March 2022 Newsletter


Circulars / Notifications / Press Release​

Press Release: Guidance on uploading of manually submitted forms 15CA/CB between 7 June and 15 August 2021

  • In accordance with a press release dated 20 July 2021 issued by CBDT, functionality for uploading Form 15CA And Form 15CB submitted with Authorized Dealers in manual format during the period 7 June 2021 to 15 August 2021 has been enabled at e-filing portal.

Case Laws

Cochin Malabar Estates and Industries Ltd

  • In the referred case, assessee sold an agricultural land on which he was running rubber business. Department was of the view that usage of land is for rubber business and therefore it is a non-agricultural land and therefore subject to tax on capital gains. Assessee then filed an appeal in High court.
  • Madras High Court held that the usage of the land after the purchase may not be a relevant factor to find whether the land in question is agricultural land or not. Hence held that such transfer of land is not liable to tax on capital gains.

Dhanesh Kumar Jain

In the referred case, assessee failed to claim fifty per cent deduction on interest on compensation received for the compulsory acquisition of the land by the government. Later Assessee claimed that the aforesaid statutory deduction was in the nature of a mistake apparent from record, rectifiable under Sec.154 but the CIT(A) rejected the rectification application filed by assessee. Aggrieved by this, assessee filed appeal before ITAT.

  • ITAT held that Assessee’ s claim of deduction is not dependent on any documentary evidence/material but is interlinked with the receipt of the interest on compensation or enhanced compensation by him. Thus, ITAT directed the Assessing Officer to allow fifty per cent deduction for interest on compensation received.

Rajkamal Healds And Reeds Pvt. Ltd

  • In the referred case, assessee filed its return applying concessional tax rate but failed to file form 10-IC which is mandatory filing for availing the concessional tax rate. The return was processed without giving benefit of concessional tax rate.
  • The Revenue argued that the section clearly states that benefit of concessional tax rates cannot be provided if the Form 10-IC is not filed. Assessee filed a SLP (Special Leave Petition) with the plea that omission in non-filing was not a deliberate act.
  • In view of the above, the Gujarat HC directed the assessee to file an application with PCCIT/CCIT at the earliest requesting to permit to file the Form 10-IC electronically after condoning the delay.

Prism Networks Private Limited

  • In the referred case, the TPO (Transfer Pricing Officer) has rejected the assessee’ s comparable stating that they were not available in public domain.
  • ITAT held that Assessee’ s comparable cannot be rejected merely on account of the comparable company is not found in the search matrix of TPO if the annual reports are available in the MCA or other public domain.

Taj GVK Hotels & Resorts Ltd

  • In the referred case, it was held that deduction under section 35AD for the capital expense cannot be denied if the Assessee has not completely constructed entire building by itself or own the building and land.
  • The provisions only specify that the specified business should be in the nature of the building and operating a new hotel of 2 stars or above category as classified by the Central Government.

Geetha Pundaleeka

  • In the referred case, ITAT held that TDS provisions are not applicable on the prior period expenses and hence the prior period expense cannot be allowed as expense on account of the reason that TDS on prior period expenses has been deducted in the year under consideration.

Autoliv ASP Inc

  • In the referred case, Delhi ITAT held that engineering services are not taxable in India as FTS (Fee for Technical Services) if these services fail ‘make available’ test. ITAT observed that engineering services were only sub contracted, and no knowledge was transferred. Accordingly, ITAT ruled in favour of assessee.

Viacom 18 Media (P) Ltd

  • In the referred case, assessee applied for NIL certificate towards transponder fee payment. Revenue rejected the application holding it as royalty payment and subject to taxation in India.
  • Mumbai ITAT held that the term ‘secret formula or process’ means a secret process which is not akin to the meaning of term ‘process’ per Sec. 9 of the Act. Accordingly, ITAT adjudicated that payment of transponder fees did not constitute royalty and ruled in the favour of the Assessee.

Indirect taxes

DGFT set-up Helpdesk for Russia-Ukraine related International Trade Issues

In view of the current international situation and related difficulties being faced by stakeholders on Russia/Ukraine trade related issues, Department of Commerce / Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has operationalised a Helpdesk to support and seek suitable resolutions to issues related to India’s International Trade in this regard. Export-Import community may access this helpdesk in any of the following ways:

  • Create a new request under the category ‘Russia-Ukraine’ on DGFT website under Helpdesk Service section;
  • Email the issues to DGFT email id with the subject header ‘Russia-Ukraine Trade Helpdesk’ or call the Toll Free number at 1800-111-550;
  • Attend a weekly meeting via Video Conference scheduled every Monday at 3:30 p.m. IST on the web-link given by DGFT.  

