HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Introducing GAAR on NDA government’s radar

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 12, 2014
First Published: 23:50 IST(12/7/2014) | Last Updated: 23:56 IST(12/7/2014)

The Centre is yet to take a decision on the implementation of the controversial General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR), scheduled to come into effect from April 1, 2015.

The confusion over GAAR surfaced once again after the government in a response to a question raised in Parliament on Friday said that GAAR will be implemented at the start of the next financial year.

“It should not be interpreted that GAAR is going to be brought in from April 1, 2015. All I said was the factual position as per the current law, GAAR has been deferred by two years. The new government will now look at the whole matter and take a decision,” Shaktikanta Das, revenue secretary, said at a Ficci conference on Saturday.

The implementation of GAAR, announced by the previous UPA government, would allow the revenue department to invalidate any transaction that has been undertaken to deliberately avoid tax and was applicable to those claiming tax benefits of over Rs. 3 crore.

As per the current guidelines, investments made after March 2013 will be covered under GAAR with effect from 2016-17.

Das also said that concerns over a flat 20% tax on debt mutual funds will be with retrospective effect is baseless.

“CBDT will issue necessary clarification in this matter,” Das said.

Finance secretary Arvind Mayaram who was also present in the conference said the budget covers every area of concern.

“My perspective is that this is a growth-oriented budget. It will bring the growth impulses back into the economy,” Mayaram said.

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