The Kerala Budget – 2024

The Kerala State Budget - 2024
The Kerala Budget – 2024
KORAH AND KORAH, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

The Kerala model of development, with its focus on achieving a high human development index and progressing in sustainable development goals, has played a crucial role in its upward trajectory

The finance minister declared that government departments will implement a strategy of destroying used cars and furniture. He went on, estimating revenue of ₹200 Crores.

  • Liquor prices to go up further   

Gallonage fee on Indian Made Foreign Liquor to be increased by ₹10 per litre. An additional revenue of ₹200 Crores expected.

  • Funds allocated for the NoRKA Department Project for Returned Emigrants Scheme
  1.  The NoRKA Department Project for Returned Emigrants project, which was established to assist returnees in earning a living, has been allocated ₹25 Crores.
  2. Additionally, ₹44 have been set aside for the restoration program that would be applied to these sections.
  • Further investments to boost tourism at 20 spots
  1. Steps will be adopted to attract investments of ₹50 Crores towards the tourism industry. 20 destinations will be developed for the purpose.
  2. In the first phase, Varkala, Kollam, Munroe Thuruth, Alappuzha, Munnar, Fort Kochi, Ponnani, Beypore, Kozhikode and Bekal have been identified for this  purpose.
  •         State to attract investments in higher education
  1. A new task force of Pravasi academic experts to be formed to improve the quality of higher education.
  2. Expert meet from Europe, US, Singapore and Middle East will be held in May and June. A higher education transformation initiative global conclave has also been planned.
  3. State will explore the feasibility of setting up foreign universities in Kerala.
  4. Each district will get one upgraded model school. A new grading system will be implemented to evaluate school quality, accompanied by the introduction of residential training programs for teachers.
  5. Furthermore, the General Education Department is set to provide training in artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the state’s proactive approach in  addressing challenges presented by AI and deepfake technology.
  • New Fishing Harbour at Pozhiyoor

A new fishing harbour to come up at Pozhiyoor in Thiruvananthapuram. INR 5 Crores allocated as a preliminary measure.

  • 5 Lakh Houses to be built by next year

INR 1132 Crores allocated for LIFE housing project. 3,71,931 houses have been completed after spending INR 17,104.84 Crores.

  • Safari Parks to be set-up in North Kerala D

Safari parks will be set up in North Kerala to boost tourism. Park will be set up in Nadukani in Taliparamba, Kannur, and a Tiger Safari park in Muthukad in  Kozhikode.

  • Malabar International Port to be developed

An allocation of INR 9.65 Crores have been made for developing the Malabar International Port that is bound to benefit north Kerala and south Karnataka.

  • KSRTC to get new BS6 Standard Buses

The state road transport gets an allocation of INR 128.54 Crores. It will get new BS6 standard buses.

  •  Boost for Startups
  1. INR 10 Crores earmarked for expanding KSUM’s (Kerala Startup Mission) LEAP Centres state-wise.
  2.  INR 6 Crores allocated for startup support initiatives under the “Innovation Acceleration Scheme”
  3.  INR 9 Crores provided as interest subvention for Chief Minister’s Special Assistance scheme for benefiting MSME’s and startups.
  4.  INR 20 Crores earmarked for establishing the Technology Innovation Zone in Kalamasseri KINFRA Hi-Tech Park.
  5.  ‘Unnathi’ – a new scheme to promote entrepreneurship among the ST community, providing financial assistance of INR 10 lakhs to startups.
  6.  KSUM to set up work pods in scenic Kerala locations, attracting global entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.
  • Other Proposals
  1. Sabarimala master plan gets INR 27 Crores.
  2. The MSME sector will receive INR 215 Crores.
  3. The cashew sector has been earmarked INR 53 Crores.
  4. Operation Breakthrough, a project to address flash floods in Kochi city during rains, has been allocated INR 10 Crores.
  5. The Zoological park in Thrissur will be developed to an international level with an allocation of INR 6 Crores.
  6. A Tiger safari park will be established at Muthukad in Kozhikode.
  7. INR 2 Crores has been set aside for the primary expenses of the Naadukani Safari park project, which is estimated to cost INR 300 Crores.
  8. INR 83 Crores have been allocated for soil protection, and INR 78 Crores has been set aside for the safe vegetable project.
  9. INR 40 Crores has been allocated for the Punergeham project, aimed at rehabilitating those living in the coastal areas facing severe erosion. This is double
    the amount allocated in the previous budget.
  10. The government claims to have created 2.36 lakh job opportunities in the agricultural sector.
  11. An investment of INR 200 Crores is envisaged for the Digital University.
  • Concluding Remarks
  1. Despite the Union government’s efforts to stifle Kerala’s economy, Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal asserts that the state’s economic resilience cannot be
    undermined.
  2. Balagopal likens Kerala’s economy to a sunrise, rapidly ascending due to advancements in science and technology.
  3. The Kerala model of development, with its focus on achieving a high human development index and progressing in sustainable development goals, has played a crucial role in this upward trajectory

.

New Section 43B (h) of the Income Tax Act, – Boon or Bane ?

New Section 43B (h) of the Income Tax Act, – Boon or Bane ?

KORAH AND KORAH, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

The Central Government through an amendment in the Income Tax Act, has sought to address the issue of delayed payments that the small-scale sector faces on its sale invoices. Will it adversely affect you?

 

A. Introduction

The Central Government through an amendment in the Income Tax Act, has sought to address the issue of delayed payments that the small-scale sector faces on its sale invoices. While the stated objective of this amendment is laudable, it could have an unintended detrimental effect on various industries & sectors, which would in turn negatively impact the small-scale sector in a major way due to a drop in sales orders for their products & services. To understand the issue, let’s first understand how Section 43B of the Income Tax Act,1961, works.

