Friday, March 31, 2017

Trump Requests Cuts To Medical Research

New media reports indicate the Trump administration is seeking to cut funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this fiscal year. Proposed fund would go into the construction of border wall and military spending.

Earlier in the month, President Donald Trump had released his budget for next year, in it, NIH saw cuts of close to 20 percent in funding for medical research.

Now it appears the president is asking congress to cut $1.2 billion from research grants within the agency for this fiscal year, which ends in October. Bloomberg and Politico reported on the $18 billion in cuts to “discretionary spending bills.”

Thursday, March 30, 2017

S. 35D: Premium collected by a company on subscribed share capital is not “capital employed in the business of the Company" within the meaning of s. 35D so as to enable the claim of deduction of the said amount as prescribed u/s 35D

Berger Paints India Ltd vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

Capital employed in the business of the company is the aggregate of three distinct components, namely, share capital, debentures and long term borrowings as on the dates relevant under sub-clauses(i) and (ii) of Clause(b) of the explanation extracted above. The term ‘long term borrowing’ has been defined in clause (c) to the explanation. It is nobody’s else that the premium collected by the Company on the issue of shares was a long term borrowing either in fact or by a fiction of law. It is also nobody’s case that the premium collected by the Company was anywhere near or akin to a debenture. What was all the same argued by the counsel for the appellant was that premium was a part of the share capital and had therefore to be reckoned as ‘capital employed in the business of the company’. There is, in our view, no merit in that contention.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

High Stakes for HealthCare Votes

The odds of getting an Obamacare replacement bill passed by the House improved late Wednesday as the White House reportedly offered to get rid of the set of minimum benefits health insurers are now required to provide customers. That could win over some members of the Freedom Caucus ahead of today's crucial health care vote, which investors see as a litmus test for President Trump's broader plans and trade on Wall Street.

S. 32: Title to immovable property cannot pass when its value is more than Rs.100/- unless it is executed on a proper stamp paper and is also duly registered with the sub-Registrar. Accordingly, a lessee cannot be said to be the "owner" for purposes of claiming depreciation. Under Explanation 1 to s. 32, the lessee is entitled to depreciation on the cost of construction incurred by him but not on the cost incurred by the owner and reimbursed by the lessee

Mother Hospital Pvt. Ltd vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

We are in agreement with the view taken by the High Court. Building which was constructed by the firm belonged to the firm. Admittedly it is an immovable property. The title in the said immovable property cannot pass when its value is more than Rs.100/- unless it is executed on a proper stamp paper and is also duly registered with the sub-Registrar. Nothing of the sort took place. In the absence thereof, it could not be said that the assessee had become the owner of the property. As is clear from the plain language of the Explanation, it is only when the assessee holds a lease right or other right of occupancy and any capital expenditure is incurred by the assesee on the construction of any structure or doing of any work in or in relation to and by way of renovation or extension of or improvement to the building and the expenditure on construction is incurred by the assessee, that assessee would be entitled to depreciation to the extent of any such expenditure incurred. In the instant case, records show that the construction was made by the firm. It is a different thing that the assessee had reimbursed the amount. The construction was not carried out by the assessee himself. Therefore, the explanation also would not come to the aid of the assessee

Friday, March 17, 2017

S. 41(1)/ 115JB: Entire law explained whether remission of a loan can be assessed as income u/s 41(1) and if not whether the same can be added to "book profit" for purposes of MAT tax u/s 115JB

JSW Steel Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

Waiver of loan taken for acquisition of a capital asset and on capital account cannot be taxed u/s 41(1), as it is neither on revenue account nor a remission of a trading liability so as to attract tax in the year of remission. A capital surplus thus, in respect of waiver of loan amount cannot be regarded as being amount available for distribution through the profit & loss account. This follows from the very definition of expression ‘capital reserve’ that it must be accounted directly to the credit of the capital reserve account instead of being credited to the profit & loss account so as to ensure that it is not left for being distributed through the profit & loss account

Monday, March 13, 2017

S. 9(1)(i): The capital gains arising on transfer by a foreign company of shares in another foreign company holding assets in India is liable to tax in India. The argument that the transfer is a mere re-organisation of assets within the group and that there is no “real income” is not acceptable. The argument that the India-UK DTAA should be given a “static” interpretation and that the retrospective amendment to s. 9 by the Finance Act 2012 should be ignored is also not acceptable. Where the DTAA provides that the income shall be chargeable to tax in accordance with the provision of the domestic law, the said domestic law has to be the amended law

