Tax clarity for subsidiary model of foreign banks

Source: Business Standard, Nov 20, 2017

New Delhi: The government has proposed to make it clear which foreign banks converting their branches in India into subsidiaries would be exempt from capital gains tax. Experts said this would address the tax concerns of foreign banks planning to operate in India via the subsidiary route. But non-tax matters would still guide their plans.

After the RBI had issued a framework for converting foreign banks’ branches into subsidiaries in 2013, only DBS Bank and State Bank of Mauritius had received in-principle approval to adopt this route. The income-tax department recently came out with a draft notification that gave detailed operational conditions to ensure foreign banks converting branches into subsidiaries were exempted from capital gains tax. It also proposed to allow carry forward of minimum alternate tax credit.

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Approvals to start-ups for tax sops multiply as govt softens stand

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 18, 2017

New Delhi: Faced with criticism over the slow pace of approvals to start-ups for tax sops, the government has speeded-up the process with as many as 55 ventures getting the go-ahead in the on-going fiscal so far as opposed to just 10 approved in the last financial year.

“Approvals will be even faster in the coming months as now the inter-ministerial board (IMB) is giving reasons to applicants for non-approval and is allowing start-ups to apply again by making changes in their original proposals,” a government official told BusinessLine. The Prime Minister’s ‘Start Up India’ campaign launched in January 2016 with the objective of boosting entrepreneurship and creating more jobs across the country has been losing some sheen because of the low levels of tax incentives on offer and the handful of start-ups that qualified for it.

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Cabinet approves CGST refund scheme

download (9).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Aug 17, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government has approved a new metro rail policy, a scheme to refund central goods and services tax ( CGST) to industrial units in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East ctill 2027, and changes to strategic disinvestment policy to speed up decision-making. The cabinet cleared the CGST refund scheme with a budgetary allocation of Rs 27,413 crore, which will come as a big relief to sectors like pharma, automobiles, FMCG.

These units, which hitherto enjoyed exemption from central excise for 10 years, will get a refund of 58 per cent of CGST. “Within the framework of the GST Act, each industry will be entitled to its own refund mechanism during this particular period (until March 31, 2027),” finance minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting of the cabinet that was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Under the new GST regime rolled out on July 1, there is no provision for exemptions. Central or state governments, however, are empowered to refund their portion of tax.

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Government issues circular to prevent misuse of FTA with South Korea , ASEAN

download.pngSource: The Economic Times, Aug 13, 2017

MUMBAI: The government has taken the first concrete step to deal with duty free imports of gold jewellery and coins from South Korea under ASEAN Free Trade agreement (FTA) , which domestic trade associations allege are distorting the market by putting those importing bullion at 10% duty at a distinct disadvantage.

The finance ministry issued a circular last week asking importers to provide, among others, information about origin of such goods, whether made in South Korea and if so to provide photographs of exporters’ manufacturing facilities, raw material used in their manufacturing, name and address of the manufatcurer, manufacturing capacity etc. Customs would release further consignments from South Korea only if the responses furnished are satisfactory, sources said, amid concerns that some of the jewellery and medallions imported did not allegedly originate in South Korea and were being melted and sold as bullion, against the norms of the treaty.

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Government notifies timeline for filing of tax returns under GST

downloadSource: The Economic Times, Aug 10, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government has notified the dates for furnishing final tax returns for July and August under GST regime.

The GST Council, chaired by FM Arun Jaitley and comprising his state counterparts, had in June allowed more time to businesses for filing final GST returns in forms GSTR-1, GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 for July and August. In the interim period, businesses have to file GSTR-3B, which is a summary of self-assessed tax liabilities with consolidated details of outward supplies and input credit.

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Demonetisation effect: Advance tax collections up 42%, returns filed up 25%

Source: Business Standard, Aug 08, 2017

New Delhi: The effect of demonetisation was clearly seen in the growth of returns and taxes paid by individuals by 5, the extended deadline for filing income tax returns.

The number of returns filed by this date stood at 28.3 million against 22.7 million during the corresponding period 2016-2017, registering an increase of 24.7 per cent. The growth in the same period last year was 9.9 per cent.

The growth in returns filed by individuals is 25.3 per cent with 27.9 million having been received up to August five against 22.3 million in the corresponding period of FY 2016-2017.

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Good, bad and ugly of India’s new national sales tax journey

Source: The Economic Times, July 25, 2017

If there’s one word that sums up the response of India’s businesses and consumers to the country’s new national sales tax, it’s ‘confused.’

Will premium economy seats be taxed as economy class or business? Is a chocolate-coated biscuit a biscuit or chocolate? These are the questions now troubling businesses large and small across India’s $2.3 trillion economy.

The roll out of the goods and services tax came less than a year after the government’s shock withdrawal of 86 percent of the nation’s currency, which helped knock India’s GDP growth down to 6.1 percent from 7.1 percent in the January-March quarter and eliminated as many as 1.5 million jobs.

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