Income Tax Dept warns public against cash dealings of Rs 2 lakh or more saying that the receiver of the amount will have to cough up an equal amount as penalty. 2 CPC now is Withdrawing Notice u/s 139(9) with the remarks that it has been issued 3. CBDT further extends the time for Linking PAN with Aadhaar from 31st December 2017 to 31st March 2018.inadvertently.

GST: 'States facing revenue shortfall of Rs. 39,111 crore'

States are facing a revenue shortfall of Rs. 39,111 crore in the first four months of rollout of the goods and services tax, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said on Thursday. Addressing the annual general meeting of FICCI, Mitra said that revenue collections under GST have become a source of concern.

“For all States for the first four months, Rs. 1.72 lakh crore is required for revenue protection. Of this, States have received Rs. 1.33 lakh crore, while there is a shortfall of Rs. 39,111 crore,” he said.

Against the original estimated Rs. 55,000 crore compensation to States for the full fiscal, Mitra said that it will now be closer to Rs. 90,000 crore. Similarly, the Centre too is facing revenue shortfall from GST, he stressed.

However, Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi both expressed hope that revenue collections under GST will stabilise over the next few months. At a panel discussion on GST, all three noted the challenges being faced by the small and medium enterprises under GST and agreed that more needs to be done.

Composition scheme

Drabu suggested that the composition scheme for small businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 1 crore should be tweaked to allow some input tax credit. “Larger companies are not buying from small businesses due to lack of input tax credit,” he noted.

He also called for bringing back the reverse charge mechanism under GST that has been deferred till March. Significantly, Drabu also proposed doing away with the MRP (maximum retail price) under GST. “MRP is from a pre-lebralised era…We need to now abolish MRP to allow market forces and differently priced goods,” he said.

Sushil Modi also called for changes to the invoicing mechanism and said that the tax break-up should be visible in Bills. Laying out a roadmap for GST in the coming months, he said that the rates will be rationalised further to three to four slabs and efforts wil be made to include electricity, real estate, stamp duty and petroleum into the new levy.

He, however, cautioned the petroleum products, if and when included in GST will be taxed at the highest slab of 28 per cent and States will also have the power to levy additional taxes over GST. “This is done across the world to protect the revenue interests,” he said.

Sushil Modi also said that the E-Way Bill is likely to be rolled out across the country in a staggered manner from January 1.
Refer: thehindubusinessline
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Income Tax dept conducts surveys at Bitcoin exchanges across country


The Income Tax Department today conducted survey operations at major Bitcoin exchanges across the country on suspicion of alleged tax evasion, official sources said.

They said various teams of the sleuths of the department, under the command of the Bengaluru investigation wing, today visited the premises of nine such exchanges in the country including in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and Gurugram, since early morning.

The survey, under Section 133A of the Income Tax Act, is being conducted for “gathering evidence for establishing the identity of investors and traders, transactions undertaken by them, identity of counterparties, related bank accounts used, among others,” they said.

The survey teams, sources said, are armed with various financial data and inputs about the working of these exchanges and this is the first big action against them in the country.

Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is not regulated in the country and its circulation has been a cause of concern among central bankers world over for quite a while now. The Reserve Bank of India has also cautioned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies, including bitcoins.

In March, the Finance Ministry had constituted an inter-disciplinary committee to take stock of the current status of VCs both in India and globally and suggest measures for dealing with such currencies.
Refer:thehindubusinessline
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On filing of Form TRAN-I to avail Input Tax Credit

Transition to GST provided for trust based transition of input tax credit of the existing taxpayers.  A tax payer could file Form TRAN-1 and avail input tax credit on the basis of closing balance of the input tax credit declared in the last return under the pre GST regime.  The last date for filing of Form TRAN-1 is 27th December, 2017.  In keeping with the philosophy of voluntary compliance, revision of Form TRAN-1 has also been provided.  The last date for revision of TRAN-1 is also 27th December, 2017.
It has been noted that some taxpayers have availed extraordinarily high transitional credit of CGST which is neither commensurate with the trend of input tax credit of the industry nor as maintained by the taxpayer himself in the past.  Some of these high transitional credits may have a bonafide explanation or may be a case of bonafide mistake.  However, it has been noted that high transitional credit has been claimed in many cases for which perhaps no bonafide explanation exists.  Analysis to identify such units is underway.  Such behavior leads to breach of trust between the taxpayer and the tax-administration, which is the bed-rock of self-assessment regime in GST.
Taxpayers who have claimed transitional credit erroneously are advised to avail of the opportunity to revise Form TRAN-1 by 27th December, 2017 and ensure that only correct and bonafide credit is availed in transition, failing which the tax administration would be constrained to initiate audit and enforcement action against the identified units.
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Govt. extends deadline for submission of Aadhaar no. and PAN with bank to March 31, 2018