B. Understanding Section 43B

Section 43B lists certain expenditure like duties, cess, fees, employer’s contribution to PF, gratuity, interest on Bank loans and so on, which as per this Section, can be claimed as business expenditure for arriving at your income tax dues, only after the payment or remittance of such expenditure is done.

In case the business entity has not remitted or paid the amount as on the last day of the Financial Year viz 31 March, this Section gives time till the due date of filing the Tax Return applicable to the Business entity. For easy understanding, let’s take an example:

 

ABC Pvt Ltd has shown Rs 25 lakhs as Gratuity expenses during FY 23-24. However as on 31 March 2024, it has not made this payment. If it however, makes payment on or before 31 Oct 2024, which is the due date for filing the Income Tax Return of companies, then ABC Pvt Ltd would be able to claim the Gratuity as a legitimate business expense for arriving at the taxable profit for FY 2023-24.

C. Section 43B(h) relating to payments to Micro & Small Enterprises

An amendment which is creating heartburn among business owners has been done by inserting clause (h) in Section 43B.

Clause (h) states “any sum payable by the assessee to a micro or small enterprise beyond the time limit specified in section 15 of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 (27 of 2006),”

On a quick reading of this clause, it would appear that like the other expenditure items listed in the other clauses of Section 43B, these amounts payable to micro & small enterprises, will, if not paid before the year end, get the extended time for payment, till the due date of filing the Income Tax Return.

However on a further reading of the Section, we find that this benefit of extended time will not apply to this new clause (h). In other words, if there are any amounts remaining payable to micro & small enterprises as on 31 March & if they are not paid within the time limits specified in section 15 of the MSMED Act, then these amounts would be disallowed as business expenses, while computing the tax payable of your Business.

This could result in huge tax & interest liability for FY 2023-24, if your Business has large outstanding payables to micro & small enterprises as on 31 March 24.

D. Applicability & Time Limits specified in the MSMED Act, 2006

You may have seen from the above, that clause (h) refers to micro & small enterprises as defined under the MSMED Act.

Those entities with an investment in Plant & Machinery below INR 10 Crores & an Annual Turnover of INR 50 Crores or less, will come under this definition. Many of your Vendors would therefore, based on these thresholds, be ‘Micro & Small’ enterprises. One major exception to this would be ‘Traders’, since only Manufacturers & Service Providers are covered under the definition of ‘enterprise’ as per the MSMED Act.

 

Now, coming to time limits to make the payments. Well, this depends on whether you have an agreement with the micro/small vendor. If there is an agreement, then the time limit would be the time specified as per the Agreement However, in such cases it cannot exceed 45 days (even if the Agreement stipulates a longer credit period). In case there is no Agreement, then the time limit for settling invoices is as short as 15 days!

E. The Pain Points

Various Industry Associations have sent appeals & memoranda to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister & the Industries Minister, requesting re-consideration of the strict timelines for payment to Vendors, which will result in large amounts of expenses being disallowed, which in turn will mean huge Tax & interest liabilities.

Many large businesses who usually enjoy a 60-to-90-day credit period, have started cancelling orders that they had placed on micro & small enterprises during the recent past.

This in turn has had a huge negative impact on such small-scale vendors, who anticipating the usual stream of orders had made purchases of raw materials & consumables.

Hence an amendment that should have helped such vendors improve their liquidity, could actually result in plummeting sales, which in turn will drastically affect their liquidity position !

F. As a business person, what steps should you take now?

  1. First identify your vendors, who are Manufacturers or Service Providers.
  2. Then check with them, if they are Micro or Small enterprises as per the thresholds of investment in Plant & Machinery and Turnover stipulated in the MSMED Act.
  3. If yes, obtain a Declaration from them confirming their status.
  4. Thereafter, make sure you clear their outstanding balance before 31 March 2024 to the extent possible, especially older invoices which would cross the 45-day limit as on 31 March.

 

Changes in GST from 1st October 2023

Changes in GST from 1st October 2023

Changes in GST from 1st October 2023

KORAH AND KORAH, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

 

Composition Dealers can now make intra-state supplies of goods through E-Commerce Operators
  • Small taxpayers (having an aggregate turnover of up to INR 1.5 Crores in a year) have an option to pay GST under the Composition Scheme at 1%/6% instead of the normal rates subject to certain conditions.
  • One such condition was the fact that these taxpayers cannot supply goods through E-Commerce Operators.
  • However, now, Composition Dealers are allowed to make intra-state supplyof goods through E-Commerce Operators.

 

No ITC (Input Tax Credit) on goods purchased or/and services availed in relation to CSR activities
  • ITC is blocked in respect of goods purchased or/and services availed in relation to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities as provided for under Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • However, for any voluntary CSR activities (other than what is mandated by the Companies Act, 2013), ITC shall be available.

 

Time limit for filing belated GST Returns
  • Provisions have been inserted in the Act to restrict a registered person from filing GSTR 1 (return for outward supplies), GSTR 3B (return for payment of GST), GSTR 9 (annual return) and GSTR 7 (TDS return) after the expiry of a period of 3 years from the due-date of furnishing the return(s) for the said period.

