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CBDT draft: Deadline may be extended

The finance ministry is set to give a breather on the draft CBDT circular, which has shared the blame for the meltdown in the stock market.

Following a request from the Bombay Chamber of Commerce, the revenue department is considering extending the date for public comments beyond May 25. Originally, the department intended to notify the circular from June 1.

“We have received a request to extend the circular. It is being examined. Given the nature of the case, the final decision will be taken by Finance Minister P Chidambaram shortly,” a ministry official told Business Standard. The CBDT had earlier given the public just over a week to send in their comments.

Meanwhile, officials pointed out that the 15 criterion proposed in the draft circular are already part of the tax lexicon. This is because these criterion are already enforceable as they arise out of scores of court judgments on related cases since 1989.

In effect, should tax assessment officers chose to draw upon any of these while considering a case, nothing would stop them from doing that, CBDT officials said.

“Each of the guidelines have been finalised on the basis of court judgments. There is no new clause, which is being sought to be introduced under the circular. Therefore, even without the circular, each guideline is already enforceable. The circular has only brought together the decisions of various judgments,” a CBDT official said.



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