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Indian Tax Law and Policy

The aim of this blog is to discuss developments in Indian tax law and policy. I try to cover three major categories of tax law and policy: direct tax, indirect tax, and constitutional aspects of tax.

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Case Briefs – Direct Tax

Taxation of Perquisites: SC Rules on Constitutionality

Challenge  In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court ruled on constitutionality of Section 17(2)(viii), IT Act, 1961 and Rule 3(7)(i), IT Rules, 1962 which include concessi…

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Not Providing Opportunity of Being Heard Vitiates Order Imposing Penalty: Raj HC

In a recent decision, the Rajasthan High Court held that the petitioner’s representation – filed under Section 270AA, IT Act, 1961 – for waiving the penalty imposed unde…

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Delhi HC Disallows Disclosure of PM Cares Fund Documents Under RTI Act, 2005

The Delhi High Court in a recent judgment allowed the Income Tax Department’s appeal against the Central Information Commission’s (‘CIC’) order directing the respondent b…

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Fee Attributable to Transmission of Non-Live Feed Not Royalty: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court in a recent decision[1] held that the fee attributable to ‘non-live’ feed cannot be categorized as royalty under Section 9(1)(vi) of the IT Act, 1961. The…

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Case Briefs – Indirect Tax

JDAs Not Exempt from GST: Telangana HC

The Telangana High Court in a recent judgment clarified that Joint Development Agreements (‘JDA’) between developer and landowner do not transfer ownership rights but onl…

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Penalties for e-way bills cannot be imposed in absence of Mens Rea: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court in a recent judgment took the view that the GST Department cannot impose a penalty on taxpayers – under Section 129(3), CGST Act, 2017&nbsp…

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Post-Supply Discounts Cannot be Included in Transaction Value: Madras HC

The Madras High Court recently observed that post-supply discounts offered by a supplier to the recipient cannot be included in the transaction value/value of supply for …

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NAA is Constitutional, Individual Orders Can be Challenged on Merits: Delhi HC

Introduction  This post focuses on the Delhi High Court’s recent judgment upholding the constitutionality of NAA, a statutory body established under Section 171, CGS…

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Case Briefs – Constitution &Tax

Bombay High Court Decides a ‘Peculiar Case’: Orders Refund of Tax Paid Under Protest

The Bombay High Court recently adjudicated a case[1] it termed as ‘peculiar’ and ordered that the Revenue Department should refund the tax paid by petitioner under protest. Th…

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Supreme Court Opines on Nature of Section 19 of 101st Constitutional Amendment

In a recent judgment[1], a Division Bench of the Supreme Court engaged in depth with the scope, meaning, and implication of Section 19 of The Constitution (101st Amendment) Ac…

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Patna High Court Upholds Constitutionality of Section 16(4), CGST Act, 2017

In a recent judgment[1], the Patna High Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 16(4), Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (‘CGST Act’) and Bihar Goods and Services Tax …

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Compounding Fee is Not Tax

In a recent judgment[1], the Delhi High Court clarified that merely because appellants paid a compounding fee after initiation of legal proceedings against them, does not permit th…

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Articles

Dividend Distribution or Reduction of Share Capital: DDT’s Long Shadow on Cognizant

Dividend Distribution Tax (‘DDT’) – abolished in April 2020 – was one of the most contested taxes in India as it taxed dividends in hands of companies which distributed divid…

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Tax Exemption v/s Tax Exemption for ‘Beneficial Purpose’: Interpretive Dilemmas 

The thumb rule in interpreting a tax statute is that it must be strictly construed and any ambiguities in statutory provisions are resolved in favor of the taxpayer. However, the r…

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Rainbow Papers Case and the Art of Misinterpretation

On September 6, 2022, the Supreme Court pronounced its judgment in Rainbow Papers case that unsettled prevailing understanding of the waterfall mechanism under Section 53…

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