 

No GST liability on RCM (Reverse Charge Basis) on Ocean Freight Services
  • In respect of services provided or agreed to be provided by a person located in a place outside India to a person in India by way of transportation of goods by a vessel, there will be no IGST leviable on such services on RCM basis.
  • Earlier, the IGST rate on such services was 5%
Zero-Rated Supplies’ to include supplies made to SEZs (Special Economic Zones) if only made for ‘authorized operations’
  • Now, supplies to SEZs would be treated as ‘Zero-Rated Supplies’ if only made for authorized operations.
  • Suppliers in DTAs (Domestic Tariff Areas) are required to obtain an endorsement from the jurisdictional officer of SEZ for the matter of “authorized operations” (for manufacturing or rendering of services) in case of supply of goods and services to SEZ through the SEZ online portal.
  • Though the same was mentioned in the Rules, it was not included within the provisions of the Act.
GST of 28% on Online Gaming and Casinos
  • Registration is now mandatory for a person supplying online money gaming services from outside India to a person in India. Form GSTR-5A is also required to be filed on a monthly basis once registered.
  • Tax @ 28% has been levied for such services and the supplier of such actionable claims has to pay GST on forward charge. In case, advances are received for such services from the players, GST is liable on such advances received

  • The value of such services shall be the total amount paid or payable to or deposited with the supplier (including cryptocurrency) by or on behalf of the player. Further, any amount returned or refunded by the supplier to the player for any reason shall not be deductible from the value of supply of online money gaming.
Union Budget 2023

Union Budget 2023

THE UNION BUDGET 2023

KORAH AND KORAH, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

 

Do not Skip! – The Disclaimer
  • This presentation summarizes the important proposals in a lucid manner based on the Finance Bill which was presented in the Parliament on the 1st of February 2023. These proposals are subject to further amendments before they are enacted.
  • This presentation is not an offer, invitation, or solicitation of any kind. Utmost care has been taken while preparing this presentation, the views and opinion expressed are that of the writers.
  • The readers are requested to kindly verify and check the facts before acting on them as this presentation is meant for general guidance and no responsibility for loss arising to any person acting or refraining from acting, as a result of any material contained in this presentation will be accepted by the Firm or its associates
  • It is recommended that professional and expert guidance or advice is to be taken based on the specific facts and circumstances. This presentation does not substitute the need to refer to the original pronouncements.
  • This compilation is meant only for the person to whom it is sent and any unauthorized reproduction of the whole or part of the compilation stated above without the writers’ prior permission is not allowed.

 

Vision for “Amrit Kaal” – to make India an empowered and an inclusive economy
  • The vision for “Amrit Kaal” (meaning ‘the best time to begin new work’) is centered around the following 3 goals:
  • In order to guide the country towards “Amrit Kaal”, the Budget has laid down 7 priorities:
Sector-wise breakup of the important Budget’23 Proposals

  1. Agriculture, Fisheries and Co-operatives

2.Education, Healthcare and Housing

3.Infrastructure and Logistics

4.Urban Infrastructure and Digitization

5.Manufacturing

6.Green Growth

7.Ease of Doing Business

8.Financial Services Sector

The Most Significant! – Income Tax Proposals
  • Generally, the proposals of The Finance Bill, 2023 will be applicable from 1st April 2023 i.e., for the Assessment Year (AY) 2024-25 onwards unless and otherwise stated. A detailed analysis of the direct tax proposals are as follows:

A.On Personal Income

  1. Change in tax slabs and tax rates under the New Regime
  • Section 115BAC – income tax slabs have been enhanced under the new regime:
  • The revised slabs have also been extended to association of persons (AOP), body of individuals (BOI) and artificial juridical persons.
  • There has been no change in the limits under the Old Regime.

2.Change in tax rebate under the New Regime

  • Section 87A – earlier, the tax rebate applicable for both old and new regimes was INR 12500 or tax payable – whichever lower.
  • Now, specifically for the new regime the tax rebate has been increased to INR 25000. In other words, if you have total taxable income up to INR 7 lakhs, then under the new regime, you will not end up paying any income tax.

 

3.Standard Deduction now available for New Regime

  • Section 16 (ia) – earlier, standard deduction was not available for the new scheme. INR 50000 was available as standard deduction under the old scheme.
  • However, now, standard deduction of INR 50000 can be availed under the new tax regime also.

 

B.For Co-operative Societies

  1. Concessional rate of tax
  • Section 115BAE – earlier, 22% concessional rate could be opted for by all co-operative societies. Now, new manufacturing co-operative societies can opt for the concessional rate of 15%
  • However, this benefit will only become available if the new manufacturing co-operative societies are set-up on or before 31stMarch 2024.
  • Also, once opted for the concessional rate, the same cannot be withdrawn.

2.TDS on Cash Withdrawals

  • Section 194N – 2% TDS would be deducted by banks if cash withdrawals by the recipients during a year exceeds INR 1 Crore. However, if the recipient is a co-operative society, then the limit is enhanced now to INR 3 Crores.

3.Cash Loan & its Repayment

  • Sections 269SS and 269T – penalty shall be imposed if any person accepts from another person, any loan/deposit in cash for INR 20000 or more. Similarly, penalty shall be imposed if any person relay any person, any loan/deposit in case for INR 20000 or more.
  • These limits have now been enhanced to INR 2 Lakhs if such loans are taken/repaid by Primary Agricultural Credit Societies from/to its members

 

C.For Businesses & Professions

  1. Limits for Presumptive Scheme
  • Sections 44AD & 44ADA – presumptive taxation scheme can be opted by small taxpayers (44AD – for businesses & 44ADA – for professions) with the benefit of paying lower tax plus doing away with the need to maintain books of accounts and undergo a tax audit.
  • The turnover limits for the above is fixed at INR 2 Crores for businesses and INR 50 Lakhs for professions.
  • Now, these limits have been enhanced to INR 3 Crores and INR 75 Lakhs respectively
  • The rider here is that these limits shall only be applicable if the total of cash receipts in a year for the business/profession should not exceed 5% of total turnover/professional receipts.
  • In other words, if the total of cash receipts exceed 5%, then the old limits of presumptive scheme shall become applicable.

