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Showing posts from September 4, 2015

Sebi relaxes norms for related-party transactions

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Thursday relaxed requirements imposed on companies for related-party transactions, to bring them in line with amendments made to the Companies Act that came into effect in 2014.

Following the Act’s provisions, the market regulator amended the listing agreement norms to allow companies to approve any material related-party transaction by passing an ordinary resolution instead of a special resolution, as was required so far. However, related parties have to abstain from voting on such resolutions.

So far, Sebi norms required a vote by two-thirds of minority shareholders on a special resolution before a related-party transaction could be passed. This will now be reduced to 50%, on the lines of the Companies Act. The move will make it easier for listed firms to clear such deals.

“This is definitely a step backward with respect to the interest and protection of minority investors,” said Shriram Subramanian, managing director at InGovern, a …

Govt won’t reveal disclosures under black money window

Under the black money law, one has to disclose the income earned through an online game, if he maintains an e- wallet or a virtual card account, which is funded by income taxable in India, on a website hosted in a foreign country.

This is just one of the clarifications issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes ( CBDT) on the black ( unaccounted) money law, as well as on the three- month compliance window.

The clarifications, or frequently asked questions ( FAQs), were issued 27 days ahead of the closure of the window on September 30. One of the clarifications assured confidentiality for disclosures for those availing the compliance window. The clarifications said declarations for which bank statements are unavailable, could be on the basis of estimates.

A FAQ said, " But, the account holder will have to give abank certificate or any other evidence to prove that the details are not available.” The government said if the value of the bank account was found to be different from that …

Sebi notifies revised listing regulations

The Securities and Exchange Board of India ( Sebi) has notified amended listing regulations that allow listed companies to seek shareholders’ approval for related party deals through ordinary resolutions.

Besides, Sebi’s provisions for listed entities have been aligned with those of the Companies Act, 2013.

The latest listing norms, finalised after consultations, will consolidate and streamline the provisions of existing listing agreements for different segments of the capital market.

“The regulations have thus been structured to provide ease of reference by consolidating into one single document across various types of securities listed on stock exchanges,” Sebi said.

While a 90- day period has been given to implement the norms, Sebi said two provisions in the revised rules that are facilitating in nature would be applicable with immediate effect.

One pertains to “ passing of ordinary resolution instead of special resolution in the case of all material related party transactions subject t…

Law panel report unlikely to force amendments in bilateral pacts

The recent law commission report critical of many provisions in the proposed Bilateral Investment Treaty ( BIT) may not lead to any changes in the Cabinet note on the treaty expected to come up for clearance later this month. The report, which was submitted to Law Minister Sadananda Gowda on August 27, says the proposed BIT has provisions which can be seen as having an ‘ anti- investor bias’ and which defeat the purpose of having a bilateral treaty itself.

Among its toughest proposals, the BIT says that international tribunals would not have jurisdiction to re- examine any legal issue settled by, or review judgements of, an Indian judicial authority.

Business Standard, New Delhi, 04 September 2015

Don’t pursue MAT cases against FIIs: CBDT to field staff

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued instructions to field officers not to raise any fresh demand and keep in abeyance the notices sent to foreign institutional investors ( FIIs) on minimum alternate tax ( MAT) “ for the time being”. This follows the government accepting the A P Shah panel’s recommendation of doing away with MAT cases against FIIs prior to April 1 this year.

The Budget has already announced there will not be any MAT on FIIs.

As such, there will not be any follow- up action on the 68 notices sent to FIIs on past MAT cases, with a combined tax dispute amount of Rs.603 crore. Also, there won’t be any further notices in this regard.

The potential tax liability of all past MAT cases on FIIs was pegged at Rs.40,000 crore by the finance ministry.

The CBDT’s directive does away with uncertainty in this regard between now and the day when amendments to the I- T Act are carried out, based on the Shah panel’s report. The government hopes to table the amendments in the…

India May Defer Adoption of New Ac Norms

India is likely to defer the adoption of new accounting standard on revenue recognition, known as Ind AS 115, as the country's accounting standards panel feels that more consultation with the industry is needed to clarify its stringent requirements.

The National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standard (NACAS) has favoured deferring implementation of Ind AS 115 in its recommendations submitted to the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA), a panel member said. “Let them take a final call on it,“ the person said. The new standard would have required stringent disclosures. Under this standard, revenue from services would have to be unbundled and shown separately in the books.

As per the government roadmap, all . 500 crore companies, with net worth of ` or more (whether listed or unlisted), should move to Ind AS (which has been converged with International financial Reporting Standards) from financial year beginning on or after April 1, 2016.

International Accounting Standards Body (IASB)…

Black money law seeks to pierce veil

Suddenly, Trusts Face the Assault of Tax Hounds

I-T dept seeks to look through discretionary trusts to go after the beneficiaries

Indian tax authorities will ignore conventions to pierce trust structures used by most people to stash black money abroad. Persons who are named as beneficiaries in overseas discretionary trusts are likely to face enquiry even if they do not receive any money from such trusts. The taxman will look through the trust and lift the veil with the basic presumption that the fund a trust holds belongs to the beneficiaries and not some foreigners or non-resident Indians (NRIs). Typically, nonresidents who are outside the jurisdiction of Indian tax office act as trustees and set trustees and settlors to form and administer trusts in places such as Panama, Dubai, British Virgin Islands and Singapore. Indeed, the income-tax department expects beneficiaries of undisclosed offshore trusts to come clean and declare under the black money law that they are the real beneficia…