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Scrutiny notice from income-tax department - know how to go about it

1 Apr,2019

Annually the Income tax department verifies the accuracy of the income tax returns filed by taxpayers by sending scrutiny notice to them. This is aimed at ensuring that the taxpayer has not understated the income or has not computed excessive loss or has not underpaid tax.

Scrutiny notice received by an individual can be grouped into limited scrutiny or complete scrutiny. Under limited scrutiny, a taxpayer is only required to submit details with respect to specified transaction/query for which scrutiny has been initiated. whereas under complete scrutiny, a tax officer can ask taxpayer to furnish an exhaustive list of documents/information, which he feels is relevant for detailed audit of the tax return.

Inorder to issue scrutiny notice, tax department follows certain pre-determined criteria (e.g. substantial tax refunds, foreign tax credit, etc.) for selecting cases for scrutiny. Scrutiny cases are also being selected under Computer Aided Scrutiny Selection (CASS) based on broad-based selection parameters.

The income tax return can be picked up for scrutiny within 6 months from the end of Financial Year (FY) in which the return was filed. For example, if the tax return for FY17-18 was submitted on July 31, 2018, scrutiny notice can be issued by September 30, 2019.

Scrutiny notice requires a physical visit by a taxpayer or his authorised representative (i.e. chartered accountant, tax lawyers etc.), however, off-late in order to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability, income tax authorities have launched the ‘e-proceeding’ facility. Under this, the government has mandated income tax officers to take recourse to electronic communications for all limited and complete security cases.

Scrutiny of a tax return is a regular process and a taxpayer should not panic upon receiving scrutiny notice. Some key check points which help in responding to notices include

1.Verifying details on the notice such as name,

2.Permanent Account Number (PAN)

3.The FY for which the same has been issued, along with details of the jurisdiction of the tax officer.

It is important to review and arrange all documents depending on the type of scrutiny notice issued  (e.g. computation sheet, Form 16, details of interest earned, Form 26AS, etc.) before the reply is submitted.

The scrutiny notice prescribes a date by which the requested documents/information need to be furnished to the tax officer/uploaded into the e-filing website. It is advisable that in case the requisite documents are not ready by the said date, then a request letter for adjournment is submitted to the tax officer seeking additional time to collate and submit the required documents/details. In all correspondences with tax authorities, it is important to quote the PAN and the FY.

It should also be kept in mind that the tax department has a mechanism in place to collate the details of major transactions carried out by a tax payer during a particular FY. In case, at the time of filing of tax return any error was committed, the tax payer has an option to disclose the same before the tax officer.

It is also important to note that the tax officer has the right to complete the scrutiny on ‘Best Judgement’ basis as he deems fit as per the information available with him in case he is not satisfied with the details submitted before him or if full particulars of information sought, has not been submitted to him as per his satisfaction.



income tax

Section 50C in the Income Tax Act, 1961 is a Special Anti-avoidance Provision for Determining Sale Consideration for Capital Gain but shall not for Determining Exemptions from Capital Gain

26 Mar,2019

1. Introduction

Section 50C in the Income –tax Act, 1961 was inserted in the Act by the Finance Act, 2002 w.e.f. 1.4.2003. The scope and effect of such insertion have been elaborated in the following portion of the department Circular No.8 of 2002, dated 27th August, 2002, as under:-

a. Computation of capital gains in real estate transaction –The Finance Act, 2002, has inserted a new section 50C in the Income-tax Act to make a special provision for determining the full value of consideration in cases of transfer of immovable property.

b.It provides that where the consideration declared to be received or accruing as a result of the transfer of land or building or both, is less than the value adopted or assessed by any authority of a State Government for the purpose of payment of stamp duty in respect of such transfer, the value of the consideration, and capital gains shall be computed accordingly under section 45 of the Income-tax Act.

c.It is further provided that where the assessee claims that the value adopted or assessed for stamp duty purposes exceeds the fair market value of the property as on the date of transfer, and he has not disputed the value so adopted or assessed in any appeal or revisions or reference before any authority or Court, the assessing officer may refer the valuation of the relevant asset to a Valuation officer in accordance with section 55A of the Income-tax Act. If the fair market value determined by the Valuation Officer is less than the value adopted for stamp duty purposes, the assessing officer may take such fair market value to be the full value of consideration. However, if the fair market value determined by the Valuation officer is more than the value adopted or assessed for stamp duty purpose, the assessing officer shall not adopt such fair market value and shall take the full value of consideration to be the value adopted or assessed for stamp duty purpose.