 

2.Payments to Micro & Small Enterprises

  • Section 43B – certain payments listed under this Section shall be allowed as a deduction for tax computation only when the same is paid before the return filing due-date.
  • However, in the case of payments pending for more than 45 days to Micro (turnover up to INR 1 Crore) and Small enterprises (turnover up to INR 10 Crores), then the same shall not be allowed for deduction even if paid before the return filing due-date.

 

D.For Charitable Organizations

  • If one charitable organization donates to another charitable organization, then only 85% of such donations shall be considered as application of income for the donor charitable organization.
  • Application out of corpus or loan shall be allowed as application for charitable or religious purposes only if the same is put back into the corpus or the loan is repaid within 5 years from the application.
  • Form 9A (Form for application) and Form 10A (Form for registration) now needs to be filed within 2 months before the date of filing the tax return.
  • Tax exemptions can be claimed by charitable and religious trusts only if the return of income is filed before the due-date

 

E.Other Significant Changes

1. Online Gaming

  • Section 115BBJ – winnings from online gaming to be now taxed at flat 30% without any deductions.
  • Also, tax to be deducted on such winnings at prescribed rates with effect from 1st July 2023.

2. SEZ Unit Exemption

  • Section 10AA – additional conditions have been proposed in order to claim 100% business profit exemption for SEZ Units –

A) exemption can only be claimed if the return of income has been filed and;

B)the foreign realizations should come into India within 6 monthsfrom the end of the relevant year.

3. Start-ups

  • Section 80-IAC – tax holiday for registered start-ups have now been increased by a year i.e. startups incorporated before 31st March 2024 can now claim 100% deduction from business profits.
  • Earlier, it was up to 31st March 2023
  • Section 56(2) (viib) – hereafter, even if a non-resident is issued shares by a private limited company wherein the issue price is more than fairmarket value, then the excess shall be taxed.

 

4. Overseas Tour

  • Section 206C – earlier 5% was the tax to be collected by the receiver in the case of:

A) overseas tour packages without any limits

B) educational and health purposes if the amount paid/payable exceeded INR 7 Lakhs in a year.

  • However, now, the rate has been increased to 20% in both the above cases.

 

5. Life Insurance

  • Section 10(10D) – it is now proposed to tax the income from insurance policies having premium or the aggregate premium exceeding INR 5 Lakhs in a year. Such income is proposed to be exempt if received on the death of the insured person.
  • While computing the taxable income, the premiums paid shall be allowed as a deduction if not claimed earlier.

 

6. Cap on Capital Gain Exemption on purchase of new residential
house property

  • Sections 54 & 54F – the existing provisions provide for exemption from long-term capital gains in the case of sale of a residential house (Section 54) and sale of a capital asset (Section 54F) and when the gains/proceeds are invested in another residential house property.
  • Now, the maximum exemption of capital gains in both the above cases have been capped at INR 10 Crores.
  • In other words, any amount in excess of INR 10 Crores would be
    subject to Capital Gains tax.

 

Expensive or Cheap? – Indirect Tax Proposals

  • Composition tax payers (small tax payers under GST) are permitted to make intra-state supplies of goods through e-commerce operators.
  • ITC in respect of goods and services purchased for CSR activities have been blocked and cannot be availed now.
  • Penalty now imposed for E-commerce operators in the case of any non-compliance of any provisions under the GST Law.
  • Effective from 2nd February 2023, a National Calamity Contingent Duty has been increased on specified cigarettes, making it more expensive.
  • Here are the changes in Basic Customs Duty (BCD) for certain items/industries:

 

The Economic Survey FY 2022-23

The Economic Survey FY 2022-23

THE ECONOMIC SURVEY FY 2022-23

KORAH AND KORAH, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

 

INDIAS PERFORMANCE IN FY 2022-23

Do not Skip! – The Disclaimer
  • This presentation summarizes the important points from the Economic Survey of FY 2022-23 which was tabled by the Finance Minister, in a lucid manner.
  • This presentation is not an offer, invitation, or solicitation of any kind. Utmost care has been taken while preparing this presentation, the views and opinion expressed are that of the writers.
  • The readers are requested to kindly verify and check the facts before acting on them as this presentation is meant for general guidance and no responsibility for loss arising to any person acting or refraining from acting, as a result of any material contained in this presentation will be accepted by the Firm or its associates.
  • It is recommended that professional and expert guidance or advice is to be taken based on the specific facts and circumstances. This presentation does not substitute the need to refer to the original pronouncements.
  • This compilation is meant only for the person to whom it is sent and any unauthorized reproduction of the whole or part of the compilation stated above without the writers’ prior permission is not allowed.

 

