June 24, 2011

Cost Inflation Index for Financial Year 2011-12

The Government of India has notified the Cost Inflation Index (CII) for the financial year 2011-12 to be 785.The index for the last year was 711.
This concept was started from Financial Year 1981-82 whose index is kept as 100 (base year). From then the Govt. has been continuously notifying the CII for each year based on the level of inflation. This is mainly used for income tax purposes for calculating the value of long term capital gains. The gain/loss on sale of asset is calculated by subtracting from the sale value, the
indexed cost of the asset, which is calculated as:
Original Cost of the Asset x Current year CII /CII in the year of purchase

However this index also shows the impact of rising prices. From 2008-09 when the index was 582, it has risen more than 200 points to 785 in 2011-12. The margin is just steeping up every time.

February 28, 2011

Budget 2011- Tax Provisions At a Glance

Here are the changes/provisions in brief relating to taxes on individuals and businesses proposed in the Union Budget 2011 by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who presented his sixth General Budget.

Tax exemption limit raised from Rs 1,60,000 to Rs 1,80,000
No new tax exemption limits for women (retained at Rs 1,90,000)
Age for being classified as senior citizen cut to 60 years from 65 years
For senior citizens, tax exemption limit increased to Rs 2,50,000.
New category of very senior citizens for those above 80 years introduced, tax exemption limit Rs 5 lakh
Tax sops of Rs 20,000 on Infra Bonds extended for one year

Small Businesses:
To simplify tax form for small businesses

Surcharge of 7.5 % for domestic companies reduced to 5 %

MAT raised to 18.5% of book profits from 18%
Special Economic Zones to come under MAT
Foreign unit dividend tax rate cut to 15 % for Indian companies

Indirect Taxes:
Service tax retained at 10%
Central excise duty rate unchanged at 10%
Base rate on excise duty raised to 5% from 4%

March 2, 2010

Latest News on Paypal India - Bank Withdrawals & Non Personal Transactions Resumed

Finally, there is some news for Indian Paypal users to cheer about. The bank withdrawal facility which was suspended for over a month will be resumed from March 3. Also, exporters in India can receive payments through Paypal. However, personal payments are still blocked due to regulations of RBI (India's Central Bank).
The latest post on thepaypalblog gives detailed instructions about the changes they have incorporated in the process to adhere to the guidelines of RBI. The main change being the introduction of purpose code which is required to be entered by the user before submitting the request for bank withdrawal. The purpose code is basically a five digit alphanumeric code assigned to different purposes for which the payment would have been received. This is different from the Importer Exporter Code allotted by the Indian Govt. to various exporters and importers.
This would help the legal system to keep track of the purposes for which payments from abroad are being received thereby checking international money laundering. Following is the list of various purpose codes applicable to different users:

CodeCategoryDescriptionWho should be using it
P0101 / P0104Export of GoodsValue of export bills negotiated / purchased/discounted etc. (covered under GR/PP/SOFTEX/EC copy of shipping bills etc.)eBay merchants, jewelers, sellers of collectibles and other such products through eBay and your own websites / catalogues globally.

Please note: Cross border shipment of goods and services for which you file GR / PP / SOFTEX / EC forms only should be processed with this code. Use P101 if Deutsche Bank is your banker and P0104 if you bank with any other bank

If you have any questions, please check with your bank to help you with the same.

P0301Travel , Hospitality and ToursPurchases towards travel (Includes purchases of foreign TCs, currency notes etc over the counter, by hotels, hospitals, Emporiums, Educational institutions etc. as well as amount received by TT/SWIFT transfers or debit to Non-Resident account).Online Travel Agents, Airlines, Railways, Buses, Taxicab Services, Hotels, B&Bs and other travel / tourism related sales through PayPal



Information TechnologyComputer Information Services. Hardware / Software / Data Processing consultancy/implementationIf you are an independent / freelance coder / hardware consultant or data processing service provider, or a small business providing such services for websites globally, please use these codes.

