New Delhi, April 1, 2017

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Finance Bill 2017 to give effect to provisions like bar on cash transactions above Rs 2 lakh and compulsory quoting of Aadhaar for filing tax returns. “The President was kind enough to give his assent to the Finance Bill before he left for official visit to Assam yesterday,” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told PTI here.

With this, the provisions of the Finance Bill come into effect from today, he said. This is the first-time ever the annual Budget together with taxation proposals have come into effect from the first day of the financial year. Scrapping a colonial-era tradition of presenting the Budget at the end of February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had for the first time in the history of independent India presented the annual accounts on February 1.

March 30, 2017

Parliament today approved the Finance Bill 2017 after the Lok Sabha rejected five amendments moved to it by the Upper House with regard to curbing more powers to taxmen and a cap on donation by companies to political parties.

Winding up the debate on amendments passed by the Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said they cannot be accepted by the government, but invited suggestions from political parties, including the Congress and the BJD, to make electoral funding more clean and transparent.

New Delhi, March 30, 2017

In a setback to the government, as many as five amendments moved by the opposition to the Finance Bill were adopted by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday even as the House witnessed sharp exchanges between finance minister Arun Jaitley and Congress member P Chidambaram over the move to make Aadhaar compulsory.

Three of the amendments were moved by Congress MP Digvijaya Singh and two by Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M). The amendments were adopted with a significant margin, with the difference of votes ranging between 27 and 34 votes.

New Delhi, March 27, 2017

Govt giving push to crony capitalism: Sibal

The Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha are trying to return the Finance Bill to the Lok Sabha with a list of amendments that include nullification of the section that gives power for tax officials to “raid, seize and attach” properties.

The Opposition members ripped apart the Finance Bill during a debate on it in the Upper House on Monday. The members argued that the amendments to about 40 pieces of legislation in the Finance Bill proved that the Modi government is moving towards an authoritarian regime.

New Delhi, March 22, 2017

With the passage of the Finance Bill, the Lok Sabha today completed the Budgetary exercise for 2017-18.

Amidst walkout by the members of the Congress and the BJD, the Finance Bill with 40 amendments was passed by the House by voice vote.

The amendments to the Finance Bill include a provision to cap legal cash transactions at Rs 2 lakh from April 1 got approval. The bill had originally proposed the cap at Rs 3 lakh.

New Delhi, March 21, 2017

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday moved the Finance Bill, 2017, for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha, saying that since it provides for electoral bonds, it required consideration as a Money Bill, which can only be debated in the Lower House. A Finance Bill is ordinarily introduced to give effect to the financial proposals of the government for the next financial year. Replying to a point of order raised by an opposition member of the House, Jaitley said that following the government’s demonetisation drive to curb corruption, various income tax incentives had been introduced, including electoral bonds, to deal with black money in political life. This had necessitated amendments to various Acts, he said.

New Delhi, March 7, 2017

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that the Finance Bill of 2017 would be passed in Parliament before March 31. A Finance Bill is a secret bill that is introduced every year in Lok Sabha after the presentation of the Union Budget by the Finance Minister. The introduction of the finance bill is done so that all financial proposals made by the Government of India in the Union Budget are carried out by ease.

New Delhi, February 19, 2017

Once the Finance Bill 2017 is passed, jewellery will be treated on par with general goods

Cash purchases of jewellery will attract one per cent tax collected at source (TCS) from April 1 if the amount exceeds Rs 2 lakh, as against the current threshold of Rs 5 lakh.

Once the Finance Bill 2017 is passed, jewellery will be treated on par with general goods, which attract one per cent TCS on cash purchase of above Rs 2 lakh.

New Delhi, February 6, 2017

CBDT says clarificatory provision to protect sources but concerns rise over harassment

Hoping to “protect its sources” for conducting search and seizure operations, the Income-Tax Department has proposed that it should be able to carry out such operations if they have “reason to believe” or “reason to suspect” any evasion.

The Finance Bill, 2017 proposes to include an explanation to sub-sections (1) and (1A) of section 132 and sub-section (1) of section 132A of the Income tax Act “to declare that the ‘reason to believe’ or ‘reason to suspect’, as the case may be, shall not be disclosed to any person or any authority or the Appellate Tribunal”.

New Delhi, February 6, 2017

The Government will come out with an “exhaustive list” of transactions on which the “anti—abuse” provision of levying long—term capital gains tax on share transfer in unlisted companies will not be applicable.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra said the provision was introduced in Budget 2017—18 to plug bogus long—term capital gains being availed by investment in penny stocks and put an end to “sham transactions“.

New Delhi, February 5, 2017

In a bid to check generation of black money, a steep penalty awaits those accepting cash in excess of Rs 3 lakh, beginning April 1, to settle any transaction.

A ban on cash transaction of more than Rs 3 lakh has been proposed in the Budget for 2017-18.

In an interview to PTI, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the penalty for doing cash transaction will be steep and the receiver will have to pay an amount equivalent to the cash received.

Mumbai, February 4, 2017

A Budget proposal has forced two siblings to rethink their decision to split their real estate family business. The Mumbai-based brothers are worried that transferring assets from their family trust and transferring and swapping shares from their unlisted companies could now attract tax which, as per the budget proposal, will be anywhere between 20% and 30% if done below a fair market value. They have now approached lawyers and advisors to know the real impact.

"The Budget proposal has created an issue for family settlement wherein if the shares of a private company are owned by a family trust and are transferred to a beneficiary at a value lower than fair market value. The family trust shall be obliged to pay tax on the differential amount between fair market value and the value at which such shares were transferred," said Hemal Mehta, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells.

