Get income tax refund in one day from 2020

– The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared an ambitious Rs 4,242 crore project for e-filling and centralised processing of income tax return, which will allow taxpayers to get a refund in one day through a pre-filled tax return form, the Times of India reported.
– Currently, the average time taken for return processing and giving a refund is 63 days, which will get reduced to one day, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, said.

By 2020 taxpayers will have their income tax filing system run not by “Sarkari” IT teams but by IT major Infosys. The union cabinet on Wednesday cleared a Rs 4240 crore worth proposal that promises to trim down processing of returns from the current average of 63 days to just one day.

In a post cabinet briefing, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said that the “Integrated E-filing and Centralised Processing Centre 2.0 Project” of the Income Tax Department is likely to be completed in 18 months. He added that the system will be launched for operations after a three month testing period.

The minister said that Infosys was not handpicked but was selected after a bidding process was carried out.

They key element of the proposed system is that it cuts down the physical intervention by the Income Tax department in the return filing and refund process.

The government feels that smoother, transparent and accountable tax filing system with less official interface will go a far way in improving tax compliance.

The government handled an unprecedented volume of tax returns in the current fiscal. Goyal said a whopping amount of 1.83 lakh crore has been issued as tax refund. Refunds are issued after a cumbersome scrutiny process. The government is bound to pay interest in case of a delay. The new system will result in speedy refunds which will be credited directly to taxpayers’ bank account. The faster system will reduce refund time for taxpayers and cut down government’s outgo.

The taxpayer friendly.e-filing and Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) projects will have end-to-end automation of all processes within the I-T Department. Goyal said that the idea is to “promote voluntary compliance”.

The old system CPC-ITR 1.0 has been given an extension and sanction of Rs 1450 crore for the year 2018-2019. This system will be used till the new one becomes operational.


Source: Times of India

Auditors barred from putting a value on companies they are auditing

An income tax tribunal has barred auditors from issuing valuation certificates to the companies they are auditing. This is set to impact several tax disputes around valuations in companies including angel tax disputes involving start-ups.

The Bangalore Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) said that auditors of a company cannot double up as accountants especially in situations while dealing with “share valuation for the purpose of excess share-premium taxability.”

In several cases the income tax department has disputed valuations of companies around the time of investments.

The ITAT ruling came in a case where the tax department had challenged valuation of a company by its auditor.

In most cases, valuations of startups were challenged by the tax department, leading to “angel tax.” The angel tax controversy surrounds the valuations during various rounds of startup funding. In several cases, the revenues at startups kept reducing or remained stagnant, but their valuations increased. The taxman is questioning the premiums paid by the investors and wants to categorise them as income that would be taxable at 30%. In most cases, the investments made by angel investors, venture capital funds or any other investor have been challenged by the taxman.

Many accountants and valuers are already facing heat from the tax department. ET had, on December 25, reported that the tax department has started issuing show-cause notices to valuation experts, questioning the premiums several startups fetched during their investments rounds.

Valuation experts, however, say that they merely projected and calculated future growth, using the facts and figures provided by the startups. Many tax experts point out that the tax department’s approach to the fair value as a benchmark for calculating premiums may not be accurate in the context of startups.

Income tax officers claim that the scrutiny on startups is mainly due to concerns that black money may have changed hands.

ITAT Ruling

32nd GST Council Meeting – Key Takeaways

32nd GST Council Meeting took decision with respect to GST turnover limit – Rs 40 lakhs (from Rs. 20 lakhs) and composition scheme limit raised to Rs. 1.5 crore – changes would be effective from 1st April 2019. The Government took steps provide compliance relief to small businesses.

Outcome of 32nd GST Council Meeting -The highlights of the reliefs announced by FM Arun Jaitley are as below:

1. Threshold limit for GST Registration increased to 40 Lakhs
Effective April 1, the GST exemption threshold has been raised from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 40 lakh. For hilly states and those in the North East, the threshold has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh.

Earlier in a press talk AP FM said increased to 50lakhs, but it is increased to 40lakhs only as said by FM

2. Power to states
Now states will be able to choose if they want to keep the GST exemption limit at Rs 20 lakh or Rs 40 lakh, Jaitley said.