For all IT related consulting services where you know you do not need to file a SOFTEX form, please use the appropriate code. 801 for hardware consulting, 802 for software consulting and 803 for data management and processing consulting services



Content and JournalismNews Agency and Subscription servicesIf you are a freelance journalist / blogger / news aggregator please use this purpose code for withdrawals.

If you are a newspaper or an online news aggregator for websites overseas, please use the appropriate code from these two. 805 if you a freelance journalist, and 806 if you are a newspaper / aggregator

P0902Licensing of creative worksReceipts for use, through licensing arrangements, of produced originals or prototypes (such as manuscripts and films)Artists, designers, other creative service providers where the principal revenue mode is license fees, please use this code.

If you produce creative works which you license out for entities overseas, licensing revenues may be classified under this purpose code

P1004Other servicesLegal ServicesIf you are providing outsourced law related services
P1005Accounting, auditing, book keeping and tax consulting servicesFor accounting consulting and accounting services
P1006Business and management consultancy and public relations servicesManagement / brand consulting and management services can be exported with this purpose code
P1007Advertising, trade fair, market research and public opinion polling servicesMarketing/ brand consulting / logo design / event management services can be exported with this purpose code
P1008Research & Development servicesIf you are an outsourced research and development services provider based in India, receipts can be inwarded through this purpose code
P1009Architectural, engineering and other technical servicesAny other technical services such as eTutoring, education and other services you render over the internet via web conferencing tools or similar channels, please use this code for your withdrawals

February 17, 2010

Cost Inflation Index for F.Y. 2009-10

The Government of India has notified the Cost Inflation Index (CII) for the financial year 2009-10 to be 632.The index for the last year was 582.
This concept was started from Financial Year 1981-82 whose index is kept as 100 (base year). From then the Govt. has been continuously notifying the CII for each year based on the level of inflation. This is mainly used for income tax purposes for calculating the value of long term capital gains. The gain/loss on sale of asset is calculated by subtracting from the sale value, the
indexed cost of the asset, which is calculated as:
Original Cost of the Asset x Current year CII /CII in the year of purchase

However this index also shows the impact of rising prices. Last year the inflation index rose by 31 points from its previous year. This year the index rose by 50 points from its last year value of 582. Thats quite a substantial margin.

Latest Update on Paypal India Situation

This time it is Farhad Irani - Head in Asia Pacific region. He ensures to resume bank withdrawal facility soon. However, the good news is that funds can be withdrawn through cheque or to a credit card.

This is what the whole blog post from Farhad on thepaypalblog reads:
An Open Letter from Farhad Irani on the Situation in India
Hi. My name is Farhad Irani and I lead the PayPal business in Asia Pacific. As the leader of PayPal’s business in the region and as a fellow Indian, I want you to know that we are sparing no effort in ensuring that the present day inconvenience in not being able to process the bank withdrawal functionality in India for sellers is quickly and completely addressed. This is the single most important item for me and my management team. My sincere apologies for the inconvenience you must be facing.
I’d like to let everyone know that I’m personally committed to working closely and tirelessly with the Reserve Bank of India to get a fast resolution to this issue, so that we can continue to help the thousands of Indian businesses who use PayPal to sell their goods or services in the global marketplace. India is a very special market for me and your continued success is very precious to us.
We were hoping that our merchant customers would be able to start withdrawing their funds at their local bank by today, but it looks like this will still take some more time. I understand your frustration and want to let you know that we are doing everything we can to free your funds.
It has always been possible for sellers to request a check or withdraw funds to a credit card, and these options are still available from the Withdraw Money tab of your PayPal account. If you don’t have a credit card attached to your PayPal account now, you can add one under the Profile section of your PayPal account. Before asking for a credit card withdrawal, please check with your card issuing bank to ensure that they can process it.
It usually takes five to seven working days for you to receive a check when you request a check withdrawal and PayPal normally charges a five USD fee. We are trying our best to help sellers during this difficult time and therefore will refund the check withdrawal fee back to your PayPal account within a week. I appreciate that this is not ideal, but please bear with us.
I’d like to let you know that I’m listening to your concerns. This is my direct PayPal email address:
Farhad@paypal.com. Feel free to send me an email.

