24 January 2015

CA articles stipend revised

Please note that the rates of Stipend which is paid to Articled Assistants have increased w.e.f. 23-1-2015. The Notification (http://220.227.161.86/36524council25906-sas.pdfto the effect is as under :
 
[TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE OF INDIA , EXTRAORDINARY, PART III,  SECTION 4]
 
the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
 
NOTIFICATION
 
New Delhi, the 23rd January, 2015
 
No. 1-CA(7)/167/2014.- Whereas certain draft regulations further to amend the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988, were published as required by sub-section (3) of section 30 of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949), in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4, dated the 10th September, 2014, inviting objections and suggestions from persons likely to be affected thereby, before the expiry of forty-five days from the date on  which the copies of the Gazette containing the said notification were made available to the public;
 
          And whereas the copies of the said Gazette were made available to the public on the 12th September, 2014;
 
          And whereas the objections and suggestions received from the public on the said draft regulations have been considered by the Council of the Institute;
 
          Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 30 of the said Act, the Council, with the approval of the Central Government, hereby makes the following regulations further to amend the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988, namely:-
 
1.       (1)      These regulations may be called the Chartered Accountants (First Amendment) Regulations, 2015.
 
(2)      They shall come into force on the date of their final publication in the Official Gazette.
 
 
2.       In the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988 (hereinafter referred to as the said regulations),-
 
(i)        in regulation 28E, in sub-regulation (1), in clause (b), for the words “nine months”, the words “eight months” shall be substituted.
 
(ii)          in regulation 48, in sub-regulation (1), for the Table, the following Table shall be substituted, namely:-

         

“ Table
Classification of the normal place of service of the articled assistant
During the first year of training
During the second year of training
During the remaining period of training
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(i)  Cities/towns having a population of twenty lakhs and above
Rs.2000/-
Rs.2500/-
Rs.3000/-
(ii) Cities/towns having a population of four lakhs and above but less than twenty lakhs
Rs.1500/-
Rs.2000/-
Rs.2500/-
(iii)Cities/towns having a population of less than four lakhs
Rs.1000/-
Rs.1500/-
Rs.2000/-; “
 
 












(ii)          in regulation 204, for the words “and International Trade Laws and World Trade Organisations” the words, “International Trade Laws and World Trade Organisation and International Taxation” shall be substituted.
 
[File No. 1-CA(7)/167 /2014]
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Sd/-
V. Sagar
Acting Secretary


22 January 2015

Clarification on Summons

Central Excise & Service Tax Summons not to be issued to Senior Management Officials in Ordinary Instance
In what could be a relief to the trade, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has tried to streamline the process of issuance of summons under section 14 of Central Excise Act, 1944 (as made applicable to service tax as well) by clarifying that the summon should be only used to obtain details /evidence as a matter of last resort in its circular No. F. No. 207/07/2014-CX-6 dated 20th January, 2015.
 Further, it has been clarified by the board that :-
è  "Senior management officials such as CEO, CFO, General Managers of a large company or a PSU should not generally be issued summons at the first instance. They should be summoned only when there are indications in the investigation of their involvement in the decision making process which led to loss of revenue."
è  Summons by Superintendents should be issued after obtaining prior written permission from an officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner with the reasons for issuance of summons to be recorded in writing.
è Where for operational reasons it is not possible to obtain such prior written permission, oral/telephonic permission from such officer must be obtained and the same should be reduced to writing and intimated to the officer according such permission at the earliest opportunity
è In all cases, where summons are issued, the officer issuing summons should submit a report or should record a brief of the proceedings in the case file and submit the same to the  officer who had authorized the issue of summons .

Author's Note: - Such a sought of clarification is not a newly clarified matter. It is worthy to note that even DGCEI (Intelligence) in its instruction No. F.No. 406/CF/15/2006 dated 19th May, 2006 instructed the field formations in the similar manner. How far it is implemented, only time can tell !!

--
Regards,
CA.Ankit Gulgulia (Jain)|B.COM(H), C.A, C.IFRS, C.B.V, LLB*


17 January 2015

RBI Comments on Bank Auditors

RBI asks bank auditors to have a stringent monitoring process

Pointing to the gaps in the auditors' work, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to adopt a more stringent auditing process to ensure that review of financial results and identification of fraud is done more promptly.


RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra said there is a greater need to take a closer look into the asset quality, instances of restructuring of advances, provisioning held, etc. to ensure that there was no divergence with regard to asset classifications and provisions held.