New Delhi, February 3, 2017

GST laws, rules to be finalised by end March, says Revenue Secretary Adhia

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday ruled out a rethink on the Budget proposal to levy a surcharge of 10 per cent on individuals with taxable income of Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1 crore in a year.

“There is equity in the wealthier paying more and I have given data in the Budget speech to show how non-tax compliant we are as a society,” Jaitley said at the post-Budget interactive session with industry chiefs in the Capital on Friday.

Chennai, February 3, 2017

To revive economy and create employment, the Centre’s focus should be on freeing up bad assets to increase corporate borrowing and skilling people in textile and leather industry, say experts.

Speaking at a panel discussion on the Union Budget 2017 organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Praveen Chakravarty, Senior Fellow, IDFC Institute, said to revive economy and spur growth, we need to free up bad assets that have been festering for the past three years. “There are Rs.15 lakh crore worth of bad assets in corporate and bank balance sheets. It largely impacts how loan decisions are made and corporate’s ability to borrow more. This should have got lot more attention this budget,” Chakravarty said.

Nagpur, February 3, 2017

The budget proposal to fine chartered accountants (CA), for giving wrong certificates for their clients has left the professionals miffed. The finance bill calls for pulling up CAs, merchant bankers and registered valuers for giving incorrect certificates or reports.

The power has been vested in the hands of income tax department's assessing officer or commissioner (appeals). They can levy the fine, if, during the proceedings, it is found that a wrong certificate or report has been submitted.

New Delhi, February 3, 2017

Exemption list will make it clear that FDI coming via automatic route, FIPB won't be impacted: Govt

Allaying investor fears over levy of long-term capital gains tax on share transfer in unlisted companies, the government on Friday said the move is only to target 'khoka' companies and 'genuine investments' in start-ups and through foreign direct investment will be exempt.

New Delhi, February 2, 2017

India is 81% dependent on imports to meet its crude oil need

Encouraging foreign firms to take capacity in India's strategic oil reserves, Budget 2017-18 has exempted them from paying income tax on sale of oil left after the contract for storage in underground caverns has ended.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in the Budget presented on Wednesday, exempted income of foreign company, which books capacity in the strategic storages, from the sale of leftover stock.

Kolkata, February 3, 2017

Renewable energy producers say they have nothing to gain from the Budget’s reduction of tax on income from selling carbon credits to 10% from 30%.

They say the market for carbon credit is almost non-existent and new projects in India cease to be eligible for carbon credits since 2012.

“Carbon credit is a concept developed by the European Union and it applies to countries that form part of the least developed countries list. India ceases to be part of this list since 2012 hence any project set up after 2012 are not eligible for receiving carbon credits,” said Kuldeep Jain, managing director, CleanMax Solar.

New Delhi, February 3, 2017

If the income exceeds Rs 5 lakh, a fee of Rs 5,000 shall be payable

With a view to expedite tax assessments, the revenue department proposes to make it mandatory for tax payers to file I-T returns as well as revised returns by March end of the assessment year (AY).

The department, in the memorandum to Finance Bill 2017, has also proposed a fee for delayed filing of income tax returns. In case of people whose total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, Rs 1,000 fee would be charged.

New Delhi, February 2, 2017

ADR, the noted citizen watchdog, explains why the reform is much ado about nothing new

Election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has said the measures announced in the Union Budget on political funding would be “inconsequential” in cleansing of hidden wealth.

In a detailed critique, ADR said the government showed “lack of political will” in proposing real reforms. It said the proposed measures lacked teeth and political funding would continue to remain “opaque”. It said the measures fell way short of Election Commission (EC) and Law Commission recommendations.

New Delhi, February 2, 2017

The proposal is bound to have implications on MNC tax liability and cash flows, say tax experts

India has taken the next big step in its transfer pricing framework with the Budget ushering in the concept of ‘secondary adjustments’.

The move, which aligns the country’s transfer pricing provisions with OECD transfer pricing guidelines, will have implications for MNCs’ tax liability and cash flows, say tax experts.

New Delhi, February 2, 2017

Govt intends to amend I-T Act to give more power to assessing officer in cases of search and seizure

Proposed changes in the procedural rules involving search and seizure operations by income-tax authorities has had the effect of setting the cat among pigeons, making India Inc jittery.

As per Finance Bill 2017, the government proposes to amend the Income-Tax Act to give more powers to the assessing officer in cases of search and seizures. The tax officer is not required to give any reason to the taxpayer or the appellate authorities the grounds under which the search was undertaken. This has been done to maintain confidentiality and sensitivity of the search proceedings, coming into play with retrospective effect from April 1, 1962.

Mumbai, February 2, 2017

This will bring down capital gains especially in case of property transactions

Capital gains on sales of assets such as property and gold will decline after the proposal to shift the base year for calculation of the indexation benefit from 1981 to 2001, as announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The cost index helps to increase the price of acquisition of an asset by taking inflation into account.

To calculate the capital gains at the time of selling any property purchased before 1981, its purchase price is now calculated on the basis of the fair market value of 1981. Calculation at the fair market value of 2001 will increase the cost of acquisition and lower the capital gain.

New Delhi, February 2, 2017

Continuing the crackdown against the dishonest and the corrupt, the Budget proposed that if an accountant or a merchant banker or a registered valuer, furnishes incorrect information in a report or certificate, he shall be liable to a penalty of Rs 10,000 for each such default.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the present burden of taxation is mainly on honest tax payers and salaried employees who are showing their income correctly.