After considering various representations received and inputs received from Banks, it has been decided to notify 31st March, 2018 or six months from the date of commencement of account based relationship by the client, whichever is later, as the date of submission of the Aadhaar number, and Permanent Account Number or Form 60 by the clients to the reporting entity.
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EPFO advises members against fully withdrawing funds

Retirement fund body EPFO today advised subscribers not to completely withdraw funds for petty reasons, saying they will lose out on the social security benefits that come only when continuity is maintained.

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) further said that PF money aimed at social security benefit and people should not treat it like a bank account.

"We want to convey all our members not to be tempted to make final withdrawals from their Provident Fund balances unless and until it is really necessary. They should continue to live with the fund until they retire from service, that is our primary objective.

"...we are discouraging people withdrawing in full for petty reasons, because they are not only losing on their PF money, they are also losing out big time on old age security and pension," V Ranganath, Additional Commissioner, Central PF Commissioner, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, said.

The EPFO's zonal office here, covering states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, held a press conference today with a view to disseminate information in this regard and also to highlight several initiatives that have been taken by it.

"By withdrawal, we mean final payment. For example, you say I have quit the job at place X today and you are not going to be employed, and whatever balance you have you want that to be given to you. Part withdrawal is what we call the advance which a member draws from his/her PF account, which is not going to impact the membership," he said.

EPFO's objective was to make people aware about all its initiatives, especially in the introduction of new facilities and schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana for the employer and the housing scheme for the employees, which has really made it easy for people to dip into their funds to avail loan facility in an easy manner.

It is very important for employers to be aware of the benefits that the government has set aside by subsidising the pension component of his share under the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana.

"So, for him this is a win-win situation, the fresh employment is also generated, the load on the employer is also offset and the cost of compliance is really cheap for the employer. So, what is happening here is the 12 per cent that employee contributes and the 12 per cent which is flowing into the employee's account, of that 8.33 per cent which belongs to the employer is returned by the government to the employer.

"These are the schemes which we really want to press forward and make the people aware, the people here I mean the employer as well as the employee," he said.

Ranganath said it is a situation today where the digitisation or the digital movement is really enabling the EPFO to go forward and introduce lot of things more aggressively.

Replying to a question, he said in his zone, comprising of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, there are over 61,000 enrolled establishments, while there about 10.11 lakh contributing members.

Replying to another question, he said how pension is calculated is unique to every individual depending on the factors like length of service, contributions made etc.

About other initiatives of EPFO, Ranganath said two years back a Universal Account Number was introduced to facilitate members, which also helps them in case they change their jobs.

Read more at:economictimes.indiatimes.com/
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Direct Tax Collections for F.Y. 2017 - 2018 show Growth of 14.4% up to November , 2017

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
PRESS RELEASE
New Delhi, 9th December, 2017

Direct Tax Collections for F.Y. 2017-2018 show Growth of 14.4% up to November, 2017. The provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to November, 2017 show that net collections are at
Rs. 4.8 lakh crorewhich is 14.4% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year. The Net Direct Tax collections represent 49%of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for F.Y. 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8lakh crore). Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by
10.7% to Rs.5.82 lakh crore during April-November, 2017. Refunds amounting to Rs. 1.02 lakh crore
have been issued during April, 2017 to November, 2017.
(Surabhi Ahluwalia)
Commissioner of Income Tax
(Media & Technical Policy)
Official Spokesperson, CBDT.
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Income Tax Department suspends an officer for harassing the taxpayer



Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes

PRESS RELEASE
New Delhi, 8th December, 2017
Income Tax Department suspends an officer for harassing the taxpayer

A complaint was received making serious allegations against Shri D. K. Meena, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, posted at Surendranagar in Gujarat Region for harassing a taxpayer in a scrutiny case with malafide intention. The officer was alleged to have demanded illegal gratification through the taxpayer’s Chartered Accountant for favourably completing the assessment. The audio
recordings of conversations were also received which, inter alia, mention the bribe amount being demanded by the officers of the Department for settling the case. In order to verify the veracity of the allegations, case records were requisitioned immediately by the Vigilance Directorate of CBDT. On examination of the case records, serious lapses and irregularities were found which led credence to
the allegations made against the officer. The matter is under investigation. The Department has zero tolerance to such malpractices and corruption. Pending investigation, the officer has since been placed under suspension.



