduction thereunder optional. It is further proposed to amend sub-section (4) of section 35AD to provide that no deduction will be allowed in respect of expenditure incurred under sub-section (1) in any other section in any previous year or under this section in any other previous year, if the deduction has been claimed by the assessee and allowed to him under this section.

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.

 

4) Exempting non-resident from filing of Income-tax return in certain conditions.

– It is proposed to amend section 115A of the Act in order to provide that a non-resident, shall not be required to file return of income under sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act if, –

(i) his or its total income consists of only dividend or interest income as referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1) of said section, or royalty or FTS income of the nature specified in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 115A; and

(ii) the TDS on such income has been deducted under the provisions of Chapter XVII-B of the Act at the rates which are not lower than the prescribed rates under sub-section (1) of section 115A.

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) Deferring TDS or tax payment in respect of income pertaining to Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) of start- ups.

–  It is proposed to amend section 192 of the Act, and insert sub-section (1C) therein to clarify that for the purpose of deducting or paying tax under sub-sections (1) or (1A) thereof, as the case may be, a person, being an eligible start-up referred to in section 80-IAC, responsible for paying any income to the assessee being perquisite of the nature specified in clause (vi) of sub-section (2) of section 17 of the Act, in any previous year relevant to the assessment year 2021-22 or subsequent assessment year, deduct or pay, as the case may be, tax on such income within fourteen days —

(i) after the expiry of forty eight months from the end of the relevant assessment year; or

(ii) from the date of the sale of such specified security or sweat equity share by the assessee; or

(iii) from the date of which the assessee ceases to be the employee of the person;

whichever is the earliest on the basis of rates in force of the financial year in which the said specified security or sweat equity share is allotted or transferred .

Similar amendments have been carried out in section 191 (for assessee to pay the tax direct in case of no TDS) and in section 156 (for notice of demand) and in section 140A (for calculating self-assessment).

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2020.

 

 

6) Allowing carry forward of losses or depreciation in certain amalgamations.

Section 72AA of the Act provides for carry forward of accumulated losses and unabsorbed depreciation allowance in the case of amalgamation of banking company with any other banking institution under a scheme sanctioned and brought into force by the Central Government under sub-section (7) of section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. This section operates notwithstanding anything contained in sub-clause (i) to (iii) of clause (1B) of section 2 or section 72A of the Act.

In order to address the issue faced by the amalgamated public sector banks and public sector General Insurance Companies, It is proposed to extend the benefit of this section to amalgamation of,-

(i) one or more corresponding new bank or banks with any other corresponding new bank under a scheme brought into force by the Central Government under section 9 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970 or under section 9 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1980, or both, as the case may be, or

(ii) One or more Government company or companies with any other Government company under a scheme sanctioned and brought into force by the Central Government under section 16 of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972.

“Corresponding new bank” is proposed to be given the meaning as assigned to it in clause (d) of section 2 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970 or clause (b) of section 2 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1980.

“Government company” is proposed to be given the meaning assigned to it in section 2(45) of the Companies Act, 2013. In addition, it is to be engaged in the general insurance business and has come into existence by operation of section 4 or section 5 or section 16 of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972.

“General insurance business” is proposed to be given the meaning assigned to it in clause (g) of section 3 of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972.

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.

 

7) Modification of the definition of “business trust”

– The definition of “business trust” has been provided in clause (13A) of section 2 of the Act, to mean a trust registered as an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) or a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) under the relevant regulations made under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992 and the units of which are required to be listed on a recognised stock exchange in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Representations have been received stating that private unlisted InvITs should be given the same status as public listed InvITs with regards to tax treatments provided under the Act. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) (Amendment) (Regulations), 2019 vide notification No.SEBI/LAD-NRO/GN/2019/10 has, inter-alia, done away with the mandatory listing requirement for InvITs. In light of this, the definition of business trusts under the Act is required to be aligned with the amended SEBI Regulations.

Therefore, it is proposed to amend clause (13A) of section 2 of the Act to modify the definition of “business trust” so as to do away with the requirement of the units of business trust to be listed on a recognised stock exchange.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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