The Real Figures! 
  • India to remain the fastest-growing major economy in the world.
  • Recovering from the pandemic-induced contraction, the Russian-Ukraine conflict and inflation, Indian economy is staging a broad-based recovery across sectors.
  • As of now, India is the 3rd largest economy in PPP (purchasing power parity) terms. PPPs are simply price relatives that show the ratio of the prices in different currencies for the same good/service.
  • As per the World Economic Outlook released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), growth in India is set to decline from 6.8% in the calendar year (CY) 2022 to 6.1% in CY 2023 before picking up to 6.8% in CY 2024.
  • However, the Economic Survey 2022-23 projects the baseline GDP growth at 7% for the year ending 31st March 2023 and a decline to 6.5% in FY 2023-24
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) projects inflation at 6.8% in FY 2022-23, which is below its target range.
  • Another growth driver of the Indian economy is the increased spend by the Government on capital expenditure, which increased by 63.4% in the first 8 months of FY 2022-23.
  • Enhanced employment generation has been observed and the urban
    unemployment rate has declined. Higher net registration numbers have been seen in Employee Provident Fund scheme.
  • Credit to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has grown by an average of around 30% since January 2022 and credit to large industry has been showing double-digit growth since October 2022.
  • The Indian Pharmaceuticals industry plays a prominent role in the global pharmaceuticals industry. The cumulative FDI in the pharma sector crossed the $20 Billion mark by September 2022.
  • The Economic Survey cautions that the challenge of the depreciating rupee, although better performing than most other currencies, persists with the likelihood of further increases in policy rates by the US Fed.
  • There has been a surge in the growth of exports in Financial Year 2021-22 and the first half of Financial Year 2022-23. This has induced a shift in the gears of the production processes from mild acceleration to cruise mode.
  • More than 220 crore COVID vaccine doses administered as on 6th January, 2023.
  • The services sector is expected to grow at 9.1% in Financial Year 2022-23, against 8.4% in Financial Year 2021-22.
  • Hotel occupancy rate has improved from 30-32% in April 2021 to 68-70% in November 2022.
  • Tourism sector is showing signs of revival, with the foreign tourist arrivals in India in Financial Year 2022-23 growing month-on-month with resumption of scheduled international flights and easing of Covid-19 regulations.
  • As of November 2022, India is the 6th largest foreign exchange reserve in the world.
Union Budget 2022

Union Budget 2022

THE UNION BUDGET 2022

KORAH AND KORAH, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

 

Do not Skip! – The Disclaimer
  • This presentation summarizes the important proposals in a lucid manner based on the Finance Bill which was presented in the Parliament on the 1st of February 2022. These proposals are subject to further amendments before they are enacted.
  • This presentation is not an offer, invitation, or solicitation of any kind. Utmost care has been taken while preparing this presentation, the views and opinion expressed are that of the writers.
  • The readers are requested to kindly verify and check the facts before acting on them as this presentation is meant for general guidance and no responsibility for loss arising to any person acting or refraining from acting, as a result of any material contained in this presentation will be accepted by the Firm or its associates.
  • It is recommended that professional and expert guidance or advice is to be taken based on the specific facts and circumstances. This presentation does not substitute the need to refer to the original pronouncements.
  • This compilation is meant only for the person to whom it is sent and any unauthorized reproduction of the whole or part of the compilation stated above without the writers’ prior permission is not allowed.

 

The Real Figures! – Key Highlights from the Economic Survey 2021-22
  • Overall Economic activity has recovered and surpassed the pre-pandemic levels, Indian economy is expected to witness real GDP expansion of 9.2 per cent in 2021-22 as against the contraction of 7.3 per cent in 2020-21.
  • India is likely to witness a GDP growth of 8.0 – 8.5 per cent in 2022-2023. This projection assumes that there will be no further major pandemic related economic disruption, normal monsoon, orderly withdrawal of global liquidity by major central banks, oil prices in the range of US$70-$75/bbl. against the current price of US$90/bbl., and global supply chain disruptions would steadily ease over the course of the year
  • The most impacted sector by COVID-19 was the Service sector which accounts for more than half of the Indian economy.
  • As of January 14, 2022, India has 83 unicorns with a total valuation of US$ 277.77 billion.
  • The revenue receipts during April- November 2021 have gone up by 67.2 per cent (YoY), against an estimated growth of 9.6 per cent in the 2021-22 Budget Estimates. This is due to strong increase in Direct and Indirect Tax revenues.
  • During April to November 2021, capital expenditure has grown by 13.5 per cent with focus in infrastructure-intensive sectors like roads and highways, railways, and housing and urban affairs.
  • India’s total Exports are expected to grow by 16.5 per cent in 2021-22 while Imports are expected to grow by 29.4 per cent in 2021-22
  • RBI’s foreign exchange reserves, stands at US $ 634 billion as on 31st December 2021 which is sufficient to serve 13.2 months of imports.
  • INR 89,066 Crores was raised via 75 IPO issues in April- November 2021, much higher than in any year in the last decade.
  • Exports out of India pegged at US $301.4 billion being more than 75 per cent of target set for US $400 billion in 2021-22.
  • Large corporates have recorded an all-time high net profit to sale ratio of 10.6 per cent in Q2 of 2021-2022.
  • IMF has projected India as the fastest growing economy in the world during 21-22, 22-23 and 23-24 with GDP growth rate of 9 per cent in both 2021-22 and 2022-23 and at 7.1 per cent in 2023-24. (IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) growth projections released on 25th January 2022)

India @75 to India @100 – Key Proposals relating to “Amrit Kaal”

  • India is celebrating the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (India @75), and has entered into “Amrit Kaal”, the 25 year long lead up to India @100. Announcements in this Budget lays the foundation and give a Blueprint to steer the economy over the Amrit Kaal for next 25 years from India @ 75 to India @ 100.
  • Moving along the vision of Amrit Kaal, the Budget lays down 4 priorities

01) PM Gati Shakti;

02) Inclusive Development;

03) Productivity enhancement & investment, Sunrise opportunities, energy transition and Climate action;

04) Financing of investments.

 

1. PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan:

  • PM Gati Shakti shall guide ‘big public investments’ for modern infrastructure. The focus will be on planning, financing through innovative ways, use of technology, and speedier implementation.
  • National Highways network to be expanded by 25,000 kms at a cost of INR 20,000 Crores.
  • 400 new generation “Vande Bharat Trains” with better energy efficiency will be developed.
  • 2,000 kms of rail network will be brought under Kavach, the indigenous world-class technology for safety and capacity augmentation in 2022-23.
  • Contracts for 8 ropeway projects for a length of 60 kms will be awarded in 2022-23.

