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CBDT says no unfettered powers given to tax officers
March, 07th 2016

CBDT has said the taxman has not been given any "unfettered" power and adequate safeguards have been deployed for regulating the provisions aimed to check tax evasion from overseas locations.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) expressed hope that the General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) would be implemented from next fiscal.

"There is no reason why it shouldn't come (from April 1 next year). GAAR provisions are there in several countries and as Finance Minister ( Arun Jaitley) also mentioned there is a very thin line between tax avoidance and evasion.

"Various safeguards have also been provided and it's not that unfettered powers have been given to our Assessing Officers (of the IT department)," CBDT Chairman Atulesh Jindal told PTI in an interview.

GAAR provisions, he said, have been "mainly brought in to check those cases where tax avoidance arrangement has been resorted to without any business consideration and just to avoid legitimate payment of tax."

The CBDT boss said while a number of consultations have taken place in the past on the subject, more can be done as there was still a year to go for the operationalisation of the new rules.

In his budget speech on February 29, Jaitley had said that these rules, which were deferred earlier, will be implemented from the beginning of the financial year in 2017.

"I would like to reiterate our commitment to implement GAAR from April, 2017," Jaitley had said.

Last year, the Finance Minister had deferred the applicability of this new tax regime by two years.

Government had earlier proposed imposing GAAR from April 1, 2015, for those claiming tax benefit of over Rs 3 crore. The rules are aimed at minimising tax avoidance for investments made by entities based in tax havens.

Jaitley had also said that in order to meet India's commitment to Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative of OECD and G-20, the Finance Bill, 2016, includes provision for requirement of country-by-country reporting for companies with a consolidated revenue of more than 750 million Euro.


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