Providing clarity on benefits and perquisites in cash
Section 28 of the Act provides for income that shall be chargeable to income-tax under the head “Profits and gains of business or profession”. Clause (iv) of this section brings to
chargeability the value of any benefit or perquisite, whether convertible into money or not, arising from business or the exercise of a profession. This provision was inserted through
the Finance Act 1964 and the Circular no 20D dated 7th July 1964 issued to explain the provisions of this Act stated clearly that the benefit could be in cash or in kind. Therefore,
the intention of the legislation while introducing this provision was also to include benefit or perquisite whether in cash or in kind. However, Courts have interpreted that if the
benefit or perquisite are in cash, it is not covered within the scope of this clause of section 28 of the Act.
2. In order to align the provision with the intention of legislature, it is proposed to amend clause (iv) of section 28 of the Act to clarify that provisions of said clause also applies to
cases where benefit or perquisite provided is in cash or in kind or partly in cash and partly in kind.
3. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2024 and will accordingly apply to the assessment year 2024-2025 and subsequent assessment years.
4. Section 194R of the Act inserted by the Finance Act 2022 provides for deduction of tax on benefit or perquisite provided to a resident arising from business or exercise of a profession.
5. Sub-section (1) of said section provides for tax deduction at source at the rate of 10% of the value or aggregate of value of such benefit or perquisite. The responsibility of tax
deduction at source has been fixed on a person who is responsible for providing to a resident any benefit or perquisite, whether convertible into money or not, arising from a business or the exercise of a profession by such resident.
6. First proviso to sub-section (1) provides that in a case where the benefit or perquisite, as the case may be, is wholly in kind or partly in cash and partly in kind but such part in cash is not sufficient to meet the liability of deduction of tax in respect of whole of such benefit or perquisite, the person responsible for providing such benefit or perquisite shall, before releasing the benefit or perquisite, ensure that tax required to be deducted has been paid in respect of the benefit or perquisite.
7. Sub-section (2) provides for issuance of guidelines by CBDT (with the approval of the Central Government) for the purpose of removing difficulties. Accordingly Circular No 12 dated 16th June, 2022 was issued. This circular, inter-alia, provides that tax under section 194R is required to be deducted whether the benefit or perquisite is in cash or in kind.
8. Accordingly, it is proposed to clarify by way of insertion of an Explanation to section 194R of the Act to provide that provisions of sub-section (1) apply to benefit or perquisite whether in cash or in kind or partly in cash and partly in kind.
This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2023.