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 inadvertently.

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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SC rejects bail application of accused on his failure to explain source of demonetized notes

PML Act : Where appellant accused failed to explain source from where he had acquired huge amount of demonetized currency recovered from him, his prayer for bail on being arrested for offence u/s 3&4 of PML Act was rightly rejected

• Facts : Bail application of appellant accused who was arrested for offence u/s 3&4 of PML Act for depositing Rs. 38.53 Crore in cash of demonetized currency into bank accounts of companies and getting demand drafts issued in fictitious names with intention of getting them cancelled and thereby converting demonetized currency into monetized currency on commission basis was rejected

• Held that there was inexplicable silence or reluctance of appellant in disclosing source from where such huge value of demonetized currency and also new currency had been acquired by him. Fact that no limit for deposit was specified, in demonetisations in Notification dated 8-11-2016 would not extricate appellant from explaining source from where such huge amount had been acquired, possessed or used by him. Volume of demonetized currency recovered from office and residential premises of appellant, including bank drafts in favour of fictitious persons and also new currency notes for huge amount, leave no manner of doubt that it was outcome of some process or activity connected with proceeds of crime projecting property as untainted property. Possession of such huge quantum of demonetized currency and new currency in form of Rs.2000/­ notes, without disclosing source from where it is received and purpose for which it was received, appellant had failed to dispel legal presumption that he was involved in money­laundering and property was proceeds of crime. Thus, opinion of Sessions Court and High Court rejecting prayer for grant of regular bail to appellant was not to be interferred with.

Refer:[2017] 87 taxmann.com 260 (SC)
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Monetary limit set by CBDT for filing appeal binding on department except in cases decided contrary to SC ruling

For reduction of arrears in Supreme Court, High Courts and Tribunals, Legislation had thought it fit to put some prohibition on department and had, therefore, amended section 268A(4) with retrospective effect and accordingly CBDT circulars were issued instructing subordinate officers that no appeal shall lie, except on a question of law, from an order where monetary limit of tax effect is lesser than that stipulated for different appellate fora. Said Circulars would be binding on subordinate officers. Department cannot take a contrary view and insist for arguing matter on merits (Majority view)

• Circular issued by the CBDT under Section 268A is binding on Department and, thus, no appeal can be filed if it is barred; however, in those cases where issue decided by Commissioner (Appeals) or Tribunal is contrary to ratio propounded by Supreme Court on same issue, Department can prefer an appeal (Minority view).
Refer:[2017] 87 taxmann.com 239 (Rajasthan)
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Govt. constitutes Task Force for drafting new Direct Tax law

The Government has constituted a Task Force in order to review the Income-tax Act and to draft a new Direct Tax Law in consonance with economic needs of the country. The Task Force will set its own procedures for regulating its work and shall submit its report to the Government within six months(taxmann)
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43.67 lakh biz file initial GST returns for October

New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) As many as 43.67 lakh businesses have filed the initial GSTR-3B returns for the month of October -- the highest monthly return filing within due date, GST Network said today.

The last date of GSTR-3B filing, which is the initial sales return, for October was yesterday.

Around 56 per cent of the registered taxpayers filed their GSTR-3B returns for October within due date.

"The number of taxpayers filing their GSTR-3B returns is showing marked improvement month after month with about 43.67 lakh of them filing their GSTR-3B returns for October till November 20, 2017, the highest so far," GSTN said in a statement.

As many as 39.33 lakh returns were filed within due date for September and 28.46 lakh for August and 33.98 lakh for July.

"There is steady rise in the number of taxpayers filing their GSTR-3B returns every month which is encouraging to see.

The trend of taxpayers filing their returns on the last day continues though. Taxpayers are urged to file their returns early to avoid last minute hassles," GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar said.

As many as 14.76 lakh taxpayers filed their returns on the GST Network portal yesterday.

Punjab took the lead once again over all other states in filing the highest number of GSTR-3B returns for October.

About 73.09 per cent of the taxpayers in Punjab filed their GSTR-3B returns for October so far, GSTN said.(PTI)
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