 

2. Inclusive Development:

  • INR 2.37 Lakh Crore direct payment to 1.63 crore farmers for procurement of wheat and paddy.
  • Aimed at providing irrigation benefits to 9.08 lakh hectare of farmers’ lands, drinking water supply for 62 lakh people, 103 MW of Hydro, and 27 MW of solar power
  • 130 lakh MSMEs provided additional credit under Emergency Credit Linked Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) which stands extended up to March 2023. INR 2 lakh Crore additional credit for Micro and Small Enterprises to be facilitated under the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE)
  • *ECLGS – to provide 100% guarantee coverage to Banks and NBFCs to enable them to extend emergency credit facilities to MSME’s in view of Covid-19 to meet additional working capital requirements.
  • *CGTMSE – to make available collateral-free credit to MSME’s without any third-party involvement.

 

3. Productivity enhancement & investment, sunrise opportunities, energy transition and climate action:

  • E-Passports using embedded chips and futuristic technology will be rolled out in 2022-23 to enhance convenience for the citizens in their overseas travel.
  • Spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022 to facilitate rollout of 5G mobile services within 2022-23 by private telecom providers.
  • The contracts for laying Optical Fibre in all villages, including remote areas, will be awarded under the Bharatnet project through PPP in 2022-23. Completion is expected in 2025.

 

4. Financing Of Investments:

  • World-class foreign universities and institutions will be allowed in the GIFT City of Gujarat to offer courses in Financial Management, FinTech, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
  • Introduction of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will give a big boost to digital economy. Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system. It is, therefore, proposed to introduce Digital Rupee, using blockchain and other technologies, to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India starting 2022- 23.

 

The Most Significant! – Income Tax Proposals

  • Generally, the proposals of The Finance Bill, 2022 will be applicable from 1st April 2022 i.e., for the Assessment Year (AY) 2023-24 onwards unless and otherwise stated. A detailed analysis of the direct tax proposals are as follows:

 

1. Surcharge on Long-Term Capital Gains under Section 112 to be capped at
15%

  • Section 112 – specifies income tax rates on all kinds of long-term capital assets (i.e. those assets which are held for >= 12, 24 & 36 months) be it listed or unlisted securities, zero-coupon bonds, immovable property or other longterm assets. The tax rate is either 10% or 20%
  • Normally, if total income of a person includes long-term capital gains (LTCG) under Section 112, then the total income tax liability is calculated as below:

a )Reduce the total taxable income by the amount of long-term capital gains.

b )Thereafter, calculate tax on the income so reduced as per the normal applicable tax rates applicable to individuals or a HUF.

c) Separately calculate tax on the long-term capital gains at 10%/20%.

d) Add both the amounts (a+b) to know the total tax liability before surcharge and cess.

e) If the total net taxable income exceeds the prescribed limits, then surcharge would be applicable on the tax liability.

f) Finally, calculate cess also on the tax liability to arrive at total tax liability of a person.

 

  • Earlier, the surcharge rates on LTCG under Section 112 was akin to the rates prescribed for normal income of individuals which is given below:
Total income including
LTCG under 112
Surcharge on Income Other than LTCG under 112Surcharge on LTCG under 112
<= 50 LakhsNILNIL
> 50 Lakhs but <= 1 Cr10%10%
> 1 Cr. but <= 2 Crs15%15%
> 2 Crs. but <= 5 Crs.25%25%
> 5 Crs.37%37%

 

  • Now, the maximum surcharge rate on LTCG under Section 112 has been capped at 15% as shown below:
Total income including
LTCG under 112
Surcharge on Income Other than LTCG under 112Surcharge on LTCG under 112
<= 50 LakhsNILNIL
> 50 Lakhs but <= 1 Cr10%10%
> 1 Cr. but <= 2 Crs15%15%
> 2 Crs. but <= 5 Crs.25%15%
> 5 Crs.37%15%

 

  • It is best to understand this change with the help of an example:

a) Let’s say the total income of person comprise of (a) INR 4 Crores of salary income and (b) INR 2 lakhs of LTCG under Section 112. Therefore, the total income comes to INR 4,02,00,000.

b) By applying the prescribed tax slab rates, income tax on normal income of INR 4 Crores comes to INR 1,17,37,500.

c) Income tax on LTCG under Section 112 comes to INR 40000 (20% of INR 2,00,000).

d) Total tax liability before cess and surcharge comes to INR 1,17,77,500.

e) Surcharge would be applicable since total income including LTCG under Section 112 exceeds INR 2 Crs but is less than INR 5Crs.

However, the surcharge calculation shall now be done separately for income excluding LTCG and for LTCG under Section 112 as shown below:

 

Tax liability on income other than LTCG under Section 112Tax liability on LTCG under Section 112Surcharge 
117375004000025% of 11737500 + 15% of 40000 = 29,40,375
  • In order to promote long term investments in equity of start-ups, the rate of surcharge has been capped at 15%, irrespective of amount of long-term capital gains. This is beneficial for HNIs (high-networth individuals) who are holding shares for more than 12 months in start-ups and selling it thereafter, thus to treat gains on sale of such shares as long-term capital gains.

 

2. Extension of time period for commencement of manufacturing by domestic companies availing concessional tax rate under Section 115BAB

  • Section 115BAB – The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 has inserted Section 115 BAB offering a low tax rate of 15% (plus surcharge of 10% and cess of 4%) to new manufacturing companies. This was done to promote the new manufacturing start-ups
  • A domestic company satisfying some specified conditions could claim the benefit of Section 115 BAB.
  • One of main conditions was that the company has to be set up and registered on or after 1 October 2019 and commence manufacturing on or before 31 March 2022.
  • Now, it has been proposed to extend the timeline for commencement of manufacturing by one year from 31st March 2022 to 31st March 2023.

