(iStock)
(iStock)

CBDT tells tax officers to accept tax break claims by registered startups

  • Tax breaks claims by registered startups will not be verified if eligibility for this concession is the only issue for which their tax returns are picked up for ‘limited scrutiny’
  • Assessing officers can verify other claims after getting approval from a superior officer

New Delhi: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked its field officers to accept without any verification, in certain cases, the claims of government-registered startups on eligibility for exemption from a rigorous anti-evasion provision.

As per CBDT instructions to field officers, the claims of startups regarding exemption from taxation of the premium they receive on share sale will not be verified if eligibility for this concession is the only issue for which their tax returns are picked up for ‘limited scrutiny.’ The instruction came this week, said a person familiar with the development, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT), which recognizes startups, had in February, announced exemption from taxation of the share premium startups realize in excess of fair market value, subject to riders. That concession was later given effect under Income Tax rules. The latest instruction to field officers is to ensure that genuine startups do not get stuck in red tape and actually benefit from the concession. The move seeks to streamline the assessment and scrutiny of new age enterprises and enhance ease of doing business.

CBDT also told field officers that if a registered start up is chosen for limited scrutiny for a number of issues or for a complete scrutiny, their claims about eligibility for angel tax exemption will not be verified. However, assessing officers can verify other claims after getting approval from a superior officer.

In the case of unregistered startups, the assessing officer can verify the claims of angel tax exemption with permission from a superior officer, said the instruction.

Experts said the CBDT instruction that officers will have to summarily accept the contentions of the start-up on valuation of its shares will provide relief to start-ups. “While the recognised start-ups stand relieved, the ones that are yet to receive a nod from the DPIIT may still have to face the inquiry from tax officers and the procedure to be followed by the tax officers in such cases would be crucial to note," said Rakesh Nangia, managing partner at consultancy firm Nangia Advisors (Andersen Global).

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