CBDT Establishes Dedicated Cell To Redress Grievances And Mitigate Tax Issues Of Startup Entities

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (pic via Twitter)

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Friday (30 August) notified the creation of a five-member special cell to address grievances of startups associated with angel tax and other tax-related issues.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during a press conference last week, announced creation of such a cell in the CBDT and declared exempting startups from the so-called angel tax.

"To mitigate genuine difficulties of startups and their investors, it has been decided that section 56(2)(viib) of the Income-Tax Act shall not be applicable to a startup registered with DPIIT," she said, adding that a startup having any income tax issue can approach the cell for quick resolution of the same.

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A consolidated circular issued by the CBDT to give effect to the Finance Minister’s announcement said that the 'startup cell' will be headed by the Member (Income Tax and Computerisation) of the board.

"The cell will work towards redressal of grievances and mitigate tax-related issues in case of startup entities with respect to administration of Income-tax Act, 1961," it stated.

Besides the establishment of a dedicated cell, CBDT also operationalised other steps promised by union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman to provide hassle-free tax environment to the startups.

  • A simplified procedure of assessment of startups recognised by DPIIT
  • A process for obtaining mandatory approval of the supervisory authorities for conducting enquiry
  • A  time limit for completion of pending assessments
  • No application of provisions of section 56(2)(viib) of Income Act in respect of assessment made before 19 February 2019 if a recognised startup had filed declaration in Form No. 2
  • No income-tax demand of the startups would be pursued unless the demand was confirmed by ITAT
  • The timelines for disposal of appeals before CsIT(Appeals) was specified

The order also gave out an email id -- startupcell.cbdt@gov.in -- and the postal address of the cell. It also provided landline telephone numbers of the members ranging from the member, joint secretary (tax policy and legislation-II), commissioner of I-T (ITA), director (ITA-I) and under secretary (ITA-I).

Startups can approach the cell at: Office of Under Secretary, ITA-I, Room No 245A, Noth Block, New Delhi-110001. Phone: 011-23095479; Fax no: 23093070.

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