February 12, 2010

Paypal Restores Transaction Failure Fees on Failed Withdrawals in India

Latest news on Paypal India. Recentely, one of my associates checked his Paypal account and found that it has restored the transaction failure fee which was charged when the attempt to withdraw money to local bank account in India was cancelled.

All this has been done after Reserve Bank of India (India's Central Bank) raised questions as to whether Paypal complies with its laws on cross border payments. The suspension of services was meant only for personal payments, however payments against services have also been stopped. Moreover, Paypal has also suspended withdrawal of money to local bank accounts.

Anuj from Paypal's communication team wrote on thepaypalblog that the suspension could last a few months. However, withdrawals to local banks would start in a few days.

March 4, 2009

Want to You Know How Rich You Are? Here’s Help!

On Global Rich List you get to know how rich you are as compared to others in the world. You just need to enter your annual income and you will see how much percent of the people in world are earning more and how much are earning lesser than you. It also tells you the percent of the total world population which has the same level of income as yours.
The calculations are based on figures from the World Bank Development Research Group. To calculate the most accurate position for each individual they have assumed that the world's total population is 6 billion and the average worldwide annual income is $5,000.
This unique initiative is taken by a London based company – Poke. They say that they built this site to challenge people's perception of their personal wealth. Also the company (along with CARE International UK) is raising some donation money for the needy through this site.

Here’s what we calculated from the rich list-
A majority of the world population (46% approx.) earns between US$ 400 – 1000 per year and only 0.66% earn US$ 100,000 or more in one year- quite amazing!!

February 17, 2009

How to Apply for PAN Card Online?

Quoting your Income Tax PAN (Permanent Account Number) is mandatory while filing of returns and many other financial transactions. You may apply for PAN manually by visiting any of the NSDL or UTISL offices near you or you may also apply online sitting at your home.
Here is the basic procedure applying for PAN online:
1. You can apply either through NSDL or UTISL (here we are discussing the procedure for applying through NSDL)
2. Go to:
https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/pan/index.html and select the tab New PAN. A new page will open up.
3. Select Online Application for New PAN (49A)
4. At the bottom of the new page select your category.
5. Fill the details in the application and click submit. Regarding the AO, there’s some help available at the top right side of the application. Otherwise, you can ask for you’re A.O. code from the income tax office in your city.
6. Take a print of the submitted application. Sign at the required places (in black ink) and paste your recent colour photograph.
Payment Procedure and Options
7. You can make the payment of PAN application fee of Rs. 67/- (Rs. 717/- in case your communication Address is outside India) through demand draft, cheque or credit card. Payment through credit card will result in early processing of application. However, if your communication Address is outside India then you can pay only through demand draft. Demand draft and cheque should be drawn in favour of 'NSDL - PAN'
8. Demand draft shall be payable at Mumbai and the acknowledgment number should be mentioned on the reverse of the demand draft.
9. While making payment by cheque, you can deposit a local cheque (drawn on any bank) with any HDFC Bank branch across the country (except Dahej). Mention NSDLPAN on the deposit slip. Click here for the list of
HDFC Bank Branches.
10. While paying through credit card, you can only use your card for yourself or immediate family members or your own company or firm.
11. On successful credit card payment acknowledgment will be displayed. Save and print the acknowledgment and send to NSDL as mentioned below:
The acknowledgment duly signed, affixed with photograph (in case of 'Individuals') along with Demand Draft, if any, and proof of identity (name in the application should be same as in the proof of identity) & proof of address (Individuals, HUFs, Body of Individuals, Association of Persons & Artificial Juridical Person should provide proof of address of residence stated in the application) as specified in the application form is to be sent to

NSDL at 'Income Tax PAN Services Unit, National Securities Depository Limited, 3rd floor, Sapphire Chambers, Near Baner Telephone Exchange, Baner, Pune - 411045'.
Superscribe the envelope with 'APPLICATION FOR PAN - Acknowledgment Number' (e.g. 'APPLICATION FOR PAN - 881010100000097').
13. Your acknowledgment, Demand Draft, if any, and proofs, should reach NSDL within 15 days from the date of online application.