"The point I am trying to make is that if RBI inspectors are able to identify these divergences in the limited time-frame that they are on-site, why the banks' auditors are not able to do so…Is it a question of efficiency of the auditors or is there a much deeper issue - something to do with the transparency of the process itself?," he asked while addressing members of the Audit Committee of the Boards (ACB) of ICICI Bank subsidiaries & other bank employees.


With regards to provisions, he told banks that adequate provisions should be made for post-retirement benefits like pension, gratuity and leave encashment, etc. and the auditors should ask more pertinent questions to the banks with regards to provisioning requirements

"It is important that the ACB asks the right questions to the management about various underlying assumptions that go into computation of the required provisions such as life expectancy, discount rate, expected return on investments, etc. I urge the ACBs to ask uncomfortable questions," he said in his speech.


In light of instances of know-your-customer (KYC) norms violation Mundra has urged auditors to be stricter with the process of background check. Last month, RBI had imposed penalties on ICICI Bank and Bank of Baroda for flouting KYC and anti money laundering norms.

"I believe that the absence of an appropriate punitive mechanism in the banks for lapses has also contributed to their recurrence. Therefore, our expectations from the ACBs would be to closely focus on reasons for such regulatory penalties/sanctions and seek a root-cause analysis for preventing recurrence," he added.


RBI has also been cautioning consumers against the rising case of credit card and other frauds. Mundra called upon greater sensitivity and increased focus from auditors with regards to having appropriate measures in place to prevent instances of fraud.


"In our recently concluded scrutiny into fixed deposit related frauds in some banks, it emerged that even the caution advices issued by RBI in respect of certain individuals had not percolated down to the branch officials quickly enough to enable appropriate preventive measures… I would say that ACBs should take upon themselves to monitor the trend of frauds, assimilate key learnings and ensure that mitigation measures are put in place by the management," he added.

 

Source: BS


16 January 2015

Scrutiny Assessments-Refund

SECTION 143 OF THE INCOME-TAX ACT, 1961 - ASSESSMENT - GENERAL - CLARIFICATION AS TO WHETHER PROVISION OF SECTION 143(1D) PERMITS PROCESSING OF RETURNS HAVING A REFUND CLAIM, WHERE NOTICE UNDER SECTION 143(2) HAS BEEN ISSUED

INSTRUCTION NO.1/2015 [F.NO.225/319/2014-ITAT.II], DATED 13-1-2015

Sub-section (1D) of section 143 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 ('Act') provides that where a notice has been issued to a taxpayer under sub-section (2) of section 143 of the Act, it shall not be necessary to process the return in such a case.

2. Some doubts have been expressed, in view of the words "shall not be necessary" used in the said sub-section, as to whether this provision permits processing of returns having a refund claim, where notice under section 143(2) of the Act has been issued.

3. The matter has been examined by the Board. Sub-section (1D) of section 143 of the Act was introduced by the Finance Act, 2012 with effect from 01.07.2012. The purpose of introduction of this sub-section has been stated in the Explanatory Note to the Finance Act as under:

"Under the existing provisions, every return of income is to be processed under sub-section (1) of section 143 and refund, if any, due is to be issued to the taxpayer. Some returns of income are also selected for scrutiny which may lead to raising a demand for taxes although refunds may have been issued earlier at the time of processing.

It is therefore proposed to amend the provisions of the Income-tax Act to provide that processing of return will not be necessary in a case where notice under sub-section (2) of section 143 has already been issued for scrutiny of the return."

Thus, in cases where an unprocessed return is selected for scrutiny, the legislative intent is to prevent the issue of refund after processing as scrutiny proceedings may result in demand for taxes on finalisation of the assessment subsequently.

4. Considering the unambiguous language of the relevant provision and the intention of law as discussed above, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, in exercise of the powers conferred on it under section 119 of the Act hereby clarifies that the processing of a return cannot be undertaken after notice has been issued under sub-section (2) of section 143 of the Act. It shall, however, be desirable that scrutiny assessments in such cases are completed expeditiously.

5. This may be brought to the notice of all concerned for strict compliance.

15 January 2015

Customs Procedures Simplified for Shipping

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
CENTRAL BOARD OF EXCISE & CUSTOMS
NEW DELHI

CIRCULAR NO

02/2015-Cus., Dated: January 15, 2015

To

The Chief Commissioner of Customs/Customs (Preventive)
The Chief Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise
The Commissioner of Customs/Customs (Preventive)
The Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise

Subject: Simplification of Customs procedures for shipping - regarding.

