Startups get relief from tax woes

Startups get relief from tax woes

e-verification mechanism to take care of identity of investors and the source of funds in startups

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday proposed a series of steps to remove angel tax woes of start-ups and relaxation from income-tax scrutiny.

In her maiden budget, the finance minister noted that start-ups in India are taking firm roots and their growth needs to be encouraged.

"To resolve the so-called angel tax issue, the start-ups and their investors who file requisite declaration and provide information in their returns will not be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuations of share premiums," she said.

The issue of establishing identity of investors and the source of funds will be resolved by putting in place a mechanism of e-verification, she added.

"With this, funds raised by start-ups will not require any kind of scrutiny from the income tax department," the minister said.

Sitharaman also said that special administrative arrangements shall be made by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for pending assessment of start-ups and redressal of their grievances.

"It will be ensured that no inquiry or verification in such cases be carried out by the assessing officer without obtaining approval of the supervisory officer. So the element of discretion with which start-ups were suffering has been removed," she said.

The minister also announced that category 2 alternate investment funds (AIFs) who would be investing in startups would completely exempt from angel tax.

At present, start-ups are not required to justify fair market value of their share issue to certain investors including category 1 AIFs.

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