Policy

Tax audit reports: CBDT defers GST and GAAR reporting till March 2019

K.R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on August 18, 2018 Published on August 18, 2018

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has directed that the proposed GST and GAAR reporting under the amended tax audit form be kept in abeyance till March 31, 2019. This dispensation would be available for tax audit reports to be furnished on or after August 20 but before April 1, 2019.

In a circular issued on Friday, the CBDT said representations had been received by the board that the implementation of reporting requirements under the proposed clause 30C (pertaining to General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR)) and proposed clause 44 (pertaining to Goods and Services Tax (GST) compliance) of the tax audit Form No. 3CD may be deferred.

“The matter has been examined and it has been decided by the board that reporting under the proposed clause 30C and proposed clause 44 of the Tax Audit Report shall be kept in abeyance till March 31, 2019. Therefore, for Tax Audit Reports to be furnished on or after August 20, 2018 but before April 1, 2019, tax auditors will not be required to furnish details called for under the said clause 30C and clause 44 of the Tax Audit Report”, the CBDT circular said.

EXPERTS’ TAKE

Anupam Jain, Executive Director, Nangia Advisors LLP, said the CBDT move deferring the reporting requirement under clause 30C with regard to GAAR is a welcome step, given the new reporting requirement and lack of any guidance on the aspect as yet.

“Ever since the revised audit format was circulated, there was much restlessness in the industry and auditors alike on the expansive import of the clause introduced on GAAR. It was indicative of loading tax auditors with an onerous responsibility to step into the shoes of a tax officer and determine if any transaction was an impermissible arrangement,” he said. Further, even though the Act prescribes a threshold of 3 crores of tax impact, for a transaction to be categorised as an impermissible transaction, the proposed clause, at the first step wanted disclosure on any ‘impermissible transaction’ and then required quantification, Jain said.

Rahul Garg, Senior Partner, Tax and Regulatory, PwC India said it would have been burdensome on companies to compile the enhanced requirements for tax audit post the close of the accounting period and statutory audits. “Decision of the CBDT to defer it would save companies from the effort to go back to their closed and audited books to compile additional information for last year,” Garg said.

Sanjay Sanghvi, Partner, Khaitan & Co, said a fair decision has been taken by the CBDT. “It was practically not possible for a tax auditor to provide those details/ remarks concerning applicability of GAAR,” Sanghvi said.

Srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 18, 2018
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