3. Composition limit increased to 1.5Cr from the present 1 Cr

The existing Composition Scheme turnover threshold raised to Rs 1.5 crore.

GST turnover limit and composition scheme changes would be effective from 1st April 2019.

4 Quarterly payment and Annual Return
Now Composition tax payers will pay tax quarterly, but file returns annually.

5 New Composition scheme for Services providers
Those providing services or mixed supplies (goods and services) with a turnover up to Rs 50 lakhs will now be entitled to avail composition scheme.

6 Rate for services under comp scheme @ 6%
Compounding rate for services under composition scheme is fixed at 6 percent.

7 Real Estate
A committee has been set up to consider real estate GST rates, a consensus is yet to be achieved, says FM Arun Jaitley.

8 Consensus for Calamity cess in Kerela @1%
GST Council has given approval to  Kerala to levy Disaster / Calamity cess of 1%  on all intra-state supplies of goods and services within Kerala, for up to 2 years.

GST Council slashes Rate on Certain Services

GST Council in the 31-meeting held on 22 December, 2018 at New Delhi took following decisions relating to changes in GST rates on goods and services. The decisions of the GST Council have been presented in this note for easy understanding. The same would be given effect to through Gazette notifications/ circulars which shall have force of law.

GST rate reduction on goods which were attracting GST rate of 28%:

28% to 18%

Pulleys, transmission shafts and cranks, gear boxes etc., falling under HS Code 8483

Monitors and TVs of upto screen size of 32 inches

Re-treaded or used pneumatic tyres of rubber;

Power banks of lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries are already at 18%. This will bring parity in

GST rate of power bank and lithium ion battery.

Digital cameras and video camera recorders

Video game consoles and other games and sports requisites falling under HS code 9504.

 28% to 5%

Parts and accessories for the carriages for disabled persons

GST rate reduction on other goods –

18% to 12%

Cork roughly squared or debagged

Articles of natural cork

Agglomerated cork

18% to 5%

Marble rubble

12% to 5%

Natural cork

Walking Stick

Fly ash Blocks

12% to Nil

Music Books

5% to Nil

Vegetables, (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water), frozen, branded and put in a unit container

Vegetable provisionally preserved (for example by sulphur dioxide gas, in brine, in sulphur water or in other preservative solutions), but unsuitable in that state for immediate consumption.

III. GST on solar power generating plant and other renewable energy plants

GST rate of 5% rate has been prescribed on renewable energy devices & parts for their manufacture (bio gas plant/solar power based devices, solar power generating system (SGPS) etc) [falling under chapter 84, 85 or 94 of the Tariff]. Other goods or services used in these plants attract applicable GST.

Certain disputes have arisen regarding GST rates where specified goods attracting 5% GST are supplied along with services of construction etc and other goods for solar power plant.

To resolve the dispute the Council has recommended that in all such cases, the 70% of the gross value shall be deemed as the value of supply of said goods attracting 5% rate and the remaining portion (30%) of the aggregate value of such EPC contract shall be deemed as the value of supply of taxable service attracting standard GST rate.

 Reduction in GST rates/exemptions on services:

GST rate on cinema tickets above Rs. 100 shall be reduced from 28% to 18% and on cinema tickets upto Rs. 100 from 18% to 12%.

GST rate on third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles shall be reduced from 18% to 12%

Services supplied by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holders under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) shall be exempted.

Air travel of pilgrims by non-scheduled/charter operations, for religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Government of India under bilateral arrangements shall attract the same rate of GST as applicable to similar flights in Economy class (i.e. 5% with ITC of input services).

Source: GST Rate reductions made during 31st Meeting of the GST Council

GST Council extends Due Dates for Annual Returns and other GST Returns

GST Council grants mega relief to taxpayers – ITC for last FY invoices allowed upto March 31, 2019 + New GST Return to be launched on trial basis from April 1, 2019 + amendment in Sec 50 to allow payment of interest on net cash liability

The 31st GST Council meeting concluded today under the guidance of Union Minister Arun Jaitley has taken some important decisions including the due date extension for GST Annual Returns and some other Returns.