The avoidable delays on account of non-uniform Customs procedures adopted at some ports/Customs stations not only increase transaction cost and time of clearance but also prove to be major constraints in making Indian ports international transshipment hubs. Therefore, a Committee was set up by Ministry of Shipping for simplification of shipping related Customs procedures. The Committee has made, interalia, certain recommendations for implementation by Customs:

2. Board has examined the recommendations of the said Committee in consultation with identified Chief Commissioners of Customs. Accordingly, the following decisions have been taken to streamline the extant procedures at various ports:

(i) It is reported that the number of hard copies of Import General Manifest (IGM) filed by shipping lines/steamer agents varies from 2 to 6 at various ports. Board, has noted that the Customs is already receiving the IGM electronically as well. The requirement of large number of hard copies of this document leads to unnecessary escalation of compliance cost. Therefore, taking into account the requirement of Customs as well the fact that an electronic version of IGM is already available, Board has decided that henceforth the number of hard copes of IGM required to be submitted by shipping lines/steamer agents at a Customs House shall be restricted to 2 (two) only.

(ii) The port clearance requires submission of numerous documents on behalf of other agencies - Lighthouse Dues Certificate, NOC for Immigration, Port Health Certificate etc. At present, the port clearance is given on the strength of a bond and a guarantee which are given each time a vessel enters. As a measure of simplification, Board has decided to give an option to the steamer agent to (a) give a continuity bond and (b) merge the guarantee with the continuity bond. This would reduce the number required documents from 2 (two) to 1 (one) and periodicity (of submission) would also get reduced drastically.

(iii) Reportedly, in case of transshipped cargo, shipping lines send multiple hard copies of 'Sub Manifest Transhipment Permit' (SMTP) to the destination ICD despite the same also being transmitted electronically. However, there may be situations warranting hard copy of the document such as when amendments have to be made. Recognizing the need for reducing number of copies of SMTP, Board has decided that only 1 (one) copy of SMTP would be sufficient and Customs at ICD should not insist on more number of hard copies of SMTP.

(iv) Currently , separate permissions are required whenever the mode of transport of transhipment containers changes from train to road or vice versa. The view is that this may be dispensed with since the carrier has already executed a bond for safe carriage of the goods to the destination port/ICD. With a view to boost inter-modal transportation of transshipped cargo and simply procedure, Board has decided that henceforth no separate permission is required from jurisdictional Customs in case of change of mode of transshipment under the Goods Imported (Conditions of Transhipment) Regulations, 1995. However, the carrier is required to intimate the change to the jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs who will ensure the bond covers both modes of transport.

3. Chief Commissioners of Customs/Customs and Central Excise are requested to ensure that the aforementioned decisions are complied with strictly by field formations in their jurisdiction. Suitable Trade notice/Public Notice may also be issued for guidance of trade and staff.

4. Difficulty, faced if any, may be brought to the notice of the Board.

F. No. 450/221/2014-Cus IV

(Pawan Khetan)
OSD ( Cus IV)


Supreme Court Stay on Service Tax Audit

SC stays Travelite India (Delhi HC) judgment striking down service tax rule 5A(2)

January 12, 2015[2015] 53 taxmann.com 238 (SC)

 

Service Tax : Supreme Court stayed operation of judgment of Delhi High Court in Travelite (India) holding that : (a) only type of audit contemplated under law is under section 72A, i.e., a special audit; (b) Parliament did not intend to provide for a general audit that "every assessee" may be subjected to "on demand" under rule 5A(2); and (c) rule 5A(2) of Service Tax rules, 1994 is ultra vires section 94

■■■

[2015] 53 taxmann.com 238 (SC)

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Union of India

v.

Travelite (India)*

H.L. DATTU, CJI.
A.K. SIKRI AND R.K. AGRAWAL, JJ.

Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No. 34872 of 2014

DECEMBER  18, 2014 

Rule 5A of the Service Tax Rules, 1994, read with sections 72A, 83 and 94 of the Finance Act, 1994 and section 37B of the Central Excise Act, 1944 - Audit - Service Tax - Submission of Records - Assessee received a letter from Commissioner seeking records for scrutiny by an audit party - Assessee challenged said letter and also challenged rule 5A(2) as well as Instruction F. No. 137/26/2007-CX.4, dated 1-1-2008 issued there under as ultra vires Act on ground that there is no substantive power under Act to call for records and audit is provided only by section 72A and, therefore, mandate of section 72A cannot be exceeded - High Court held that : (a) Section 72A envisages an audit of an assessee's records only in special circumstances; (b) Revenue could not show any other substantive provision which justifies a probe into records of assessee, under conditions akin to those contemplated by rule 5A(2); (c) Parliament did not intend to provide for a general audit that "every assessee" may be subjected to, "on demand"; (d) thus, any attempt to include provision for such a general audit through back-door, such as through rule 5A(2) is ultra-vires; likewise, CBEC instruction was also void - On Department's Special Leave Petition to Supreme Court - HELD : There shall be stay of operation of judgment of High Court [Para 1] [Stay granted]

CASE REVIEW

 

Travelite (India) v. Union of India [2014] 48 taxmann.com 227/[2014] 46 GST 708 (Delhi) stayed.

