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The Union Budget 2023 brought in amendments to angel tax provisions, widened its coverage, and added to the controversies surrounding it. Here is a detailed understanding of what is angel tax, how it works, and how recent amendments affect investors and corporates.
What is Angel Tax?
In 2012, the government introduced the taxation of unjustified premiums that a company receives from its investors to deter the generation and use of unaccounted money. This widening of the tax net followed the concept of benefit taxation to a shareholder when he/ she buys the share below its fair market value, introduced in 2009. The change in 2012 was the first instance of India taxing capital issue proceeds.
This became commonly known as ‘angel tax'. Angel tax provisions tax the proceeds received as a premium on the issue of shares that exceeds the fair market value of shares from residents in companies where the public is not interested.
As a concept, the introduction of angel tax has become a watershed event in India's taxation history, as the valuation of shares became the basis of this tax event. Following this, the income tax department prescribed valuation methods to determine fair market value for angel tax.
Two methods were prescribed:
Given its far-reaching impact, exemption from the applicability of angel tax was provided to:
From April 1, 2023, the angel tax regime has been widened to include investments made by non-residents as well. This has made the valuation of shares of an Indian company a significant point of independent assessment by government agencies (such as the RBI - under extant exchange control regulations and the income tax department) as well as valuation agencies (such as registered valuers, chartered accountants, and merchant bankers). This was earlier a subject matter of commercial negotiations between the investor, the promoter, and the company.
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) vide notification dated 24th May, also notified certain class or classes of person such as Foreign Portfolio Investors, certain endowment, pension and investment funds, of 21 countries including UK, USA, France, Germany etc. which are exempted from angel tax in India.
Interestingly, this list of counties excludes Singapore, Mauritius, Netherland etc. which are top foreign direct investment inflow in India for Indian Companies. This move has baffled the investor community and has been a hot topic of debate.
The income tax department has further via a press release, proposed a revamp of the valuation rules (under rule 11UA of the Income Tax Rules, 1962) for computing the fair market value of unquoted equity shares, particularly considering the inclusion of non-resident investors. These rules were open for public comments/suggestions up to 5th June and the final rules are still awaited. Following are the key changes proposed:
A consequent update has also been made in exemption notification to DPIIT recognised startups to cover issues to non-residents.
Equity Vs Non-Equity Valuation for Shares
There is still a lack of guidance around valuation of other kinds of shares (such as convertible / non-convertible preference shares) convertible instruments in the recent amendments. It is quite common for non-resident investors to invest in the form of convertible instruments.
The CBDT needs to address the valuation mechanism for convertible instruments and how this will play out against the equity valuation guidelines. Current guidance is limited to an independent assessment by a merchant banker or an accountant on the price that such an instrument would fetch if sold in the open market.
Parity of Valuation: Resident and Non-Resident
While CBDT has notified five additional valuation methods for the issue of unquoted equity shares to non-residents, there is no change in the valuation guidelines for issues to resident investors. This can lead to the use of different valuation methods of the same share issued to residents and non-residents.
Even today, the income tax department is investigating the technique adopted in the earlier regime for resident investors. Making more methods available is likely to open more uncertainties and litigation and keep corporates busy with litigation rather than focusing on their business.
A Multiverse of Laws
In each scenario of issue of shares to residents and non-residents, we now have a situation where:
DPIIT Recognition for Startups – Subject to Conditions
Though DPIIT-recognised startups are exempt from angel tax, losing the startup status is more than likely if the company is in a high growth trajectory. Some of the conditions required to remain within the startup regime are:
So, the recent amendments to angel tax are likely to hamper the ease of doing business in India unless the genuine concerns of resident and non-resident investors and companies looking to raise funds are clarified and resolved. Further, tax authorities should rely on independent valuation exercises and not question the commercial intent of investments being made in the company. These principles will go a long way in creating a robust business and investment environment for angels and corporates.
(The author, Sridhar R, is partner-tax at Grant Thornton Bharat; Motilal Parakh, assistant manager-tax at Grant Thornton Bharat LLP, contributed to the article)
The BJP MP Who Abused BSP's Danish Ali is A Lawyer
Since Friday morning, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Delhi Member of Parliament (MP) Ramesh Bidhuri's name has been trending on X, previously Twitter, in India and across news channels. Reason: His offensive diatribe in Lok Sabha against Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Danish Ali, which had to be expunged by the Speaker.
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Such was his statement that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had to stand up and apologise in the house, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had to issue a stern “warning” and his party president JP Nadda had to issue a show-cause notice asking why action should not be initiated against him.
Beyond the borders of the National Capital Region (NCR), Bidhuri isn't a familiar face. So who is he?
This is not the first instance of the MP being on the wrong side. He has a history of controversial remarks.
Last year, when a parent went to seek help from him in a matter related to school, Bidhuri allegedly replied, “Why do you give birth to a child in the first place?”
This sparked off a huge furore which eventually died down.
He also sparked off another controversy when he made a similar communal statement. He said, “Wherever Muslims are in the minority, we speak of human rights. But wherever they are in the majority, violence breaks out.”
In 2019, at a meeting in Mehrauli, Bidhuri had called the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief a b***** (pimp). He said it in the presence of Union Minister Giriraj Singh. He stood by his comment even later saying, “I will say this again and again, I don't think I said anything wrong.”
In 2015, women MPs had complained against Bidhuri's “sexist and abusive language” in the Lok Sabha.
