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Budget 2012 – Service Tax & Excise to have common returns

16th March, 2012 Service Tax and Central Excise assessees will soon be filing a simple one page common return. The proposed return is nomenclatured Excise & Service Return or the EST Return. For obtaining registration also, similar common form is in the pipeline. For raising demand of Service Tax in normal cases, time-limit is being raised to 18 months from the present one year. Large ass...

Budget 2012 - GAAR & APA to be introduced

16th March, 2012 A new Chapter X-A is proposed to be inserted after Chapter X of Income-tax Act, 1961 which will empower the Revenue authorities to treat an ‘arrangement’ as an impermissible avoidance agreement. The provisions would be attracted to any arrangement where the main purpose of the same or a step or part of the agreement is to obtain a tax benefit.   Section 92 of Chapter X is p...

EU's Carbon Tax faces retaliatory action

2nd March, 2012 European Union’s decision to unilaterally impose a carbon tax on flights landing in, or taking off from, the Eurozone with effect from 2013 has been under severe criticism. Last month about 30 countries including India, China, US, Russia and Brazil met in Moscow to chalk out further strategy to counter the European measure. As per reports, the measures may include filing co...

US to abolish zeroing in anti-dumping probe

2nd March, 2012 USA’s method of zeroing while calculating the anti-dumping duty rates has been disputed for long and held as inconsistent with the Anti-dumping Agreement of the WTO by various DSB panels. Now, as per developments last month, US is likely to amend its law and has signed an MOU with Japan and EU in this regard thereby bringing to end long pending disputes in DS322, DS294 and DS3...

WIPO Session on genetic resources notes divergence

2nd March, 2012 The 20th session of WIPO’s Inter Governmental  Committee  on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) which concluded recently witnessed wide ranging debate on the negotiating text. The IGC had tried to bring about a meeting point where genetic resources can be shared while ensuring IP protection for innovators as well as defensive protection for countries ...

Advance receipts against exports - Banks given more powers

22nd February, 2012 AD Category- I banks have been permitted to allow exporters to receive advance payment for export of goods which would take more than one year to manufacture and ship after receipt of payment. Hitherto, prior permission of Reserve Bank of India was required for receipt of such advance by the exporters. RBI A.P. (Dir Series) Circular No. 81, dated 21-2-2012 issued in thi...

Area-based excise exemption clarified

22nd February, 2012 Area-based exemption as available to units located in specified under-developed areas has been more often subject of dispute vis-à-vis other areas where such exemption is not available. Availability of Central Excise exemption to units set up or expanded before 31-3-2010 in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh has been recently clarified by the Central Board of Excise and Cust...

Gene patentability under challenge

22nd February, 2012 The Australian Federal Court will shortly decide a petition challenging the validity of patents granted to genetic material. Myriad holds the patent for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Mutations in the BRCA gene are said to have a correlation with susceptibility to ovarian and breast cancer. In a ruling in August, 2011  the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ...

External Commercial Borrowings - Procedures relaxed

10th February, 2012 Designated AD category-I banks have been delegated powers to approve requests for reduction in loan amount of External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs). These banks have also been empowered to consider changes in drawdown schedule where original average maturity period is not maintained and for reduction in all-in-cost of ECB. Hitherto, AD Category-I banks were required to ...

Rewarding use of patents for humanitarian needs

10th February, 2012 The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a pilot programme aimed at rewarding patent owners for using their patented technology to address humanitarian needs. The press release issued on 8th February, 2012 notes that the pilot project will run for 12 months and it will provide organizations a certificate for processing patents faster.   The pi...

Union Budget on 16th March, 2012

7th February, 2012 The Union Budget will be presented by the Indian Finance Minister in the Parliament on 16th March, 2012, as per reports. This year, the budget exercise has been postponed due to elections to certain state assemblies. Service Tax net is likely to be widened in the annual financial exercise. A negative list for taxing services is on the cards. Once implemented, except a few...

Constitutional validity of Service Tax provisions upheld

2nd February, 2012 Specified provisions of the Service Tax law were put to test but their constitutional validity was upheld again. While the matter before the Allahabad High Court pertained to the validity of provisions concerning import of services i.e. Section 66A of the Finance Act, 1994 and the Taxation of Services (Provided from Outside India and Received in India) Rules, 2006, the Bomb...

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