Cairn UK Holdings Ltd vs. DCIT (ITAT Delhi)

Coming to the decision of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in case of DIT Vs. New Skies Satellite BV wherein the Hon’ble High court has held that in relation to applicability of Article 3(2) of the relevant DTAAs, that it can apply only to terms not defined in the DTAA. Since the relevant DTAAs in the case before them defined ‘royalty’, Article 3(2) could not be applied. For terms which are defined under the DTAA, there is no need to refer to the laws in force in the Contracting States, especially to deduce the meaning of the definition under the DTAA. Further, the court has held that neither act of parliament supply or alter the boundaries of DTAA or supply redundancy to any part of its. Similarly, according to us, the provisions of DTAA where it simply provides that particular income would be chargeable to tax in accordance with the provisions of domestic laws, such article in DTAA also cannot the limit the boundaries of domestic tax laws. In view of this, we do not find any force in the argument of the assessee and dismiss ground No. 3.12 of the appeal

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Real Interest rates on the rise

The record high stock market, trend of rising inflation and encouraging jobs numbers add up to future interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve.
The real yield on a 10-year TIPS has risen 29 basis points in recent weeks.At the same time, the inflation breakeven rate has declined - slightly.The driving force? A rise in nominal rates, which will nearly always pull the TIPS yield higher.

The rate hikes in 2017 would bring the Fed's Federal Funds Rate - a key short-term rate across financial markets - at least to 1.50% from the current 0.75%. A comparable increase in the 10-year nominal Treasury would bring its yield up to 3.35%. At that point a 10-year TIPS would be yielding somewhere around 1.10% to 1.20%.

Of course, it's possible that a higher short-term rate won't result in higher yields for TIPS. But in an environment of rising short-term rates, rising inflation, rising employment and higher asset prices, TIPS yields should also rise. I'd consider a yield above 1.00% on a 10-year TIPS a pretty good investment in 2017.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Health Care sector of the S&P closed lower yesterday

On Tuesday morning President Donald Trump continued his campaign to bring down drug prices in the United States by tweeting he was now working on a new system for the market. “There will be competition in the Drug Industry,” 
As reported by Reuters shares of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) shed 1.1 percent, and Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) dropped 1.4 percent. While the Nasdaq Biotechnology index (INDEX NASDAQ:NBI) was 1.4 percent lower, while the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical index (INDEX NYSE GIS:DRG) fell 1.2 percent.
The tweet comes on the heels of the announcement of the Republican bill set to dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred as Obamacare,the proposal would create a new tax credit tied to a person's age and income for those who cannot get insurance through their employer, and would restructure the country's Medicaid program. The healthcare sector of the S&P 500 closed 0.4% lower yesterday, but over the last three months it's up more than 10%.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Capital gains: While s. 2(42A) uses the term "held", the other provisions use the terms "acquired", "purchased" and "owner". Accordingly, for considering whether an asset is a "long-term capital asset", the period of holding must be computed on a de facto basis. The letter of allottment, even though not "ownership", must be taken as the date of holding the asset

Anita D Kanjani vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

Perusal of the definition of the term “short-term capital asset” in section 2(42A) shows that the legislature has used the expression ‘held’. It is further noted by us that in various other allied or similar sections, the legislature has preferred to use the expression ‘acquired’ or ‘purchased’ e.g. in section 54 / 54F. Thus, it shows that the legislature was conscious while making use of this expression. The expressions like ‘owned’ has not been used for the purpose of determining the nature of asset as short term capital asset or long term capital asset. Thus, the intention of the legislature is clear that for the purpose of determining the nature of capital gain, the legislature was concerned with the period during which the asset was held by the assessee for all practical purposes on de facto basis. The legislature was apparently not concerned with absolute legal ownership of the asset for determining the holding period. Thus, we have to ascertain the point of time from which it can be said that assessee started holding the asset on de facto basis

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Snap will price its IPO

Snap will price its IPO after today's market close in the most eagerly awaited tech offering since Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) went public in 2014. Reports suggest pricing could be $1-$2 above its $14-$16 marketing range, which would result in a valuation of $19.5B-$22.3B from listing on the NYSE. In September, the company changed its name to Snap (Pending:SNAP) from Snapchat to reflect its intent to branch out into myriad products, like Spectacles and a recently reported drone.