Ranjeet Ranjan, Congress MP from Supaul in Bihar, had officially complained to the Speaker about his “abusive” language against her. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule, then Congress MP from Silchar Sushmita Dev, Trinamool Congress's Arpita Ghosh from Balurghat constituency, and CPI(M)'s PK Shreemathi Teacher-Lok Sabha MP from Kannur had accompanied Ranjan to the Speaker's room.
Bidhuri was elected to Parliament in 2014 and subsequently in 2019 from the South Delhi constituency. Earlier, he had a long stint as a Delhi politician as an MLA from Tughlaqabad from 2003 to 2014. He is known for the way he speaks.
He completed his LLB from Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut, after his graduation in commerce (B.Com) from Delhi University. He has been an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — the student's wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — since 1983. He was the BJP's District President from 1997 to 2003 and later worked actively as the Vice-President of BJP Delhi from 2003 to 2008.
ALSO READ | BJP Issues Show Cause Notice To Bidhuri For His Objectionable Remarks Against Danish Ali In LS
His Lok Sabha profile mentions ‘farmer' and ‘businessperson', too, as his professions. However, little is known about his farming activities. However, he was critical of sections of farmers who held a year-long farmer protest that blocked the Delhi borders.
Last year, the Delhi Police had lodged a first information report (FIR) against three relatives of Bidhuri for allegedly trying to extort Rs 1 crore from a businessman in south-east Delhi. At that time, the MP claimed he wasn't aware of it.
According to the complaint, Bidhuri and his associates abused and assaulted a man and also threatened him with a revolver at a function on June 26, 2004. In 2019, Bidhuri was let off. He, along with others, was accused in a case of rioting and instigating the public to attack police personnel during a protest in 2006. However, a Delhi court discharged them in 2018 for want of evidence.
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Cong Condemns Bidhuri's Remarks Against BSP MP
The Congress on Friday strongly condemned BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri's objectionable remarks in the Lok Sabha against BSP parliamentarian Danish Ali and demanded his immediate suspension from the House.
Describing the remarks as an insult to all MPs, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the apology offered by Union Minister Rajnath Singh was a ”mere eyewash” and not acceptable.
”It is an absolute shame what Bidhuri has said. Rajnath Singh's apology is simply not acceptable. It is a half-hearted apology, it was an afterthought.
”What Bidhuri has said is an insult to Parliament and makes a mockery of what the prime minister keeps repeating 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Sabka Vishvaas, Sabka Prayas' which becomes all 'bakwaas' (nonsense),” Ramesh told reporters here when asked about the issue.
Bidhuri made certain objectionable remarks targeted at Ali on Thursday night during a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
”What Bidhuri has said is an insult to all of us. Strictest possible action should be taken against this MP. If this is not a case for suspension (then what is). Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha (of AAP) stand suspended for exercising their democratic right of protest inside Parliament and Mr Bidhuri has spoken in a language that is an insult not only to Danish Ali but also to every MP and every Indian,” the Congress leader said.
Ramesh said the defence minister's apology is an ”eyewash” and the strongest possible action must be taken against Bidhuri. The remarks were expunged from Parliamentary records and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had immediately expressed regret for Bidhuri's behaviour in the House.
Strongly condemning the remarks, the Congress leader asserted that Bidhuri must be immediately suspended and he should also tender an apology.
”During the special session, the prime minister gave various speeches, saying a 'new chapter will be opened, new energy will be infused' but Ramesh Bidhuri has shown what the BJP's intention and agenda is,” he said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday took ”serious note” of the objectionable remarks made by Bidhuri in the House and warned him of ”strict action” if such behaviour is repeated in the future, officials said.
Bidhuri's remarks targeting Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member Kunwar Danish Ali during a discussion on the ”success of Chandrayaan-3” in the Lok Sabha triggered a furore, with opposition leaders calling for strict action against him.
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Two ex-Ministers laugh on as BJP MP abuses SP's Danish Ali
Former Health Minister Harsh Vardhan issued a clarification on Friday amid outrage over his reaction to communal remarks against a BSP lawmaker. BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri had triggered a massive controversy after making a slew of communal remarks against Danish Ali during a Parliament address. Videos of the now expunged remarks have gone viral on social media with many taking umbrage at the reaction of former Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan and Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“It is a notorious and fabricated story filled with negativity and is being used by some vested political elements on social media to tarnish my image," the former Health Minister insisted in a lengthy Twitter statement.
While he was witness to the “jugglery of words" alongside the entire House, the lawmaker insisted that he ‘could not clearly hear what was being said'.
Source: Live Mint
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Considering leaving Parliament
On BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri's remarks, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Danish Ali told reporters that he was considering leaving the Parliament. Danish Ali wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla regarding the BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri's communal remarks in the Lok Sabha adding that it was "heartbreaking" to him as a minority member.
Bidhuri's communally insensitive remarks, made during the discussion on the Chandrayan-3 Mission in Lok Sabha, have been expunged from the proceedings.
Breaking down, tearing up while talking to media, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Danish Ali said, “When this is the condition of an elected member like me then what will be the condition of a normal person."
The BSP MP said that he is considering leaving the Parliament, “I hope, I will get justice, Speaker will conduct an enquiry or else with a heavy heart, I'm also thinking of leaving this Parliament because this can't be tolerated."
"Is this why we are elected, is this why our ancestors sacrificed their lives for freedom... they (BJP) just did not insult me and my followers but they insulted the whole nation... now let's see if BJP is taking any action against Ramesh Bidhuri or if he will be promoted and included in the central cabinet of ministers...maybe it has become a competition among BJP leaders to make such statements not just outside but even inside the Parliament" Danish Ali added.
Source: Live Mint
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