(Surabhi Ahluwalia)
Commissioner of Income Tax
(Media & Technical Policy)
Official Spokesperson, CBDT.
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CBDT extends date for linking of Aadhaar with PAN



Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
PRESS RELEASE
New Delhi, 8th December, 2017

CBDT extends date for linking of Aadhaar with PAN


Under the provisions of recently introduced section 139A of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act), with effect from 01.07.2017, all taxpayers having Aadhaar Number or Enrolment Number are required to link the same with Permanent Account Number (PAN). In view of the difficulties faced by some of the taxpayers in the process, the date for linking of Aadhaar with PAN was initially extended till 31st August, 2017 which was further extended upto 31st December, 2017.


It has come to notice that some of the taxpayers have not yet completed the linking of PAN with Aadhaar. Therefore, to facilitate the process of linking, it has been decided to further extend the time for linking of Aadhaar with PAN till 31.03.2018.


(Surabhi Ahluwalia)
Commissioner of Income Tax
(Media & Technical Policy)
Official Spokesperson, CBDT.
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CBDT asks IT to slap higher tax rate on fraudulently revised ITRs

The CBDT has asked the taxman to go over with a fine tooth-comb scrutiny cases where a taxpayer has filed a revised income tax return (ITR) post demonetisation and directed them to slap “higher tax rate” in instances where black money is detected.

The policy-making body of the IT department has issued a two-page instruction/directive to all regional chiefs of the department on November 24, stipulating the way forward while assessing scrutiny cases selected for suspicious financial activity, post the note ban.

“Unaccounted income so assessed in scrutiny assessment is liable to be taxed at a higher rate without any set off losses, expenses etc. under section 115BBE (treatment of tax credits) of the IT Act,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) instructions said.

The instructions, accessed by PTI, also ask the taxman that claim of “enhanced sales (especially by business category of taxpayers) may be compared with the central excise/VAT returns.”

“The idea behind the CBDT directive is that the legal provision of filing a revised or belated ITR is not misused and black income is not shown as white in the aftermath of demonetisation by a taxpayer.


Scrutiny and Prosecution

“The assessing officers will comply with these new directions or guidelines in conducting over 20,000 cases of scrutiny, already selected by the department based on their financial activity post note ban,” a senior IT official explained.

Issuing a stern warning to assessees trying to misuse the provision of revising IT returns, the CBDT had earlier said that those “drastically” altering the forms to revise income will face scrutiny and penal action including prosecution.

The provision to file a revised return under the income tax law has been stipulated for revising any omission or wrong statement made in the original return of income and not for resorting to make changes in the income initially declared so as to drastically alter the form, substance and quantum of the earlier disclosed income, the CBDT had earlier said.

Under Section 139(5) of the I-T Act, a revised ITR can only be filed if any person who has filed a return discovers any omission or any wrong statement therein.

The CBDT has also asked the AOs to check the “genuineness and creditworthiness” of those people to whom the assessee has reported the additional sales in the revised returns, post the note ban of November 8 last year.

“The source of cash in hands of the person who had made payments to the assessee has to be verified carefully and the past profile of the assessee concerned should be thoroughly analysed,” the directives issued on November 24 said.

The CBDT also directed the taxman to minutely check and stressed that it would be “crucial to examine the trend and business practices of a particular assessee while ascertaining the legitimacy of the transactions disclosed in a belated return, filed post demonetisation.”

In such cases which are already chosen for scrutiny, it said, some instances “might indicate that assessee had filed revised or belated return merely as a cover up to explain the cash deposits in bank accounts.”

The tax department had conducted 900 searches between November 9, 2016, and March this year, leading to seizure of assets worth Rs. 900 crore including Rs. 636 crore in cash.

The searches had led to the disclosure of Rs. 7,961 crore undisclosed income, official data had said.

During the same period, the department conducted 8,239 survey operations leading to detection of Rs. 6,745 crore of black money.(thehindubusinessline)
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No penalty if assessee, following ICAI guidelines, was in bona fide belief that sec. 44AB wasn't applicable

Where securities held by assessee were disclosed as investment in books of account whereas profit arising on sale of those securities was reflected as business income, said method being accepted by ICAI, plea raised by assessee that it was under bona fide belief that provisions of section 44AB did not apply to its case, deserved to be accepted

Refer:[2017] 87 taxmann.com 202 (Kolkata - Trib.)

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