2. Amendment to Section 50C

Some changes in the section by the Finance (No.2) Act, 2009 after the amendment provides that where the consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer by an assessee of a capital asset, being land or building or both, is less than the value adopted or assessed

[ (w.e.f. 1.10.2009)  or assessable] by any authority of a State Government (Hereinafter in section 50C referred to as the ‘stamp valuation authority’) for the purpose of payment of stamp duty in respect of such transfer.

In such a situation, the value so adopted or assess [(w.e.f.1.10.2009) or assessable] shall for the purpose of section48 be deemed to be the full value of the consideration received or accruing as a result of such transfer

The object and purpose of section 50C is to see that the undisclosed income of Capital gains received by the assessee is taxed and the law should not encourage and permit the assessee to peg down the market value to avoid tax. – Vide Gouli Mohadevappa v. ITO (2013) 356 ITR 90 (Karn).

3. Whether value adopted for stamp duty purposes under section 50C shall apply for other heads of income also

The reply to this has to be in the negative. In Inderlok Hotels (P) Ltd.v.ITO (2009) 318 ITR 234 (Mum-Trib), it was held that on analyzing language used by legislature in section 50C, it appears that the said section specifically deals with transfer of ‘capital asset’ being land or building or both, and it provided for replacing value adopted or assessed for the purpose of stamp duty more particularly under section 48 in place of value or sale consideration shown by assessee. It is abundantly clear from Explanation given in CBDT Circular No.8, dated 27.08.2002 that basis intention to insert section 50C is for purpose of determining full value of sale consideration for purpose of computation of capital gains under section 48.

4. Applicability of section 50C to exemptions provided by sections 54 to 54G

These sections provide for exemption from capital gain in respect of long term capital gains arising from the transfer of prescribed conditions. The issue is whether the ‘full value of consideration’ referred in section 54F would be the full value as received by the assessee or as determined under section 50C of the Act. The legal position is that full value of consideration shall be as consideration received by the assessee and not as determined by the assessing officer for the purpose of application of section 50C of the Act. This view is supported by the Tribunal’s decision in the case of ITAT’s Lucknow Bench’s decision in the case of Anant Chetan Agarwal v.Dy.CIT, Circule-I, Bareilly (2018) 172  ITD 525 (Luck-Trib)

5. Tribunal’s Decision

(i) Facts

The assessee sold an agricultural land (capital asset being situated within 9 kms from the municipal limit of Bareilly) for a consideration of Rs.27.46 lakh, Value of which as per circle rate was Rs.58.06 lakh. The assessee claimed deduction under section 54F amounting to Rs.27.46 lakh, i.e. entire net sale consideration. The investment made in the house property as claimed under section 54F was examined by the Assessing Officer and the assessee was required to explain as to why the capital gain on entire consideration of Rs.58.06 lakh (as per provision of section 50C) may not be charged. The assessee submitted that whatever sale consideration was received by him, has been invested under section 54F and therefore provision of section, 45, 48 and 50C applies to the case of the assessee and deduction under section 54F is not applicable. The assessing officer was of the opinion that section 45 and 48 are charging sections and provisions of section 50C were applicable as per the fair market value determined by the DVO. The matter was referred to the DVO by the assessing officer and DVO determined the fair market value of the property at Rs.40.61 lakh as against value of circle rate amounting to Rs.58.06 lakh. On appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) Confirm the order of the assessing officer.

