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Tax Amicus: March 2013

This post-budget issue of Tax Amicus covers major changes proposed to be made by the Finance Bill, 2013 and the changes brought by notifications issued under Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax law. Article in this March 2013 issue discusses the newly proposed Amnesty Scheme (Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme) in Service Tax while comparing the same with a similar scheme, introduced in 1997 under direct taxes. Under Customs, Finance Bill has proposed to reduce the interest free period for payment of Customs duty and also specifies time-period for clearance of warehoused goods. Specified offences are being proposed to be made non-bailable besides making provisions for initiating recovery from persons other the defaulter, both under Customs and Central Excise. Post-export EPCG scheme has also been brought into force.

Under Service Tax, provisions are being proposed for empowering officers to arrest persons for specified offences while also proposing penalty on directors or any other officer of the company for commission of specified offence. Mega exemption notification under Service Tax has also been amended to provide for some more exemptions while limiting the same for certain services. Composition scheme for works contracts under Delhi VAT has been revised with effect from 1st April, 2013. Under Income Tax, this issue covers important case law of ITAT and High Court, which among others, state that broad function and product comparability alone need to be considered for Transaction Net Margin Method (TNMM) and that transfer of shares resulting in transfer of underlying Indian assets is not necessarily avoidance.

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