Goods and Service Tax

Time limit to avail input tax credit under Section 16(4) of Central GST Act is linked to the date of underlying supply, date of Tax Invoice not relevant – Andhra Pradesh Appellate AAR

The Andhra Pradesh Appellate AAR in the case of M/s Vishnu Chemicals Limited has held that the Appellant is not eligible to claim input tax credit on Tax Invoice dated 1 April 2020 which pertains to the services rendered during the period April 2018 to March 2019, since it is hit by the period of limitation prescribed under Section 16(4) of the Central GST Act, 2017. Section 16(4) provides that the input tax credit can be availed up to the due date of filing GST return for the month of September of the next financial year to which the invoice pertains or filing of annual return, whichever is earlier. The Appellate AAR held that the invoice pertains to the period of supply covered by the invoice, which is financial year 2018-19 in this case. Thus, the Appellant is not eligible to claim input tax credit in the financial year 2020-21.  

Cybersecurity / IS AUDIT

Information Security for all sizes of business:

VAPT: Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing

We are living in a digital age where cyber security is no longer optional but a key to organizational success. Even though risks are evaluated, and actions are being taken, the pace appears to be slow while businesses in all sectors are scrambling to respond to the growing cyber threats. Healthcare, finance, and government sectors are a few sectors reporting high volumes of security breaches.

To increase the resilience and build defence, it is important for every organization to fully comprehend the risk and their exposure to vulnerability.

In this article, we have tried to briefly touch upon certain must know terms. 

Vulnerability Assessment

Vulnerability Assessment or a VA is an easily carried out process and it is employed to discover the vulnerabilities that plagues your system or application. There are many tools such as Nessus that allow you to track vulnerabilities in your system, but the quality of the evaluation depends on the minds at work. For that, one should understand the risk your network or application possess.

Penetration Testing

This process is used for testing the vulnerabilities discovered during the Vulnerability Assessment. The criticality of the vulnerabilities is determined through Penetration Testing. Otherwise, it would just remain a set of threats without any degree to measure the security flaw. In this process, the expert exploits the vulnerabilities and displays the damage and impact of the existing vulnerabilities can cause the system.

The Benefits of VAPT is Incontestable

  • It will give you a comprehensive security evaluation of your application and networks.
  • Discovers loopholes or errors that could lead to potential security breach.
  • Detailed analysis of threats faced by your network and application.
  • Protects your data and systems from malicious attacks.
  • Protects your business from unauthorized access and insider threats.

VAPT Tools

There are many tools available in the market that could be used to monitor, scan, and discover vulnerabilities in your system. Some of the below mentioned tools are powerful VAPT tools employed by professionals.

  • Nmap (VA)
  • Wireshark (VA)
  • Vega (VA)
  • Nessus (VA)
  • ERPScan (VA)
  • Burpsuite (PT)
  • Metasploit (PT)

Thus, periodically (say, once in two years) conducting VAPT is essential to make sure your data and system is well protected. There are more Zero Day exploits popping up every day, more powerful tools, scripts, and players are emerging in the sector, and it is upon us to build an impenetrable foundation for the future digital world.

Basic Vulnerabilities

We can see from various studies that a substantial number of cyber-attacks are aimed at obvious flaws in the system. This can be the usage of outdated software patches with exploits readily available on the internet. It could also be a small, outdated hardware that is still in your big network never audited by anyone.

Human Error

Human interference factors can include granting unwanted access, accidentally publishing confidential information online, and misconfiguring IT assets allowing illegal access to your system.

Budget Constraints

Security frameworks often face the brunt of budget cuts. Though this is changing, it is important to understand that a compromised security framework can lead to huge losses.

Third-party Risks

Software supply chains bring in their fair share of security flaws. It is crucial to understand the security status of your solutions and service providers in your ecosystem. The vulnerability of your supplier organization can be a potential entry point. A case in point is the SolarWinds network management software hack in 2020.