(ii) Tribunal’s order

The Tribunal has decided that section50C specially mentions that for the purpose of section 48 value adopted as assessed for the purpose of stamp duty shall be deemed to be full value of consideration received or accruing as a result of transfer, meaning thereby, deeming fiction created in section 50C is limited only to the extent and for the purpose of section 48 and this deeming fiction cannot be extended or interpreted as meant for the purpose of other provision of the Act including section 54F. There is a doctrine of impossibility of performance wherein it is only to the extent of funds available with the assessee that he can be expected to invest. On perusal of section 54F, what is, therefore, relevant is the investment of the net consideration in respect of original asset which has been transferred and whether net consideration is fully invested in the new asset. The net consideration as determined under section 50C based on the stamp duty authority valuation is not a consideration which has been received by or has accrued to the assessee. Where the entire consideration received has been invested in the new asset, the provisions of section 54F(1)(a) have been complied with by the asessee and therefore, assessee become eligible for deduction in respect of whole of the capital gains to be computed under section 45, read with section 48 and 54F (1) (a)

In view of the provision of law as explained (supra), the Tribunal set aside the order of Commissioner (Appeals) and decided the appeal in favour of the assessee.


A tax guide for a YouTube Vlogger

13 Feb,2019

In the last few years, we’ve observed the emergence of people making videos related to education, fitness, tips/ideas/classes related to business,  reviews of movies,books, gadgets etc and upload it on online platforms like YouTube. This is termed as Vlogging.

The more people view & engage on the videos, the more money the vlogger makes.  Having said this, there are a few vloggers, who are uncertain about their tax implications.

Before we step into that, how do people make money by uploading?

1. Payment from YouTube for audience engagement ( based on  reach, views & comments)

2. YouTube ads

3. Consultancy services on video making, designing and optimisation

4. Affiliate sales or other freelance income from YouTube

How does the income of vlogger be taxed?

*Remember,you will be taxed as a sole proprietor unless you register your business as a company, LLP or Partnership Company.

Tax provisions applicability depends on the source and nature of income. A YouTuber’s income is considered as business income.

Being a service sector business, the assesses can only opt for normal provisions under the Income Tax Act,1961. If the gross total income exceeds Rs 1 crore, then section 44AB i.e., tax audit will be applicable to the YouTuber. Additionally, Tax Deducted at Source(TDS) provisions will also be applicable to you on every receipt of payment. You can view your TDS amount through 26AS, which can be generated electronically.

If your gross turnover is below Rs 1 crore, then you have to follow the normal tax provisions to calculate taxes and maintain books of accounts. But if your gross total income exceeds Rs 1 crore, you must follow all bookkeeping requirements under Rule 6A and get your accounts audited by a Chartered Accountant(CA) under section 44AB of Income Tax Act,1961. You will have to pay taxes on the net taxable income after considering all the business expenses and depreciation as per the income tax slab applicable to you.

You may also have to pay advance tax if your total tax liability is more than Rs 10,000 in a financial year. You have to pay advance tax in four instalments given your tax liability is more than Rs 10,000 in a financial y year (FY).

Starting from June 15 , 15 percent of the advance tax has to be paid. Then by September 15, you should have paid 45 percent, by December,  75 percent of the advance tax liability and by March 15, 100 percent of it.

You have to pay your advance tax liabilities by the due date after considering the amount of TDS that has been already deducted from payments made to you. This TDS can be cross-checked from Form 26AS.

Don’t forget to claim the below expenses

a. General Expenses: If you can submit the required bills, expenses directly related to earning your income are fully deductible. It includes your internet bill, costs incurred for computer or camera maintenance and any other cost for creating and uploading the videos.

b. Other Expenses: Costs to promote and market your video expenses.

c. Depreciation: Please remember that the expenditure of assets cannot be deducted completely deducted against your income. For instance, you can only claim 15 percent depreciation of the camera price and 60 percent depreciation of the cost of the laptop.

In case you have calculated your taxes under normal provisions and tax audit does not apply i.e., your gross total income is less than Rs 1 crore, you will have to file your income tax return by July 31 of the assessment year. For assesses who are subject to tax audit, the return filing deadline is usually September 30 of the assessment year.

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