Ease of Compliance through Finance Bill 2023
Ease in claiming deduction on amortization of preliminary expenditure
Section 35D of the Act provides for amortization of certain preliminary expenses which are incurred prior to the commencement of business or after commencement, in connection with extension of undertaking or setting up of a new unit. This includes expenditure in connection with preparation of feasibility report, project report etc.
2. The section inter-alia provides that the work in connection with the preparation of feasibility report or the project report or the conducting of market survey or of any other survey or the engineering services would need to be carried out either by the assessee himself or by a concern which is approved by the Board.
3. In order to ease the process of claiming amortization of these preliminary expenses it is proposed to amend section 35D of the Act to remove the condition of activity in connection with these expenses to be carried out by a concern approved by the Board. Instead, the assessee shall be required to furnish a statement containing the particulars of this expenditure within prescribed period to the prescribed income-tax authority in the prescribed form and manner.
4. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2024 and will accordingly apply to the assessment year 2024-2025 and subsequent assessment years.
Increasing threshold limits for presumptive taxation schemes
The existing provisions of Section 44AD of the Act, inter-alia, provide for a presumptive income scheme for small businesses. This scheme applies to certain resident assessees (i.e., an individual, HUF or a partnership firm other than LLP) carrying on eligible business and having a turnover or gross receipt of two crore rupees or less. Under this scheme, a sum equal to 8% or 6% of the turnover or gross receipts is deemed to be the profits and gains from business subject to certain conditions. If assessee has claimed to have earned higher sum than 8% or 6%, then that higher sum is taxable.
2. Section 44ADA of the Act provides for a presumptive income scheme for small professionals. This scheme applies to certain resident assessees (i.e., an individual, partnership firm other than LLP) who are engaged in any profession referred to in subsection (1) of section 44AA, and whose total gross receipts do not exceed fifty lakh rupees in a previous year. Under this scheme, a sum equal to 50% of the gross receipts is deemed to be the profits and gains from business. If assessee has claimed to have earned higher sum than 50%, then that higher sum is taxable.
3. Under section 44AB of the Act, every person carrying on business is required to get his accounts audited, if his total sales, turnover or gross receipts, in business exceeds one crore rupees in any previous year. The limit is raised to ten crore rupees where at least 95% of receipts/payments are in non-cash mode. In case of a person carrying on profession he is required to get his accounts audited, if his gross receipts in profession exceeds, fifty lakh rupees in any previous year. Those opting for and fulfilling the conditions laid in the presumptive scheme are exempt from audit under this section.
4. Representations have been received for increasing the thresholds for eligibility for availing benefit of the presumptive schemes for eligible business and professions in order to benefit more persons in the small and medium segment.
5. In order to ease compliance and to promote non-cash transactions, it is proposed to increase the threshold limits for presumptive scheme in section 44AD and section 44ADA of the Act on fulfilment of certain conditions.
6. It is proposed to provide that:
under section 44AD of the Act, for eligible business, where the amount or aggregate of the amounts received during the previous year, in cash, does not exceed five per cent of the total turnover or gross receipts, a threshold limit of three crore rupees will apply.
under section 44ADA of the Act, for professions referred to in sub-section (1) of section 44AA of the Act, where the amount or aggregate of the amounts received during the previous year, in cash, does not exceed five per cent of the total gross receipts, a threshold limit of seventy-five lakh rupees will apply.
the receipt by a cheque drawn on a bank or by a bank draft, which is not account payee, shall be deemed to be the receipt in cash.
provision of section 44AB of the Act shall not apply to the person, who declares profits and gains for the previous year in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 44AD of the Act or sub-section (1) of section 44ADA of the Act, as the case may be.
7. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2024 and will accordingly apply to the assessment year 2024-2025 and subsequent assessment years.
Extending the scope for deduction of tax at source to lower or nil rate
Section 197 of the Act relates to grant of a certificate of tax deduction at lower or nil rate. It provides for assessee to apply to the Assessing Officer for TDS at zero rate or lower rate, if the tax is required to be deducted under sections 192, 193, 194, 194A, 194C, 194D, 194G, 194H, 194-I, 194J, 194K, 194LA, 194LBB, 194LBC, 194M, 194-O and 195 of the Act. If the Assessing Officer is satisfied that the total income of the recipient justifies the deduction of income-tax at any lower rates or zero rate, he is required to give an appropriate certificate to the assessee.
2. Section 194LBA of the Act, inter-alia, provides that business trust shall deduct and deposit tax at the rate of 5% on interest income of non-resident unit holders. Representations have been received that in some cases rate of deduction may be required to be reduced due to some exemption, for example exemption under section 10(23FE) of the Act allowed to notified Sovereign Wealth Funds and Pension Funds. However, since certificate for lower deduction under section 194LBA of the Act cannot be obtained under section 197 of the Act, benefit of exemption is not available at the time of tax deduction.
3. To remove this difficulty, it is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of section 197 of the Act to provide that the sums on which tax is required to be deducted under section 194LBA of the Act shall also be eligible for certificate for deduction at lower rate.
4. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2023.