3. Change in surcharge rates for Co-operative Societies

  • Surcharge on co-operative societies with total income of INR 1 Cr. to INR 10 Crs. reduced to 7% from 12%
Total IncomeExisting Surcharge Proposed Surcharge
<= 1 Cr.NILNIL
> 1 Cr. but <= 10 Crs.12%7%
> 10 Crs.12%12%

 

  • Also, Alternate Minimum Tax (AMT) [a minimum tax that is leviable alternative to normal income tax] for Co-operative Societies has been reduced to 15% from 18.5%.

 

4. Scheme for taxation of virtual digital assets (such as Crypto Currencies)

  • There are an estimated 15 million to 20 million cryptocurrency investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around INR 40,000 crore ($5.29 billion), according to industry estimates.
  • At present, there is no specific section(s) to tax such transactions. Therefore, to bring more clarity, a new scheme for taxation of such ‘virtual digital assets’ has been proposed.
  • What is a Virtual Digital Asset? [Section 2(47A)]:

i) any information or code or number or token generated through cryptographic means or otherwise, providing a digital representation of value exchanged with or without consideration, with the promise or representation of having inherent value, or functions as a store of value or a unit of account including its use in any financial transaction or investment, but not limited to investment scheme; and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically;

ii) a non-fungible token (NFT) or any other token of similar nature, by whatever name called;

iii) any other digital asset, as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette specify.

 

  • What is the tax rate on income from sale of virtual digital assets? (Section 115 BBH)

i) Where the total income of a person includes any income from transfer of any virtual digital asset(s), then the income from the transfer of such virtual digital asset(s) shall be charged to tax at the rate of 30%.

ii) Against such income, no deduction of any expenditure (other than the purchase cost of the asset) or any allowance or any set off of any loss shall be allowed.

iii) If there is a loss from the sale of such assets, no set off of such loss shall be allowed against any other income and no carry forward of such loss shall be allowed to subsequent assessment years.

 

  • Any tax to be deducted on payments made for purchase of virtual digital assets? (Section 194S)

i) It is proposed to levy 1% TDS on payments made to residents for buying such virtual digital assets.

ii) The type of persons making the payments and the threshold limits for the same are given as below:

Type of payerThreshold Limit for TDS @1%
Specified person*>50000
Non-specified person>10000

 

Specified Persons – an individual whose total gross receipts from business does not exceed INR 1 Cr. or INR 50 lakhs in case of profession in the preceding year or an individual who does not have any income under the head “Profits and Gains of Business or Profession.

 

  • Tax on virtual digital assets received as gifts? – if the value of virtual digital asset(s) received as gifts from non-relatives exceeds INR 50,000, then the whole value of asset shall also be subject to normal income tax.

 

5. TDS levy on payments made for the purchase of immovable properties

  • As per Section 194 IA, TDS of 1% is to be levied on the payment made by a person to a resident on the purchase of an immovable property if the value exceeds INR 50 lakhs.
  • Currently, 1% is being computed on the sale value of the immovable property and hence stamp duty value is not considered for the purpose of deduction of TDS.
  • Now, it is proposed to amend this Section 194-IA such that TDS is to be deducted at 1% of the sale value or the stamp duty value of such property, whichever is higher

6. A new concept of filing updated returns

  • Generally, the due-date to file an Income Tax Return for an individual is 31st July of the assessment year (AY). If there is a failure to furnish an IT return before 31st July, then a belated IT return shall be filed by 31st December i.e., three months prior to the end of the relevant AY. Also, if there are mistakes in the original return filed, a revised return shall also be filed before 31st December.
  • To provide more time to file a IT return, it is proposed to introduce a new Section 139 (8A) for filing an updated return of income irrespective of the fact whether the original return has been filed or not. This will facilitate ease of compliance to the taxpayer in a litigation free environment.
  • What does the Section talk about? [Section 139(8A)]

i) Any person, whether he has furnished his original/revised/belated return or not for an AY may furnish an updated return of his income in respect of which he is assessable under the Act, within 24 months from the end of the AY.

ii) The facility for filing of an updated return shall not be available if it is a return of loss or the total tax liability is decreasing or it results in a refund or if there are any pending assessments.

  • Is there any additional tax on filing such updated return? [Section 140B]

i) If no original/belated/revised return filed: pay tax due + interest due + late fees due + additional tax for filing the updated return.

ii) If original/belated/revised return has already been filed: pay net tax due + net interest due + late fees due + additional tax for filing the updated return

iii) Additional tax shall be a % of the total tax due + interest due and shall be subject to surcharge and cess also

The additional tax payable shall be determined based on when the updated return is filed which is explained as below:

Filing of Updated Return% of Additional Tax applied on aggregate tax and interest payable
After 31st December of the AY but within 12 months25%
After 12 months from 31st December of the AY but before 24 months50%

 

7. Higher deduction for State Government employers for NPS contributions

  • As per the existing Section 80CCD (2), for employers who make contributions to NPS (National Pension Scheme) for their employees in the form of PPF and EPF, a maximum deduction of 14% of the salary (Basic + Dearness Allowance) of a Central Government employee and 10% of the salary of all other employees is available.
  • Now, it is proposed to set the maximum deduction as 14% of salary for both Central Government and State Government employees and this would apply retrospectively from 1st April 2020.

8. No tax on amounts received for medical treatment and on account of death due to Covid-19

  • The Finance Ministry by a press statement dated 25th June 2021 announced that income-tax shall not be charged on the amounts received by a taxpayer or any member of his family:

a) for medical treatment from employer or from any person incurred for the treatment of COVID-19 during FY 2019-20 and subsequent years.)

b) for ex-gratia payments received by family members of a person from the employer of such person or from other person on the death of the person on account of COVID-19 during FY 2019-20 and subsequent years.

