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Introduce anti-avoidance rules only after Direct Taxes Code: Assocham
April, 25th 2012

Industry chamber Assocham has urged the Government to defer the introduction of the proposed anti-avoidance rules, popularly known as GAAR, till the implementation of the new Direct Taxes Code (DTC).

The Finance Bill 2012 proposes to introduce General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) provisions, which were originally slated to be part of the DTC.

Rather than introducing GAAR through the Finance Bill 2012, the Government should wait for the implementation of DTC for its introduction, Mr Ved Jain, Chairman of Assocham's National Council on Direct Taxes, said at a press conference here.

The Finance Bill 2012 is pending before Parliament and may be passed during the second leg of the Budget session beginning on April 24.

Mr Jain said that the onus should be on the tax authorities to prove that there has been tax avoidance. According to the current GAAR proposals, the onus is on the taxpayer to prove genuineness of the transactions. He pointed out that the Standing Committee on Finance had also recommended that the onus should be on tax authorities.

He felt that the Government should revisit all double tax avoidance agreements (DTAAs) and ensure the limitation of benefit clause is inserted in all of them. This would be a better approach than the proposed move allowing GAAR to override treaty benefits, Mr Jain claimed.

In its post-Budget memorandum, submitted to the Finance Ministry a few days ago, the chamber also suggested that domestic transactions between related parties should not be subject to transfer pricing regulations.

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