Mukul Rohatgi, Attorney General Nisha Bagchi, Charul Sarin and B. Krishna Prasad, Advs. for the Appellant.

ORDER

 

1. There shall be stay of the operation of the impugned judgment and order dated 4-8-2014 passed by the High Court in Writ Petition (C) No.3774 of 2013.

■■

*In favour of revenue.

 

 

14 January 2015

CPT CA final results

Final Examination and  CPT) held in November/December, 2014 are likely to be declared on Monday, the 19th January, 2015 around 2.00 PM.

12 January 2015

Exposure Draft of Ind AS compliant Schedule III to the Companies Act 2013 for Public comments

ICAI has issued Exposure Draft of Ind AS compliant Schedule III to the Companies Act 2013 for Public comments.

Schedule III will be the presentation format for companies under IFRS-converged Ind ASs. Last date for comment submission is January 17, 2015. Now u can acess the ED and can submit the comment online at the following link:

http://www.icai.org/comments/asb/viewdetailcomment.html?commentdoc_id=11

11 January 2015

Most TP Audit Report by CAs unreliable with pathetic professional work

Most TP Audit Report by CAs unreliable with pathetic professional work

Wrigley India Pvt Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Delhi), I.T.A. Nos. 5648, 5649 and 5650/Del/12, Date of pronouncing the order : December 31, 2014.
It seems CAs are under attack from all parts of the world for good or not so good reasons. Recently CAG in its report Criticised CAs for alleged Mistakes in Tax Audit Report and signing of Tax Audit Reports  more than the prescribed limit.
ITAT Mumbai has also sounded warning on falling standards of CA profession in the case of Vijay V Meghani vs. DCIT. 
In One more  blow Finance Ministry has already Proposed to amend the definition of the word Accountant under the Direct Tax law and to include Cost Accountant,  Company Secretary etc. in the definition.  This will enable other professionals also  to Conduct Tax Audit and other Certification under the Income Tax which is till now the sole domain of Chartered Accountants.
In a new blow to CA Professionals ITAT Delhi has held in the case of Wrigley India Pvt Ltd vs. ACIT has drawn the following conclusion from Transfer pricing Study Reports prepared by CAs and studied by them over a period of time:-
  1. These TP reports as also certifications by the chartered accounts inspire no confidence.
  2. Nothing can justify  pathetic level of professional work done by chartered accountants.
  3. Chartered Accountants also responsible for frivolous litigation.
  4. No purpose served by TP Reports of  chartered accountant  when reports do not even point   glaring infirmities in taxpayers approach vis-a-vis the transfer regulation.
  5.  in an alarming number cases, these audit reports, rather than painting a true and fair picture of the relevant facts, tend to epitomize the art of constant hedging and manoeuvring by the professionals so as they stay within the confines of permissible professional conduct and are yet able to sidestep the inconvenient realities.


Relevant Para of the Judgment is as follows :-
Having held so, we must also point out that the transfer pricing reports with respect to the impugned determination of ALP leave a lot to be desired. Just because the action of the authorities below, in adopting cost plus method in the above manner, is legally unsustainable, the ALP determination by the assessee cannot be taken as correct. These TP reports as also certifications by the chartered accounts inspire no confidence and, quite to the contrary, raise doubts about efficacy of the built in checks and balances in transfer pricing regulations. It is somewhat fashionable to criticize the revenue authorities for their lack of objectivity or even inefficiency but what in the world can justify such a pathetic level of professional work relied upon by even the large corporate entities. If the tax judicial system is clogged by frivolous litigation today and if the tax finality still takes decades to reach, these saviours of taxpayers are as much to be blamed for this situation as anybody else. No purpose can be served in reporting by a chartered accountant when suchreports do not even point out glaring infirmities in taxpayer's approach vis-à-vis the transfer regulation, in a comparison of budgeted profits margin with actual profit margins realized by the comparables which is stated to be ascertainment of ALP on the basis of the TNMM. It appears that in an alarming number cases, these audit reports, rather than painting a true and fair picture of the relevant facts, tend to epitomize the art of constant hedging and manoeuvring by the professionals so as they stay within the confines of permissible professional conduct and are yet able to sidestep the inconvenient realities. Of course, it will be much worse a situation if they are actually so naïve as to be oblivious of simple provisions of law, of their onerous responsibilities or of the legitimate public expectations. It is not to belittle the brilliant work being done by many a professionals but it is just to point out the dilemma of those who explore the possibilities of relying upon such audit reports and certifications, and also the inertia of those who can do something to salvage this situation and, to thus avoid an inevitable systemic rejection of the ritualistic certifications. We are particularly pained today as the financial period before us is mostly even more than a decade old and yet since the TP reports and certifications before us are, in our considered view, are so much devoid of credibility that, instead of deciding the things one way or the other, we have no choice except to remit the matter to the file of the TPO for fresh ascertainment of ALP on the basis of residuary method, i.e. TNMM. (Para 24)
(Article is Compiled by CA Sandeep Kanoi)