As per the recommendation of the Council, the due date for furnishing the annual returns in FORM GSTR-9, FORM GSTR-9A and reconciliation statement in FORM GSTR-9C for the Financial Year 2017 – 2018 shall be further extended till 30.06.2019.

Further, the due date for furnishing FORM GSTR-8 by e-commerce operators for the months of October, November and December 2018 shall be extended till 31.01.2019.

The due date for submitting FORM GST ITC-04 for the period July 2017 to December 2018 shall be extended till 31.03.2019. ITC in relation to invoices issued by the supplier during FY 2017-18 may be availed by the recipient till the due date for furnishing of FORM GSTR-3B for the month of March 2019, subject to specified conditions.

All the supporting documents/invoices in relation to a claim for refund in FORM GST RFD-01A shall be uploaded electronically on the common portal at the time of filing of the refund application itself, thereby obviating the need for a taxpayer to physically visit a tax office for submission of a refund application.

GSTN will enable this functionality on the common portal shortly. The due date for the taxpayers who did not file the complete FORM GST REG-26 but received only a Provisional ID (PID) till 31.12.2017 for furnishing the requisite details to the jurisdictional nodal officer shall be extended till 31.01.2019.

Also, the due date for furnishing FORM GSTR-3B and FORM GSTR-1 for the period July 2017 to February, 2019/quarters July 2017 to December 2018 by such taxpayers shall be extended till 31.03.2019

Late fee shall be completely waived for all taxpayers in case FORM GSTR-1, FORM GSTR-3B &FORM GSTR-4 for the months/quarters July, 2017 to September, 2018, are furnished after 22.12.2018 but on or before 31.03.2019.


Source: Recommendations-made-during-31st-Meeting-of-the-GST Council



CBDT warns Cash Transactions above Permissible Limits

CBDT warns Cash Transactions above Permissible Limits

With a view to promoting cashless transactions, the Central Board of Direct Taxes ( CBDT ) has issued an advisory on its official website regarding cash transactions over and above the prescribed limits specified under the law.


The advisory issued by the Board remind the taxpayers to not accept cash of two lakh or more in aggregate from a single person in a day or for one or more transactions relating to one event or occasion.


One of the major steps introduced by the Government after the demonetization was to restrict cash transaction above Rs. 2 lakh rupees.


Under the Finance Act, 2017, the amounts in excess of Rs. 20,000 or more shall be received or repaid in cash for transfer of Immovable Property and amount more than Rs. 10,000/- in cash relating to the expenditure of business/profession was also banned.


Further, amount in excess of Rs. 2,000/- in cash cannot be donated to a registered trust /political party.


The department further reminded that the contravention may result in the levy of tax/ penalty.


The CBDT advisory said that any payment made in cash on account of the premium on health insurance facilities is not allowable as a deduction under section 80D of the Income Tax Act.


“Any information regarding black money including information about undisclosed income/ assets (both in India as well as abroad) and Benami transactions can be given to the jurisdictional Director General/ Pr. General of Income Tax (Investigation),” it said.


The CBDT has recently announced a new scheme called Income Tax Informants Rewards Scheme 2018 through which the department will reward up to 5 crore rupees to informants.


The scheme regulates grant and payment of reward to a person who is an informant under this scheme.


Also, the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme 2018 has been announced for regulating grant for informants giving information relating to benami property actionable under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.

GSTN enables facility to claim Refund of Tax due to any Other Reason

The facility to claim Refund on account of any other reason has now enabled in the Goods and Services Tax Network ( GSTN ).

In statement released today, the official twitter account of the GSTN tweeted that “Facility to claim Refund on account of any other reason has been enabled on GST Portal for the taxpayers.”

Last day, the GST portal had updated a new functionality enabling the taxpayers to claim refund on account of excess payment of tax.

“Facility to claim refund on account of excess payment of tax has been enabled on GST Portal for the taxpayers,” GSTN said in a statement. On Tuesday, the GSTN had updated two new features such as, the facility to upload statement 4 for Refund and the facility for amendment in Registration of Core fields.