Bonus/ Dividend Stripping IT Provisions to apply on Securities/ Units

Amendments proposed in Section 94(8) of the Income Tax act, to enforce applicability of bonus stripping and dividend stripping provisions in the case of securities and units also, vide Clause 25 of the Finance Bill 2022 (budget 2022-23), are as under;

1. Section 94 of the Act contains anti avoidance provisions to deal with transactions in securities and units of mutual fund which, inter-alia, include dividend stripping and bonus stripping.

2. However, the current provisions of sub-section (8) of section 94 of the Act do not apply to bonus stripping undertaken in case of securities. It is also not applicable to units of Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) or Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) or Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) as the definition of the term “unit” has not been modified subsequent to introduction of provisions relating to RETIs, InvITs
etc. Further, the current provisions of sub-section (7) of section 94 of the Act, i.e. provisions pertaining to dividend stripping, are not applicable to the units of new pooled investment vehicles such as InvIT or REIT or AIFs.

3. In view of the above, it is proposed to amend sub-section (8) of section 94, pertaining to the prevention of tax evasion through bonus stripping, so as to make the said provision applicable to securities as well.

4. It is also proposed to amend the Explanation to the said section to modify the definition of unit, so as to include units of business trusts such as InvIT, REIT and AIF, within the definition of units.

5. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2023 and will accordingly apply in relation to the assessment year 2023-24 and subsequent assessment years. 71949

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