Gautam Nayak (for Info only, not official)

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Gautam Nayak

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    ...A recent Supreme Court decision in Balbir Singh Maini’s case provides some much-needed clarity on such taxation. There were two aspects of the issue, in respect of which the Supreme Court laid down the law. The first aspect related to whether giving of possession for purposes of development under an unregistered joint development agreement could be regarded as giving rise to capital gains. The Supreme Court, after referring to the 2001 amendment to the Registration Act, 1908, categorically held that an unregistered agreement was not covered by section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1908. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 8, 2017, 4:49 p.m.

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    ...The question that springs to mind is: do we really need a new income-tax law? To understand this, we first need to understand the shortcomings (both purported and actual) of today’s tax laws. One of the observations is that the tax authorities are not able to catch tax evaders. Under the current system, it is stated that people came under the tax net only after demonetization, or when properties were confiscated or when shell companies were found. About 90% of resources are being utilised for scrutiny assessment, which only accounts for 9% of the tax collection. This is when 90% of the collections come from advance tax, while huge resources are spent to collect the balance. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 17, 2017, 5:19 p.m.

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    ...The first is the proposal to have all corporate taxpayers and other taxpayers, who are subject to tax audit, file a detailed estimate of their income up to 30 September of each year, by 15 November. If the estimated advance tax payment is less than the earlier year’s advance tax paid, reasons have to be given point wise. Besides, if the estimated income for the period is less than the income of the corresponding period by more than Rs5 lakh, or 10% (whichever is higher), then another intimation needs to be filed by 31 January of the estimated income and payment of taxes up to 31 December. The format of the estimate is so elaborate, it is like filling up an income tax return, with head-wise details. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 25, 2017, 5:19 p.m.

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    ...Most notices received during the current year for assessment state that the response and details should be given by uploading the details after logging into the taxpayer’s income tax e-filing website account. Though the notices do not state so, a taxpayer has an option, when he logs in, to opt for personal attendance instead of e-assessment. What are the advantages and disadvantages of e-assessment? Is it really the answer to all assessment procedure related problems, as it is made out to be? One of the significant advantages of e-assessment is the time saved. A taxpayer need not travel to the income tax office, and await his turn in the corridor to meet the tax officer (at times, that wait would stretch to a few hours). Even if one is not in the same city, one can still respond to the notices. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 18, 2017, 3:46 a.m.

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    ...Classification as a long-term capital asset could make a huge difference to the capital gains tax liability, resulting in substantially lower tax, which is why such basic determination of classification is so important. Till 1998, this classification was very simple: if an asset was held for more than 3 years, it was a long-term capital asset; if it was held for 3 years or less, it was a short-term capital asset. In recent years, this classification has become far more complicated, with the holding period for such classification differing depending upon the type of asset. Even within a type of asset, different periods apply for different classes within a particular type. For shares (equity as well as preference), the period of holding depends upon whether the shares are listed or not. ...

    Live Mint on Aug. 30, 2017, 5:59 p.m.

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    ...This position has undergone a significant change—applicable from the current year—due to the insertion of a new provision in the tax law, section 50CA, by the last Union Budget. For capital gains computation, the actual sale price was considered, except in the case of sale of land or building. In case of sale of land or building, if the valuation as per the stamp duty ready reckoner or circle rates is higher, then the higher valuation is deemed to be the sale consideration. Therefore, by a deeming fiction, the capital gains are taken to be higher than warranted by the actual sale price. The justification for this is that immovable property transactions often involve a black money component, which results in understatement of the actual sale price, and resultant tax evasion. The courts have, therefore, upheld the validity of such a deeming fiction in the case of sale of land or building. ...

    Live Mint on July 19, 2017, 5:06 p.m.

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    ...The government has been given the power to exclude certain types of transactions from the exclusion, that is, to notify certain types of transactions that would continue to get the benefit of the exemption, even though STT was not paid on such transactions on or after 1 October 2004. The final notification of such transactions was finally issued in the first week of June 2017. The notification is worded in a negative manner. All transactions qualify to continue to get the exemption, except three types of transactions. There are exceptions even to these three types of transactions—these exceptions will also continue to enjoy exemption. Which are these three types of transactions, and what are the exclusions? ...

    Live Mint on July 5, 2017, 5:29 p.m.

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    ...The aim of this amendment is to restrict the use of black money for legitimate transactions. So far, a person receiving cash could deposit it in his bank account and offer the same to tax as his income, without suffering any adverse consequences, other than payment of tax on such amount. The amendment, which applies to all receipts from 1 April 2017, is in the nature of a prohibition on receipt of any amount exceeding Rs2 lakh, other than by account payee cheque, bank draft or electronic bank transfer. Since the requirement is on receipt by an account payee cheque, even a receipt by a bearer cheque would be a violation of the provision. The prohibition is on the receipt, and not on the payment. The payer, who disposes of his black money by such payment, does not suffer any adverse consequences. There is a penalty introduced for receipt of such cash, equivalent to the amount of such receipt for violation of this provision. ...

    Live Mint on June 18, 2017, 11:46 p.m.