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Showing posts from June 20, 2016

‘Buy 1, get 1 free’ deals, freebies to come under GST

Free samples and gifts offered with purchases as well as popular ‘buy-one-getone-free’ deals may attract the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) levy which government hopes to roll out beginning April next year. The model GST law says even any supply sans consideration will attract tax, which would also cover free gifts and samples, tax experts said. Hindustan Times New Delhi,20th June 2016

Startups get much awaited tax exemptions

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified the much-awaited tax exemption on investments above fair market rate for startups, which means that in case a startup gets investment from resident angel investors, family offices or funds that were not registered as venture capital funds, it will not be taxed even if the investment is made in excess to the fair value. Hindustan Times New Delhi,  20th June 2016

Entry tax concerns remain for e- commerce

The model goods and services tax ( GST) legislation includes a whole chapter on e- commerce and has prescribed strict information- disclosure requirements plus a tax collection at source model for both goods and services. This is a refinement to what the Karnataka government sought to do after the Amazon fiasco. E- commerce operators have been made liable not only for paying the GST on their facilitation services, but also GST collection at source that individual suppliers would have ordinarily been liable for. The consequent compliance hazards have already been widely commented upon. Ideally, e- commerce operators should only be responsible for the GST on their facilitation services. Ecommerce is quite transparent, where revenue officials can easily verify the suppliers and customers. Casting responsibility of collection at source when tracking or taxing individual suppliers is not difficult. What is praiseworthy is that a clear distinction has been made between assessees actually suppl…

GST: Preparing for tax litigation

The hope of the goods and services tax ( GST) being implemented has revived with the model GST law being put out in the public domain for comments and the support of virtually every state for the GST in the last empowered committee meeting. The model GST law with 184 sections and four schedules is longer than each of the laws relating to indirect taxes that the GST seeks to subsume. But it is still incomplete. There is a mention of another schedule in the charging section, but this unnumbered schedule is yet to be made available. Some of the schedules also mention the list therein is only indicative, revealing the model GST law is still a work in progress. While many of the existing areas of dispute may continue, Isee potential for new avenues opening up for disputes between taxpayers and tax authorities. Let me illustrate: The GST seeks to tax supply of goods and services. The question of whether a supply will be supply of goods or of service will remain contentious if and so long as th…

Power shifts from buiders to buyers

Recently, courts have ignored agreements between developers and purchasers, and awarded compensation to the latter The buyer- builder relationship has always been in favour of the latter. From booking of property to possession, builders had an upper hand because of one- sided agreements. For example, before giving possession, developers make buyers sign a document that states flat owners have inspected everything and the house is delivered according to the agreed specifications. This leaves little scope for buyers to challenge discrepancies in the court. This seems to be changing. The judiciary has started going beyond the technicalities of the agreements and awarding compensation to buyers. “ Courts realise the buyer is made to sign such documents. In some cases judges have rejected one- sided agreements, these citing them as unfair trade practices,” says Hitesh Jain, senior partner at ALMT Legal. In a recent case, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ( NCDRC) asked a real e…