The revenue department on Friday deferred implementation of a reporting norm for tax auditors wherein they were required to furnish details of Goods and Service Tax (GST) and c (GAAR) till March 31, 2019.
The Income-Tax Act requires prescribed persons to furnish the Tax Audit Report along with the prescribed particulars in Form No 3CD.
The Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) had amended the Form 3CD with effect from August 20 this year. The amended form includes disclosures on secondary adjustments, interest deduction limitation, general anti-tax avoidance rules (GAAR), specified financial transactions (SFT), expense break-up related to entities with regards to GST, among others.
The CBDT had received several representations from auditors that the implementation of reporting requirements under the proposed clause 30C pertaining to GAAR and proposed clause 44 on GST in the Form No 3CD may be deferred.
"The matter has been examined and it has been decided by the board that reporting under the proposed clause 30C and proposed clause 44 of the Tax Audit Report shall be kept in abeyance till March 3, 2019," the CBDT said in a notification.
Therefore, for Tax Audit Reports to be furnished on or after August 20, 2018 but before April 1, 2019, "the tax auditors will not be required to furnish details called for under the said clause 30C and clause 44 of the Tax Audit Report", it added.
Commenting on the circular, Anupam Jain, Executive Director, Nangia Advisors LLP, said ever since the revised audit format was circulated, there was much restlessness amongst industry and auditors alike on the expansive import of the clause introduced on GAAR.
"CBDT's receptive and quick action step in this regard is a clear indicator that the representations are not only being given adequate importance but also are being acted upon well in time in order to avoid unnecessary vague tax environment," he said.
Naveen Wadhwa, DGM of Taxmann.com, said that it would not be easy for the companies to provide the break-up of expenses in desired format and for the auditors to verify it.
"However, this relief is applicable to only those taxpayers who are liable to tax audit under section 44AB (provisions pertaining to the tax audit).
"In Income Tax Return Form 6, it is mandatory for a company to give break-up of GST expenses if it is not liable for tax audit. No relief is granted to such companies and they are still liable to report GST expenditure break-up at time of filing of ITR,' he said.
Tax expert Sanjay Sanghvi (Partner, Khaitan & Co) termed the CBDT's move as a "very fair decision".
"It was practically not possible for a tax auditor to provide those details/remarks concern in applicability of GAAR. It was equivalent to virtually putting a tax auditor in place of an 'Adjudicating Authority' to give a finding on a very complex subject of GAAR," he said.