Business Continuity

It is important for an organization to have a continuity strategy breaches occur. In a crisis, lack of business continuity and disaster recovery plans can cause tangible and intangible loss. Tangible losses can include severe financial loss. A breach can also affect the organization’s reputation which might impact the business future of the entity.

Due Dates

GST Compliance calendar for March 2022

Important Due Dates


Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)

1) Updated Guidance on the Conduct of General Meetings Amid Evolving COVID-19 Situation

ACRA, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) have updated the checklist which guides issuers and non-listed entities on the conduct of general meetings (the Checklist) under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings for Companies, Variable Capital Companies, Business Trusts, Unit Trusts and Debenture Holders) Order 2020 (Meetings Order). The Order allows entities to hold general meetings via electronic means amid the COVID-19 situation and will continue to be in force until revoked or amended by the Ministry of Law. 

Issuers conducting their general meetings under the Meetings Order must now follow the practices set out in the Regulator’s Column titled “What SGX RegCo expects on the conduct of general meetings amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation” published by SGX RegCo on 16 December 2021. Issuers which do not utilise both (i) real-time remote electronic voting and (ii) real-time electronic communication at their general meetings, must incorporate the practices summarised below, when conducting meetings under the Meetings Order: 

(1) Organize a virtual information session for certain corporate actions prior to the general meeting;

(2) When organising any virtual information session, issuers are encouraged to send their notice of general meeting to shareholders at least 21 calendar days before the general meeting;

(3) After the publication of the notice of general meeting, shareholders should be allowed at least 7 calendar days to submit their questions; and

(4) All substantial and relevant questions received from shareholders prior to a general meeting, should be publicly addressed by the Board of Directors and/or management at least:

            (i) 48 hours prior to the closing date and time for the lodgment of the proxy forms, if the notice of general meeting is to be sent to shareholders at least 14 calendar days before the meeting; and 

            (ii) 72 hours prior to the closing date and time for the lodgment of the proxy forms, if the notice of general meeting is to be sent to shareholders at least 21 calendar days before the meeting.

2) ACRA Cancels Registered Qualified Individual Lew Chian Hwa and Registered Filing Agent SGCN Link Pte Ltd for Breaching ACRA (Filing Agent and Qualified Individuals) Regulations

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has cancelled the registration of registered qualified individual (RQI) Lew Chian Hwa and the registration of registered filing agent (RFA) SGCN Link Pte Ltd (SGCN) with effect from 29 January 2022, pursuant to Section 32(12)(a) and Section 31(13)(a) of the ACRA Act (Cap 2A) respectively.

 ACRA investigations revealed that RQI Lew Chian Hwa had filed documents with ACRA for her clients’ companies, even though she had reasonable grounds to believe that the information (including information filed on the Register of Registrable Controllers) was inaccurate; and she did so without being authorised by her clients. This is in breach of the terms and conditions prescribed in the Second Schedule of the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations.

 As Lew was the sole director and shareholder of RFA SGCN Link Pte Ltd (SGCN),ACRA investigations also revealed that SGCN breached the terms and conditions prescribed in the First Schedule of the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations. In particular, SGCN failed to perform enhanced customer due diligence measures to mitigate the money laundering and financing of terrorism risks in relation to the incorporation of the companies. SGCN also failed to take reasonable measures to verify the identity of the beneficial owners of the companies before filing said information on beneficial ownership with ACRA.

Monetary Authority of Singapore and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore Updates

1) MAS to develop a framework for equitable sharing of losses arising from scams

On 4 February 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that, in the coming months, it will be working with the banking industry to establish long-term measures to bolster the security of digital banking.

In addition, MAS intends to develop a framework for the equitable sharing of losses arising from scams. Under this new framework, all parties be responsible for being vigilant and taking precautions against scams when they arise. This will provide added protection and security to the retail market in Singapore.

The framework makes two assumptions:

  • financial institutions are responsible for protecting their customers through robust controls that safeguard customer accounts and for implementing effective measures to detect and respond to suspicious transactions
  • customers are responsible for taking the necessary precautions to protect their accounts, such as not divulging their personal or banking credentials and not clicking on fraudulent SMS or emails claiming to be acting on behalf of banks.

In a statement from MAS released on 4 February 2022, it was explained further that “MAS expects financial institutions to treat their customers fairly and bear an appropriate proportion of losses arising from scams. At the same time, care must be taken to ensure that compensation paid to customers does not weaken their incentive for all to be vigilant.”

