The Finance Bill 2017, as passed by the Lok Sabha today, is available for download. There are several important and landmark amendments proposed in the said Bill.
The Finance Bill has 40 amendments. The amendments to the Finance Bill include a provision to cap legal cash transactions at Rs 2 lakh from 1st April. The bill had originally proposed the cap at Rs 3 lakh. Arun Jaitley, the Hon’ble Finance Minister, said the cap on cash transactions is being reduced to curb generation of black money and the move to introduce electoral bonds is for cleansing the political funding.
Besides, amendments to the Companies Act, the Employees Provident Fund Act, Smuggling and Foreign Exchange Act, TRAI Act and Information Technology Act were passed.
One of the important amendments is making Aadhaar number mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns to curb tax evasion and frauds.
The Bill was passed by the House by voice vote. Unfortunately, there as a walkout by the members of the Congress and the BJD.
The CBDT has issued a directive dated 20.03.2017 stating that some Government servants are unauthorisedly communicating with the Press either in their own name or in pseudonymous names. It has warned that such unauthorised communication with the Press is a “serious misconduct” which is liable to appropriate action (including disciplinary action). The CBDT has directed the concerned cadre controlling authorities to view such misconduct seriously
The Government has proposed several landmark amendments to the Finance Bill 2017 including provisions relating to the appointment of, and remuneration to, the ITAT Members. There is also a controversial provision to make the Aadhar card mandatory for filing income-tax returns. The amendments to the Finance Bill also provides for amendments to the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, Consumer Protection Act, Administrative Tribunals Act, Income Tax Act, Cinematograph Act, Customs Act, Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, Electricity Act, Armed Forces Tribunal Act 2007 and the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 to bring the pay, qualifications, appointment, term of service, resignation, removal and terms and conditions of service under the Finance Act, Section 179
Hon’ble Sushil Chandra, the Chairman of the CBDT, has issued a directive dated 17.03.2017 in which he has made his displeasure at the “unsatisfactory performance in the area of recovery” very clear. The learned Chairman has relied on facts and figures and stated that the achievement in some regions “is even worse than the national average, which itself is very low”. He has also argued that the collections till February 2017 have a “miserably low ratio”
The CBDT has vide Order No. 35 of 2017 dated 09.03.2017 promoted several officers to the grade of Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (HAG scale of pay (Rs. 67,000 – 79,0001-) (pre-revised) by maintaining their inter- se-seniority w.e.f. the date of assumption of charge of the post. The CBDT has also stated that the promotion of certain officers will be on notional basis from the date their juniors were promoted and actually from the date of assumption of charge of the post, whichever is earlier
Hon’ble Sushil Chandra, the Chairman of the CBDT, has addressed a letter dated 7th March 2017 to the Principal Chief Commissioners of Income-tax in which he has bluntly observed that the work relating to the filing of prosecution complaints and disposal of compounding applications “is not upto the mark”. The learned Chairman has opined that prosecution proceedings can be successfully initiated in several cases of entry operators including those concerning bogus LTCG claims, cases rejected by Settlement Commission etc. He has directed the officers to put in their best and expedite filing of prosecution complaints and disposal of compounding applications
The Chamber Of Tax Consultants, which comprises of leading Advocates and Chartered Accountants, has released a publication which analyses all the provisions of the Finance Bill 2017 in an in-depth and systematic manner.
The USP of the publication is the fact that the discussion is arranged topic-wise. For example, Advocate Rahul Hakani has analyzed the entire proposed law on capital gains and joint development agreement. Likewise, CA Paresh Shah has examined the implications of the proposed amendments relating to international tax. CA Bhavesh Dedhia and CA Paras Gada have meticulously analyzed the provisions relating to transfer pricing. Several other contributors have also provided important insights into the other provisions of the Finance Bill 2017
The CBDT has issued Instruction No. 03/2017 dated 21.02.2017 by which it has meticulously set out the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that has to be followed by the Assessing Officers for verification of cash transactions relating to demonetisation
Hon’ble Justice (Retd) Dev Darshan Sud was given a warm farewell on the occasion of his retirement from the post of Hon’ble President of the ITAT. The Government has appointed a new President in an officiating capacity