SOP for Administering TDS


CBDT - Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Administering TDS


STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP) FOR ADMINISTERING TDS INCORPORATING THE RE-ENGINEERED PROCESSES DEVELOPED BY THE CPC-TDS

TDS is a non-obtrusive but powerful instrument to prevent tax evasion as well as to expand the tax net. TDS also minimizes tax avoidance by the taxpayer (income earners), as the payee's transaction(s) are reported to the Department by the third person. The contribution of TDS to the overall gross direct taxes collections during F.Y.2013-14 was Rs.2,71,069 crore. This is a 17.88% growth over the collections shown under this minor head from Rs.2,29,943 crore during F.Y.2012-13. Thus, TDS now contributes more than 37% to the gross direct taxes collections, emphasizing its ever growing importance.

2.  With the Centralized Processing Cell for TDS at Vaishali, Ghaziabad, the TDS administration is now driven through technology support. The CPC-TDS provides comprehensive MIS on compliance behaviour of the deductors, defaults details, PAN errors besides helping the deductor or the Department to identity & rectify mistakes. The strategy to augment revenue through TDS ought to be, therefore, a mix of enforcement, capacity building (external and internal) and leveraging of information that is now available with the Department through the CPC-TDS.

3.  With the enablement of all functionalities, available to the TDS Assessing Officer through AO Portal, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) specifying the role of Officers, who are associated with TDS administration, becomes necessary. The SOPs have been framed to address the various features in the re-engineered processes in TDS administration. The SOPs have been made on following issues :-

i. Matching the unconsumed challan.
ii. Top deductors paying less/no tax with respect to previous financial years. iii. Resolvable/Collectible TDS Demand.
iv. G-OLTAS reconciliation.
v. Corporate connect for TDS compliance.

Disclosure of Information About Taxpayers

U/S 138 of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 - Disclosure of information about taxpayers to media - Circular - Dated 1-1-2015 - Income Tax


OFFICE MEMORANDUM DATED 1-1-2015


Instances have come to the notice of the Board where information pertaining to individual taxpayers has been published in the print media with specific reference to departmental sources. In some cases, even details contained in departmental documents seem to have been shared with the representatives of media.

Attention of all the officers and officials of the Department is drawn to the provisions of section 138 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 read with notifications issued under that section, which obligates that no public servant shall produce before any person or authority any such document or record or any information or computerised data or part thereof as comes into his or her possession during the discharge of official duties unless specifically authorised to do so in accordance with the notifications issued under section 138 from time to time.

I am also directed to draw attention to the provisions contained in section 280 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 which provide that if a public servant furnishes any information or produces any record in contravention of the provisions of section 138(2) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, he or she will be punishable with imprisonment which may extend up to six months and shall also be liable to fine.

Privacy of taxpayer must be respected as the information respecting an assessee is held in fiduciary capacity and maintaining its confidentiality is a statutory obligation of the Department.



The above legal position is brought to the notice of all officers and officials of the Department for strict compliance. Any breach of the aforesaid statutory obligation will be viewed seriously by the Board and necessary action will be initiated.

All supervisory authorities must sensitise their subordinates about the statutory position and ensure that the Board's directions are complied with both in letter and spirit.

This issues with the approval of Chairperson, CBDT.


