The income tax department has discovered several cases where taxpayers have taken credit for payment of "self-assessment tax" without actually making the payment. Such tax arrears are pegged at around Rs 5,000 crore. The non-payment of dues has resulted in the department not being able to process income tax returns (ITRs) for the last financial year. Tax authorities are now approaching the assessees to pay up the tax dues immediately. Sources in the department said that several of these taxpayers had assured to pay the arrears but have not yet deposited the tax money.
I-T Department's Delhi division has begun scrutiny of real estate transactions where cash payments exceeding Rs 20,000 have been made. I-T Department had visited the office of Sub-registrar to scan all the registries for property purchases made from June 1, 2015, to December 2018 where cash payment above Rs 20,000 was made, a senior I-T Department official said. Section 269SS of the Income Tax Act was amended to prohibit cash payments above Rs 20,000 for purchase of any property including agriculture land. A penalty of an equal amount is imposed on the seller for violation of the law u/s 271D.
Oyo Hotels & Homes has received income tax notices for non-deduction of tax deducted at source (TDS) on payments made by the company in assessment year 2016-17. The income tax department in December had passed an order against the company and Oyo has filed an appeal against the order this week. In September last year, Softbank Vision Fund infused $800 million funding in Oyo, valuing the company at over $ 5 billion. Oyo claims it is present in more than 500 cities across India, China, Malaysia, Nepal, the UK, UAE and Indonesia, with over 13,000 hotels and 3,000 homes in its portfolio.
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Vodafone's plea seeking income tax refund of Rs 4,800 crore. The top court has issued a notice to the taxman and has sought its reply within four weeks. Vodafone had challenged the Delhi High Court's December order which struck down the group's demand for I-T refund. Vodafone had filed a plea before the high court seeking directions to the I-T Department to expeditiously process its refund claim of over Rs 4,800 crore for the assessment years (AYs) 2014-15 to 2017-18.
The government on Wednesday said IT major Infosys will develop the next-generation income tax filing system for Rs 4,241.97 crore which will cut down the processing time for returns to one day from 63 days and expedite refunds. Union minister Piyush Goyal also informed that tax refunds worth Rs 1.83 lakh crore have been issued so far in the current fiscal.
In a bid to meet revenue targets, tax officials have started issuing prosecution notices to directors of several multinational companies (MNCs). According to sources, prosecution notices have been sent to atleast 500 MNCs including Google, Facebook, Samsonite and KraftHeinz. Notices are being sent to companies for varied reasons such as that filing delayed tax returns, those that have not appealed against the department’s order before any appellate authorities but also didn’t pay the demand amount, companies that have challenged the penalty levied by the tax department, companies that failed to pay self-assessment tax, and those that haven’t deposited TDS.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is due to present the interim budget on February 1, may raise the individual income exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh, sources said. The government is not expected to make indirect tax policy changes and rationalisation of custom duties. The union budget 2018-19 would be the last full budget of the BJP-led NDA government before the 2019 general elections. This will be the sixth consecutive budget to be presented by Jaitley.
As per Income tax rules, when a person dies, his/her legal representative shall be liable to pay the tax dues and file the income tax return. The legal heir would need to register himself as a representative on the income-tax portal along with valid documents. Once the request is approved by the department, the person can file the return as legal heir of the deceased. To surrender PAN, an application to the assessing officer (AO) has to be submitted with details such as reasons for surrender (i.e. death of the holder), name, PAN and copy of death certificate.
The Income tax department imposed liabilities of over Rs 100 crore on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on reassessment of income relating to Associated Journals Ltd for the assessment year 2011-12. The I-T department reassessed incomes of Sonia Gandhi at Rs 155.1 crore while that of Rahul Gandhi at Rs 154.96 crore. Rahul Gandhi had declared an income of Rs 68.12 lakh. Congress leader P. Chidambaram appearing for Sonia Gandhi before the Supreme Court said that a tax liability of Rs 44 crore against the former Congress president had been erroneously imposed by the I-T department without application of mind.
A record 62.1 million Income tax returns (ITR) have been filed this fiscal till December 30, registering a growth of 43% over the same period last year. The government expects income tax returns to touch 70 million this year. The highest number of filings are of ITR-1 at 30 million. The department has also issued refunds worth Rs 1.31 lakh crore, up 17.02%, to 24 million taxpayers this fiscal so far, refuting concerns of delayed refunds to meet the government’s fiscal deficit target. Gross direct tax collections grew 14.11% to Rs 8.74 lakh crore up to December 31, 2018.
CBDT chairman, Sushil Chandra has directed all Principal Chief Commissioners of Income tax to step up efforts to maximise tax collections. The growth in direct tax collections has been slow and unsatisfactory. The CBDT chief suggested targeted surveys, sale of attached properties by tax recovery officers to recover confirmed demand and filing prosecution complaints in courts against wilful defaulters who are evading payment of outstanding taxes. The taxmen have also been asked to verify advance tax payments and timely complete regular assessments in cases where demand is likely to be raised and collected during the current fiscal.
The government has retained the 8% interest rate on the Public Provident Fund (PPF) for the January to March quarter. PPF offers deduction benefits up to Rs 1.5 lakh on deposits and tax exemption on interest and withdrawals. An investor can make annual contributions upto Rs 1.5 lakh. A subscriber can avail loan of 25% of the balance amount available. The loan has to be repaid within 36 months. PPF has maturity period of 15 years, extendable any number of times, and can be closed prematurely after completion of five years for specific reasons like higher education or medical treatment.
Recently the government notified withdrawals from National Pension System (NPS) completely tax free. NPS offers two types of accounts: Tier I and Tier II. Investment in Tier I account offers numerous income tax benefits but withdrawal by subscribers is not permitted till the age of 60 with few exceptions. I-T rules offers deduction of Rs 50,000 u/s 80CCD (1B) under Tier-I NPS account in addition to the Rs 1.50 lakh deduction u/s 80C, 80CCC (investment in pension plan offered by an insurer) and Section 80CCD (1). Investment in NPS is available to both salaried individual and self-employed.
As per the amended provisions, a resident (other than an individual) which enters into a financial transaction aggregating to Rs 250,000 or more in a financial year is mandatorily required to apply for and obtain a PAN. The key managerial personnel, Managing Director, Director, Partner, etc. would also be required to apply for a PAN within the timeline as applicable to the resident entity in which they hold such position. The new PAN card rules are expected to widen the tax base and help the government and tax authorities to have more control on entities entering into financial transactions above the limit.
Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said that the income tax department seized assets worth Rs 992.52 crore while 582 search and seizure operations were conducted during 2017-18. The values of assets seized during 2016-17 was Rs 1,469.62 crore while the total number of search and seizure operations stood at 1,152. Shukla said the direct tax-GDP ratio improved to 5.98% in 2017-18, from 5.57% in 2016-17.