Skip to main content

Resolve Angel Tax Issues Fast, CBDT Tells Its Officers

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked its officers across India to avoid taking “coercive measures” against companies that have received notices under the so-called angel tax, in what can be seen as softening of its stance on an issue that has roiled the startup ecosystem. In its written communication, the department also asked tax commissioners to resolve disputes with startups on a priority basis.
The tax deals with premiums paid by investors while they invest in unlisted companies. The tax department’s latest step comes after the government issued a directive recently, giving a reprieve to startups on the treatment of such investments on a prospective basis. Tax officials had questioned increasing valuations of startups even when their revenue is falling or remaining stagnant. The revenue department deems the capital in excess of a fair market value as ‘other income’ that is taxable. Also, in cases where the investor is not Indian, the tax department has in the past issued notices branding such investments as “unexplained cash credits”, charging a 30% tax. It had sent notices to many startups, asking them to pay the tax.
In the past one month, the government had come out with a slew of clarifications hoping to resolve the issue.ET had first reported on March 1 that startups facing angel tax notices may get relief. The government issued a clarification a few days back, but industry trackers said it didn’t help solve the problems of several startups. “There is no reprieve so far for several startups that have received demand orders, but if their appeals are handled in a fast-track manner and the new Startup India angel tax exemption certificate is considered in the appeals process, it would be very helpful to them,” said Sachin Taparia, chairman of LocalCircles, a social media platform.
The CBDT has written two sets of letters to tax officers, asking them to avoid taking coercive steps against startups. In the past, tax officers had frozen the bank accounts of startups in cases were notices were issued. The letters also ask tax officers to dispose of pending appeals in angel tax cases. ET has seen the letters. Startups have been issued notices under two income tax sections — 56(2) (vii)(b), which deals with valuations (classification of a funding as income or investment) and Section 68, which is about unexplained credit.
The CBDT letters only pertain to tax demands where valuations of startups have been questioned. About 2,000 startups have received notices under the two income tax sections, as per a survey conducted by the Indian private equity and venture capital association, a grouping of investors.
The Economic Times, 14th March 2019


Popular posts from this blog

SC order on RBI circular: More options for banks to tackle defaulting firms

Lenders also have the option of restructuring the loans Lenders to companies which are under stress could now have three options to deal with them if they default on loans: take a haircut as part of a one-time settlement, restructure the loans for a longer tenure as they did when corporate debt restructuring schemes were allowed, or go to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) for redress. These changes in the options available to lenders come, according to PE funds and bank lawyers who are involved in the IBC process, in the wake of the Supreme Court on Tuesday setting aside the 12 February RBI circular, which allowed a 180-day window to banks to resolve a company default.But they can still find a resolution. According to a Reserve Bank of India circular, a loan becomes a non-performing asset when banks cannot find a way of recovering their money in 90 days. In short, banks still have a window to resolve the default. Lenders can take a haircut as part of a one -time settlement of du…

April GST collections at new high despite rate rationalisation in December

Goods and services tax (GST) collection touched a record high in April, exceeding Rs 1 trillion for the third time in four months. The mop-up was 10 per cent higher over the previous year. Gross collection for the month was Rs 1.13 trillion, said the finance ministry. Despite the recent rate rationalisation in December, a rise in collection was reported. Of the total collected, the CGST (central GST) contributed Rs 21,163 crore, the SGST (state GST) Rs 28,801 crore, the IGST (integrated GST) Rs 54,733 crore (including Rs 23,289 crore on import) and cess Rs 9,168 crore (including Rs 1,053 crore on import). After settlement of the IGST and the balance IGST in a 50:50 ratio between the Centre and states on a provisional basis, the CGST stood at Rs 47,533 crore and SGST at Rs 50,776 crore. The CGST target in the Union Budget for 2019-20 is Rs 6.1 trillion. “The April collection indicates the tax base is increasing gradually, with GST getting stabilised with measures such as e-way bills and…

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India Foreign banks are increasingly shrinking their presence in India and are also becoming more conservative than private and public sector counterparts. While many of them have sold some of their businesses in India as part of their global strategy, some are trying to keep their core expertise intact. Others are branching out to newer areas to continue business momentum.For example, HSBC and Barclays Bank in India have got out of the retail business, whereas corporate-focused Standard Chartered Bank is now trying to increase its focus on retail “Building a retail franchise is a huge exercise and takes a long time. You cannot afford to lose it,” said Shashank Joshi, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s India head.According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, foreign banks’ combined loan book shrunk nearly 10 per cent from Rs 3.78 trillion in fiscal 2015-16 to Rs 3.42 trillion last financial year. The banking industry, which includes foreign banks…