[F. No. DIR.(HQRS.)/CH.(DT)/29/2014]

Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS)

Ministry of Finance09-January, 2015 14:02 IST
New Draft of Twelve Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS) has been Uploaded on the Finance Ministry and Income-Tax Department Website for Seeking Comments from Stakeholders and General Public by 8th February, 2015

             Sub- section (1) of Section 145 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 ('the Act') provides that the income chargeable under the head "Profits and gain of business or profession" or "Income from other sources" shall [subject to the provisions of sub-section (2)] be computed in accordance with either cash or mercantile system of accounting regularly employed by the assessee. Sub-section (2) of Section 145 provides that the Central Government may notify Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS) for any class of asssessees or for any class of income.
             The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had constituted a Committee comprising departmental officers and professionals in December, 2010 to inter alia suggest standards for the purposes of notification under Section 145(2) of the Act. The Committee submitted its first Interim Report in August 2011. The Committee submitted its Final Report along with the Draft of Standards in August, 2012 which was placed in public domain for comments.
             On the basis of the suggestions received from the stakeholders and examination of the same by the CBDT, the draft standards submitted by the Committee have been revised.
             The new draft of 12 Income Computation and Disclosure Standards(ICDS) has been uploaded on the Finance Ministry website (www.finmin.nic.in) and Income-tax Department website(www.incometaxindia.gov.in) for comments from stakeholders and general public. The comments and suggestions on the draft ICDS may be submitted by 8th February, 2015 at the email address (dirtpl3@nic.in or rkbhoot@gmail.com) or by post at the following address with "Comments on draft ICDS" written on the envelope:


*****

DSM/KA

(Release ID :114471)

06 January 2015

Extension of last date “for complying with the CPE hours requirement for the Calendar Year 2014

We would like to inform you that it has been decided to extend the last date for complying with the CPE hours requirement for the Calendar Year 2014 - from 31st December, 2014 to 31st March, 2015

Chairman
CPE Committee

04 January 2015

Road Map Revised for Implementation of Indian Accounting Standards

Road Map Revised for Implementation of Indian Accounting Standards for Companies Other Than Banking Companies, Insurance Companies and NBFCs; Notification to Follow Soon

In pursuance of the Budget statement, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India after wide consultations with various stakeholders and regulators, has drawn-up a revised Road Map for companies other than Banking Companies, Insurance Companies and Non- Banking Finance Companies (NBFC’s) for implementation of Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) converged with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) shall be applicable to the companies as follows:

(i)On voluntary basis for financial statements for accounting periods beginning on or after April 1, 2015, with the comparatives for the periods ending 31st March, 2015 or thereafter;

(ii)On mandatory basis for the accounting periods beginning on or after April 1, 2016, with comparatives for the periods ending 31st March, 2016, or thereafter, for the companies specified below:

(a)Companies whose equity and/or debt securities are listed or are in the process of listing on any stock exchange in India or outside India and having net worth of Rs. 500 Crore or more.

(b)Companies other than those covered in (ii) (a) above, having net worth of Rs. 500 Crore or more.

(c)Holding, subsidiary, joint venture or associate companies of companies covered under (ii) (a) and (ii) (b) above.

(iii)On mandatory basis for the accounting periods beginning on or after April 1, 2017, with comparatives for the periods ending 31st March, 2017, or thereafter, for the companies specified below:

(a)Companies whose equity and/or debt securities are listed or are in the process of being listed on any stock exchange in India or outside India and having net worth of less than rupees 500 Crore.

(b)Companies other than those covered in paragraph (ii) and paragraph (iii)(a) above that is unlisted companies having net worth of rupees 250 crore or more but less than rupees 500 Crore.

(c)Holding, subsidiary, joint venture or associate companies of companies covered under paragraph (iii) (a) and (iii) (b) above.

However, Companies whose securities are listed or in the process of listing on SME exchanges shall not be required to apply Ind AS. Such companies shall continue to comply with the existing Accounting Standards unless they choose otherwise.

(iv)Once a company opts to follow the Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS), it shall be required to follow the Ind AS for all the subsequent financial statements.

(v)Companies not covered by the above roadmap shall continue to apply existing Accounting Standards prescribed in Annexure to the Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules, 2006.

A notification on the above lines shall be issued shortly.

CSR rules of Companies Act

Many companies still grappling with new CSR rules of Companies Act

Realty major DLF, in its 2008 annual report, identified sponsoring the Indian Premier League as part of its responsibility as a corporate citizen. Now, many would believe that the new legislation under the Companies Act
, 2013, has removed many of the loose connotations associated with corporate social responsibility
 (CSR), but the fact remains that companies are still grappling with the new rules that are binding from the current fiscal.

Companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore, or a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore, or net profit of Rs 5 crore, need to spend at least 2 per cent of their average net profit for the immediately preceding three financial years on CSR
 activities.

29 December 2014

ICAI ON C&AG REPORT

ICAI ON C&AG REPORT                                         Attention has been drawn to certain issues raised on the certification work done by the members of the profession in the report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG) entitled ‘Appreciation of Third Party (Chartered Accountant) Reporting in Assessment proceedings’ (Report No. 32 of 2014).

