Month: October 2015

The AIFTP has always been at the forefront in matters relating to judicial reforms. Pursuant to the judgement of the Supreme Court in Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association vs. UOI striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and upholding the Collegium system of appointment of judges and inviting suggestions from all stakeholders on the measures to be taken to improve the Collegium system, the AIFTP has filed an application in the Supreme Court requesting permission to be impleaded in the matter and to offer suggestions

On an earlier occasion, the CBDT had issued Instruction in F. No. 500/98/2015-FT&TR-V dated 14th August, 2015 in which it had lamented the fact of poor representation on behalf of the department in the cases before the Authority of Advance Rulings. It had issued instructions that only senior officials who are well prepared on facts and law should be deputed so as to effectively represent the Departmental view on complex issues. The CBDT has now issued another Instruction F.No.225/261/2015/ITA.II dated 28.10.2015 in which it has taken exception to the fact that:

(i) Departmental Representatives are seeking adjournment on unjustified grounds;

(ii) Departmental Representatives not committing to a particular position on the ground of seeking further instructions from the field authorities;

(iii) All the questions raised in an application not properly responded to, while furnishing the report.

In order to deal with the malaise, the CBDT has issued clear-cut directions and warned that the said directions should be followed strictly.

Aayakar Sampark Kendra (ASK) is one of the initiatives of the Income Tax Department to provide Taxpayer Information and Services to the taxpayers across the country. At present five call centers of Aayakar Sampark Kendra (One NCC at Gurgaon and four RCCs at Jammu, Jangipur, Kochi and Shillong) are functioning to answer queries related to the status of PAN & TAN applications, procedure of filing of Income tax & Wealth tax returns, downloading of calls and other general queries. Taxpayers have also been provided a facility to register grievances through email through the call centers of ASK

The CBDT has issued a press release dated 27.10.2015 stating that a Committee comprising of eminent legal luminaries has been set up to simplify the provisions of the Income-tax Act. The Committee comprises of luminaries such as Justice R.V. Easwar, (Retd.), former Judge, Delhi High Court and former President, ITAT and other eminent advocates and lawyers

The CBDT has issued a press release dated 27.10.2015 stating that the Income-tax Department is committed to the ‘Digital India’ initiative of the Government of India.The Finance Minister today launched an “e-Sahyog” pilot project which furthers the Department’s commitment to work in an e-environment and reduces the need for the taxpayer to physically appear before tax authorities

Pursuant to the recent arrest of Principal Commissioner Sailendra Mamidi and other top officials by the CBI for allegedly demanding and receiving bribes from taxpayers, the CBI has filed a report in Court in which it has presented an alleged nefarious nexus between fixers, businessmen and corrupt Income Tax Department officials.

Vide Order No. 3 – FT& TR/2015 dated 21.10.2015, the CBDT has set out the jurisdiction for DRPs at Mumbai. Vide another order No. 4 – FT& TR/2015 also dated 21.10.2015, the CBDT has set out the jurisdiction for DRPs at Bengaluru.

The CBDT has issued a press release stating that the Rules for determining ALP have been amended to allow for introduction of a “range concept” for determination of ALP and “use of multiple year data” for undertaking comparability analysis in transfer pricing cases. The amended regime will be applicable for computation of ALP of international transactions and specified domestic transactions undertaken on or after 1/04/2014.

In order to improve the taxpayer services, enhance the efficiency and to usher in a paperless environment for carrying out the assessment proceedings, CBDT has decided to initiate the concept of using email for corresponding with taxpayers and sending through emails the questionnaires, notice etc. at the time of scrutiny proceedings and getting responses from them using the same medium on a pilot basis. This would eliminate the necessity of visiting the Income-tax Offices by the taxpayers, particularly in smaller cases, involving limited issues and where taxpayer is able to provide details required by the AO without necessitating his physical presence

The CBI has issued a grim press release stating that a Principal Commissioner of Income-tax has been arrested for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs. 10 lakhs. His unaccounted wealth is reported to be around Rs. 30 crore