I-T department bars CAs from valuing shares of closely held firms

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The income tax (I-T) has barred all chartered accountants (CAs) from valuing shares of closely-held companies. 

Earlier, the fair market value of unlisted equity shares was calculated at the option of the company on either the book value on the valuation date or by the discounted cash flow method. Calculated by a merchant banker or a CA. 

However, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has removed the CAs from the list of authorised professionals in this regard. From Thursday, only a merchant banker may do this. This change brings this provision at par with Rule 3 of the I-T Act, which says only a merchant banker may calculate the value of unlisted shares issued under Employee Stock Ownership schemes.

Interestingly valuation of shares may still be done by CAs under the Companies Act. 

So, unlisted shares or unlisted companies may be sold or valued by a CA’s valuation but, for I-T purposes, it will require a merchant banker’s valuation report.

Sources add that the government is considering a qualifying course for valuation; only those who clear it may do valuation.

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