The issues raised in said report were deliberated in the recent meeting of the Council held from 23rd to 25th December, 2014. The Council was of the view that:

1.  Issues raised in the report be studied for initiating a structured and meaningful dialogue with the office of C&AG.

2.  Necessary steps be initiated against the erring members wherever any act of professional misconduct is observed.

3.  Refer details of all such members to the Disciplinary Directorate, who are said to have done Tax Audit, under section 44AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961, more than the limit prescribed by the Institute.

4.  Develop an IT based system in coordination with the authorities concerned especially to obtain the report of total numbers of Tax Audit done by each member to find out the details of the members not adhering to the Institute’s guidelines.

5.  Call for such information, as required, from the members invoking authority under the relevant provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and Regulations/ Rules framed thereunder.

6.  Keep the communication channels updated especially with the stakeholders so as to protect the interest of the profession.

7.  Create a Special Cell with proper staff to deal with these matters in an urgent manner.

V. Sagar
Acting Secretary
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
27th December, 2014

28 December 2014

5-minute test is suggested to filter out risky companies:

n5-minute test is suggested to filter out risky companies:

Auditor’s Opinion: Read the Auditor’s Opinion in the 10-K to make sure that it is a “going concern” and that the financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, … in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted…”.

Lawsuits: Read footnotes for legal proceedings that can seriously harm the company. Stay away if you don’t understand the full impact of a lawsuit.

Unusual losses: Check how often the company reported unusual losses (e.g. bad debt, inventory write-downs, severance payments to laid-off workers, etc.) in the last several years.

Earnings restatements: Almost every major financial disaster was preceded by an earnings restatement. Make sure the company has not restated in the last several years.

Intangibles assets ratio: [(Goodwill + other intangibles) / Total assets] should be < 20%. Intangibles can be impaired and quickly disappear from the balance sheet. In credit crunch times, intangibles are hard to sell. Large intangibles are also a sign of management overpaying for acquisitions.

Debt-to-equity ratio: [(Sum of all interest-bearing debt including working capital lines of credit, short-term debt, long-term debt, and capital leases) / Shareholders’ equity] should be <= 75%.

Revenue growth: Look for revenue growth of >= 30% over the last 5 years (cumulative, not annual figure). Best revenue growth comes from increase in units sold, followed by price increases.

Stock-based compensation ratio: [Stock-based compensation / accrual profits] <= 15%. This measures how much of the profit goes to employees rather than shareholders.

Short ratio: [Number of shares short / Float] <= 15%. If more than 15%, understand why and determine if that is justified.

24 December 2014

BANK AUDIT 2015

The following procedure will be followed for appointment statutory branch auditors (SBAs) in public sector banks (PSBs):

(i) The list of eligible auditors/audit firms will be prepared by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) as per the norms prescribed by RBI.( LIST prepared and ready to shoot to RBI)

(ii) The above list will be subjected to scrutiny by RBI for identifying the continuing and rested firms and excluding audit firms against whom adverse remarks/disciplinary proceedings are pending or who have been denied audit.

(iii) RBI will, thereafter, forward the final list of all eligible auditors/audit firms to PSBs for selection.

(iv) The PSBs will select the required number of branch auditors/audit firms. Banks will be required to clearly advise the audit firms selected for consideration of appointment that each audit firm can take up audit assignment (branch audit) in one PSB only. The audit firm should give their consent in writing for consideration of appointment in the bank concerned for the particular year and the subsequent continuing years.( the firms whose four year term has not completed shall be on the panel of sam bank.no fresh consent shall be require)

(v) The consent given by an audit firm will be treated as irrevocable and request, if any, from audit firms for changing the bank, after giving its consent to the bank concerned will not be entertained.( some of the banks takes consent from auditor and dont carry their names to list.auditors ignore the other bank offer being consent given .Attention is required for such exercise)

(vi) After the selection of branch auditors, PSBs will be required to recommend the names of both continuing and selected branch auditors to RBI for seeking its prior approval before their actual appointment, as per statutory requirement.

3. SBAs will have a maximum tenure of four years. The appointment of SBAs will be made on an annual basis, subject to their fulfilling the eligibility norms prescribed by RBI from time to time and also subject to their suitability.