Maximum limit for exemption:

i. Nil – if from employer and;
ii. INR 10 Lakhs – if from any other persons

  • The respective sections have been amended to accommodate the above insertions. Also, the ex-gratia payments shall be received within 12 months from the date of death of such person. These exemptions would apply retrospectively from 1st April 2020.

9. No more concessional rate of tax on dividends received from foreign companies

  • Presently, dividend received by domestic companies from specified foreign companies is taxed at the concessional rate of 15% [Section 115BBD]
  • Now, it is proposed to withdraw this concessional rate of tax.
  • Accordingly, the dividend income would now be taxed at normal income tax rates as applicable to the domestic companies.

10. Extension of tax benefits for Start-ups

  • Section 80-IAC provides for a deduction of 100% of the profits derived from an eligible business by an eligible start-up for 3 consecutive assessment years out of a block of 10 assessment years (at the option of the taxpayer), beginning from the date of incorporation
  • One of the conditions to qualify as a “eligible start-up” was that the start-up shall be incorporated on or after 1st April 2016 but before 1st April 2022.
  • In order to factor in delays of setting-up units due to Covid-19 Pandemic, it is proposed to amend the provisions of section 80-IAC of the Act to extend the period of incorporation of eligible start-ups to 31st March, 2023.

11. Rationalization of provisions relating to Charitable Trusts and Institutions

  • Taxation of Charitable Institutions have been under scanner in recent times and the Government has, in last few years, have brought in various amendments in the relevant provisions governing the taxation of Charitable Institutions.
  • The Finance Bill proposes to rationalize the provisions by:

a) Ensuing effective monitoring and implementation;

b) Bringing consistency in the provisions; and

c) Providing clarity on taxation

a) Ensuing effective monitoring and implementation

  • It is proposed to provide for maintenance of specified books of accounts trusts/institutions whose income exceeds 2,50,000. Also, to discourage the misuse of the trust property, it is proposed to insert new section to provide for penalty to be levied for trusts

b) Bringing consistency in the provisions

  • In the case of a Trust, where any donation is received for renovation/ repair of any property held under any trust being temple/ mosque/ gurudwara/ church etc. may be treated as a part of its corpus provided that the same is used for the purpose for which the contribution is received
  • Presently, 85% of the income needs to be applied by Trusts. The term “application” includes expenses whether or not paid. It is now proposed to provide that any sum payable by any Trust or Institution shall be considered as “application of income” in the year in which such sum is actually paid by it (irrespective of the year in which the liability was incurred by the Trust).

c) Providing clarity on taxation

  • It is proposed to tax “specified income” at the rate of 30% in the hands of Trust/ institution without allowing any deduction of expenditure.

Specified income means:

i) Income accumulated or set apart in excess of 15% where such accumulation is not allowed.

ii) Accumulated amount which is not invested in the specified modes of investment;

iii) Income accumulated but not applied for the charitable purposes;

iv) Income applied for the benefit of specified persons and;

v) Income applied for charitable purpose outside India

Building a self-reliant India! – the Indirect Tax Proposals

1. Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • Service by way of grant of alcoholic liquor license, against consideration in the form of license fee or application fee or by whatever name it is called by the State Governments shall be treated neither as a supply of goods nor a supply of service (a retrospective amendment).
  • The rate of interest @ 18% shall be levied on wrong availment and utilization of input tax credit. Earlier the rate of interest was @ 24% (a retrospective amendment)
  • Relevant date for claiming refund of IGST paid (refund of tax on payment of tax without LUT) in respect of zero-rated supplies of goods or services to a Special Economic Zone developer or a Special Economic Zone unit to be 2 years from the due-date of furnishing GSTR 3B
  • It is provided that a registered person can claim the refund of the balance lying in the electronic cash ledger in such form and manner as may be prescribed. The effective date of the amendment is yet to be notified.’
  • The time-limit to avail ITC for a financial year has been extended from 30th September to 30th November of next financial year. Also, credit notes in respect of supply made in a financial year can now be issued by 30th November of next financial year (currently allowed till 30th September).
  • Consequently, any rectification of error in GSTR-1/ GSTR-3B is now permitted till 30th November of next financial year (currently allowed till 30th September).
  • Apart from the 5 existing conditions for availing Input Tax Credit (ITC) under Section 16, an additional condition has been inserted to provide that ITC with respect to a supply can be availed only if such credit has not been restricted in the details communicated to the recipient (ITC could be restricted on account of various defaults by suppliers)
  • Registration of a person is liable for cancellation if a person paying tax under the Composition Scheme for a financial year has not furnished returns beyond 3 months from the due date of furnishing of the said return.
  • It is now confirmed that the taxpayers cannot file GSTR-1 without filing GSTR-1 for the previous month. Also, legal backing has been given on the condition specified in Rule 59(6) that GSTR-1 cannot be filed if GSTR-3B of previous period is not filed.

 

2. Customs Law

  • Rate of Basic Customs Duty on one hand has been increased for certain goods such as umbrellas, imitation jewellery, certain electrical and electronic goods while it has been reduced for textiles, frozen mussels, frozen squid, asafoetida, cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted, methyl alcohol, acetic acid.
  • Anti-Dumping duty is being permanently revoked, on imports of the following:

i) Straight Length Bars and Rods of alloy-steel, originating in or exported from China;

ii ) High Speed Steel of Non-Cobalt Grade, originating in or exported from Brazil, China and Germany;

iii) Flat rolled product of steel, plated or coated with alloy of Aluminium or Zinc, originating in or exported from China, Vietnam and Korea RP

  • Countervailing duty is being permanently revoked on imports of Certain Hot Rolled and Cold Rolled Stainless Steel Flat Products, originating in or exported from China.