MAS plans to publish the equitable sharing of losses framework for public consultation within the next three months. As part of the framework, customers are encouraged to use safe digital practices, such as:

  • transactions should only be carried out on a bank’s official website, or through the bank’s official mobile application
  • the close monitoring of transaction notifications received from banks so that any unauthorised payments can be identified as soon as possible
  • keeping devices updated with latest security patches and anti-virus software.

2) MAS issues a circular on non-face-to-face customer due diligence measures

On 8 February 2022, the Monetary Authority of Singapore issued a circular on on non-face-to-face Customer Due Diligence (“CDD”) measures. This CDD circular sets out industry best practices to be observed by financial institutions in relation to non-face-to-face CDD measures and the mitigating controls to be adopted by financial institutions when using technology solutions. The CDD circular elaborates on the measures to be adopted by financial institutions to help mitigate impersonation and fraud risks.

MAS notes that financial institutions have utilized video-conferencing as a means to onboard customers instead of physical meetings. To mitigate the risks of fraud and impersonation, financial institutions should put in place appropriate controls during the video-conferencing process to verify the identity of the customer and the authenticity of the identification documents sighted via video-conferencing. In this regard, some financial institutions have required the use of control questions to be answered by the customer or performed liveness checks. financial institutions should continue to raise staff vigilance and conduct training to enable detection of possible fraudulent or tampered ID documents.

Some key takeaways from the circular are set out below:

  1. Financial institutions are using video-conferencing as means to verify the identity of customers when conducting non-face-to-face CDD. To mitigate the risk of fraud and impersonation risks, additional checks such as use of control questions and liveness checks should be implemented.

  2. For accounts that pose higher ML/TF risks, additional CDD measures should be taken, such as verifying customer information against reliable and independent databases.

  3. When verifying corporate documents sent via soft-copy, obtaining original certified true copies is advised, or using notary public, lawyers or certified public accountants to use digital signatures or watermarks to certify authenticity.

  4. For e-signed documents, assess the robustness of processes in place to safeguard the authenticity of electronic documents and their admissibility in court.

  5. Regularly review technology solutions to ensure continued effectiveness in conducting non-face-to-face CDD.

  6. Financial institutions should not rely on external quality assurance standards of the technology solution providers but conduct their own due diligence and assessment on the effectiveness of the solutions in mitigating impersonation and fraud risks.

  7. Ensure all due diligence and assessment of technology solution providers are approved by board of directors.

  8. Implement appropriate metrics to monitor the performance of technology solutions employed and take timely intervention if necessary.

  9. Ensure that board of directors and senior management maintain effective oversight on management of ML/TF risks and AML/CFT controls.

Establish clear accountability for the effectiveness of the non-face-to-face process and technology solutions.—Non-Face-to-Face-Customer-Due-Diligence-Measures-1.pdf

3) MAS issues Prohibition Order against Zeng Xuan for fraudulent and dishonest conduct

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued a five-year prohibition order (PO) against Ms Zeng Xuan, a former representative of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, following her conviction in the State Courts for an offence involving fraud and dishonesty.

Ms Zeng is prohibited from providing any financial advisory service, and from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm licensed or exempt under the Financial Advisers Act. The PO takes effect from 23 February 2022. 

In December 2017, Ms Zeng’s client asked her if additional premiums for his pre-existing medical condition could be waived, as he wanted to buy three policies. In order to meet her sales target, Ms Zeng lied to her client that additional premiums would not apply to his insurance policies despite knowing that the insurer had not agreed to the waiver. Ms Zeng also added a clause into the insurance application form to falsely state that her client had consented to the additional premiums. The premiums paid by the client went towards one policy, instead of three policies as the client was led to believe. Ms Zeng subsequently forged further documents when the client asked for documentation relating to the other two policies that he thought he had bought. 

On 5 August 2021, Ms Zeng pleaded guilty and was convicted by the State Courts of one count of forgery under section 465 of the Penal Code. Ms Zeng was sentenced to two weeks’ imprisonment.

The PO was issued against her in view of her conviction. Additionally, Ms Zeng’s conviction has given MAS reason to believe that she has not and will not perform financial advisory services honestly.

IRAS- Due Dates

  • Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) for December 2021 year-end: 31-Mar-2022
  • GST Return: January 2022 – March 2022: 30-April-2022
  • Form C-S/C: 30 November 2022