4. The number of eligible auditors / audit firms is more than the number of branches to be audited at the following 33 centres (viz. Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune, Solapur, Thane, Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi/ New Delhi, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Raipur, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Panchkula, Panipat, Sonipat, Bangalore, Ernakulam, Indore, Nagpur, Ludhiana, Jodhpur, Bhilwara, and Ghaziabad). In such centres, the auditors/ audit firms will be put to a period of compulsory rest for two years after completion of four years of continuous branch audit. In other centres, where the number of eligible auditors / audit firms is less than the number of branches to be audited, the branch auditors on completion of four years of continuous branch audit will be subjected to the policy of rotation.(as per policy the other places are out of rotation but the same is being misused)

5. While allotting branches, banks are required to select auditors/audit firms which are in close proximity to their offices/branches. Banks are also required to have a suitable mix of various categories of auditors / audit firms while selecting the branch auditors keeping in view the size of the branches to be audited.( Though banks have nothing to do with the cooling of firms other than 33 places but the same is being implemented from last four years as CAs are in surplus .Though this year PDC has prescribed a list with gap)

6. As regards statutory branch audit to be carried out by SCAs, banks will allot the top 20 branches(to be selected strictly in order of the level of outstanding advances) in such a manner as to cover a minimum of 15% of total gross advances of the bank by SCAs.

23 December 2014

CAG pulls up chartered accountants for incorrect income tax information

CAG pulls up chartered accountants for incorrect income tax information

 Coming down heavily on chartered accountants hired by the income tax department, a CAG report on Friday said their failure to submit correct tax information resulted in levying of lower taxes by as much as Rs 2,813.11 crore in 367 cases surveyed.

"We found cases where the CAs failed to report full and correct information in 367 cases leading to short levy of taxes of Rs 2,813.11 crore and where the Assessment Officers failed to utilise the information available in 102 reports or certificates submitted to them leading to short levy of taxes of Rs 1,310.05 crore," said the report of the official auditor.

"We also found in another 616 cases where CAs committed mistakes viz in allowance of exemption or deductions, charging of tax on book profit under Section 115JB, adoption of arm's length price and reporting on cash payments exceeding Rs 20,000 per day," it said.

The performance audit covered assessments completed during the period from financial years 2010-11 to 2012-13 and up to the date of audit.

In case of major audit observations, it said assessment records of previous assessment years (AYs) were also linked wherever found necessary.

"We found that 18.87 per cent of CAs (12,435 CAs) for 2013-14 issued more tax audit reports than prescribed by ICAI. We also got cases where CAs did not mention their membership numbers," it said.

Income tax department did not refer any case for professional negligence to ICAI for taking action against erring CAs, it said.

The report also said that CAs failed to give correct information relating to allowance of depreciation in 66 cases involving short levy of tax of Rs 457.79 crore

Tax auditors did not report correct information regarding brought forward loss or depreciation resulting in irregular brought forward loss or depreciation allowance in 46 cases involving short levy of tax of Rs 557.79 crore, it said.

"We have also commented on lacunae in the existing (tax) forms which need modification in order to capture full information of the affairs of assessees so that taxes are applied correctly," it said.

The CAs are regarded as facilitators for the Income Tax Department in administering the provisions of the The Income Tax Act, 1961 correctly.

The tax audit reports (TARs) or certificates issued by them serve as a valuable reference guide to the Assessing Officers (AOs) while making assessments.

 

CAG Report Exposes Shocking Carelessness And Blunders By CAs

The Comproller & Auditor General of India (CAG) has issued a report No. 32 of 2014 setting out the results of the performance audit of “Appreciation of Third Party (Chartered Accountant) Certification in Assessment Proceedings of the Department of Revenue”.

The report makes for shocking reading because it exposes the utterly careless manner in which the Chartered Accountants have conducted audits and issued certificates in blatant disregard of all basic norms.

According to the CAG’s report, there has been short levy of taxes to the extent of Rs 2,813.11 crore in the 367 cases which were surveyed, as a result of wrong audit reports issued by CAs.

The report also points out that there are 616 cases where CAs have committed mistakes in allowance of exemption or deductions, charging of tax on book profit under Section 115JB, adoption of arm’s length price and reporting on cash payments exceeding Rs 20,000 per day.

The CAG report gives several illustrations of such carelessness and also provides the names and membership numbers of the CAs who have conducted the audit.

The report also laments that no action u/s 288 of the Act has been taken by the department against the erring CAs.

It may be recalled that the ITAT has recently in Vijay V Meghani vs. DCIT (ITAT Mumbai) passed severe strictures against the CA profession for alleged falling standards. The Tribunal has also advised the ICAI to take action against erring members and to tackle the issue on a war footing.

In response to the criticism advanced by the ITAT, the ICAI had issued a ste [truncated by WhatsApp]