Easwar Panel Report: How people-friendly can the tax laws be?

By Anusmita Mazumder, Department of Law, University of Calcutta.

Just a few days ahead of the Union Budget 2016-17, a committee was asked to make necessary recommendations for simplifying the current Income Tax Laws, which accordingly has recommended a higher threshold for deduction of tax at source and cuts in rates, plus measures to reduce litigation. The 10-member panel is chaired by Mr R V Easwar, a former High Court Judge. Appointed in October, 2015, the panel gave its first 78 pages report on January 18, 2016. This report is a draft issued to elicit feedback before finalization. Comments and feedback had been invited to make alteration additions, if any, till January 23 after which the panel is to submit their final report on January 31, 2016. (more…)

National Judicial Reference System: An Overview

By Sonal Srivastava, Amity Law School, Lucknow.

National Judicial Reference System is a pioneering project of the Income Tax Department to streamline its tax litigation system. The project aims at being the comprehensive repository to all Appeals and Judgements related to Direct Taxes in India. It envisages in bringing automation in the working of the judicial wings of the Department and has the facility to help in tracking the appeals in Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), High Courts and the Supreme Court and to issue alerts and reminders in case of delays in filing appeals. (more…)

New Income Tax Returns Form: The Changes

By Anaida Kuthiala, Army Institute of Law, Mohali.

In a democracy like India, where the Govt is of the people, for the people and by the people, there rests with the people the right to privacy i.e. the right of non-disclosure, and the liability to inform (along with the right to be informed). In order to strike a balance between privacy and transparency, there is a need for a balanced criteria for reporting the total income earned by an individual resident in India, whose income is taxable. The commitment made by the Government Of India to the people, through the Parliament to provide for diminishing the level of black money transactions and to provide for greater transparency, is satisfied with the introduction of the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Act, 2015. (more…)

Advance Ruling under Income Tax Act, 1961

By Aakanksha Mishra, Gujarat National Law University.

In this era of liberalized international trade and increasing globalization, the need for good tax laws and good tax administration is increasingly felt by modern economies. The Government of India has entered into several DTAAs to resolve taxation related problems arising out of cross border trade and investment. The conflicting interplay between the provisions of Income tax Act, 1961 and the DTAAs often lead to uncertainty in the taxing regime and thereby hinder entry of foreign players into Indian markets. Thus the taxpayers would like to be sure of the tax implications of their proposed transactions and in that context the facility of Advance ruling in interpretation of tax laws would go a long way in making up their mind for investment in a particular country. With a view avoid time consuming and expensive litigation in respect of disputes regarding assessment of income-tax liability in the cases of non-residents and in cases of residents having transactions with non-residents, and public sector companies, a Scheme of Advance Ruling in India was incorporated into Chapter XIX-B of the Income-tax Act, 1961 vide Finance Act of 1993. The scheme enables the applicants to obtain, in advance, a binding ruling from the Authority for Advance Rulings on issues which may arise in determining their tax liabilities. (more…)