For any queries

Call TIN Call Centre at 020 - 27218080; Fax: 020 - 27218081 -


Some Basic Dos and Don’ts while applying

February 5, 2009

How to Fight Job Recession and Save Your Job?

Every now and then, we are coming across severe layoff decisions by the companies. Things are not very good in either part of the world
However, recession does not mean end of work. It is just a situation to work more and expect less. Following are some of the common yet very effective tips to become more secured with your job:

  1. Control your expectations: If you were receiving salary hikes regularly in the past, don't expect that you should receive now also. Even if you are asked to deliver more.
  2. Be prepared for any decrement: Anytime, you might be proposed a decrement in salary by your company. Do not panic and don't treat it as a loss of reputation. Think from the company's perspective and try to accept it. Its better to be working for lower amount than being jobless.
  3. Make your employer realise your value: Work more hours, try to increase your efficiency,be more committed, avoid leaves- to summarise, make it hard for your company to sack you.
  4. Search for other jobs also: Start browsing for the job classifieds just to ensure that if a layoff situation comes, you are ready with some other opportunities.
  5. Be stable with your job: The older you are with your job, the more are the chances of surviving. Try not to switch your job for small and avoidable reasons.
  6. Control your expenses: Be ready for any tough times. Reduce your expenses and save more. Avoid unnecessary spending and loans.

January 31, 2009

Accountancy Museum- ICAI Moves Towards Brand Building

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is going to inaugurate its first ever Accountancy Museum on February 02, 2009. This unique initiative has been taken by the institute to enable students and members to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. Some of the ancients in the museum have been collected from the members and the students.
The museum will comprise of rare collection of items including rare documents, photographs and paintings. The collection will be of historic and heritage value from the point of view of the Chartered Accountancy profession in India
The museum set up at the ICAIs Office in Noida (U.P.) will certainly prove to be a milestone in the brand building of the Chartered Accountancy profession and the Institute which is currentely celebrating its diamond jubilee year.

However the concept of Chartered Accountants was originated in Scotland.
"Some of the earliest known writing discovered by archaeologists has, when translated, been found to be records of tax accounting. Such writings have been found on clay tablets from Egypt and Mesopotamia from as early as 2000 to 3300 B.C." - Source "Accounting & Auditing History" by Marla Matzer Rose
- Information taken from

View the Invitation

January 29, 2009

Tax Saving Investment Options for 2009

With only two months left being left for the close of financial year 2008-2009, its high time that you work up your taxes and plan out your investments to minimise your tax liability. Under the purview of the Indian Income Tax Act, you can avail a maximum benefit of Rs. 1 Lakh by investing under the options mentioned under the section 80C and a maximum of Rs 35000 by taking mediclaim policies for your family. Here we are discussing the basics of the various options available:
  1. Post Office National Saving Certificates- Popularily known as NSCs, they are a very popular choice among the investors. Since they are backed by the government, they are one of the safest investment options. Here, your money stays invested for six years from the date of investment. With an interest rate of 8% (compounded half yearly), a Rs. 10,000 NSC would mature at Rs. 16,010 after six years. Here, the major beneficial factor is that the annual accumulated interest is also eligible for section 80C deduction of Rs. 1 lakh. They are available at every post office.

  2. Life Insurance Policies- Undoubtedly the most preffered choice. They are offerred by numerous companies. The biggest player being the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). A number of foreign corporations have entered the life insurance sector in the form of joint ventures with Indian Counterparts. Many companies are also offering combo plans which divide your premium into life insurance and mediclaim benefits. Moreover, many insurance plans are so designed that they prove to be a good substitute to the regular investment plans (LICs Jeevan Aastha was one of them).

  3. Public Provident Fund (PPF)- A must have. You can invest upto Rs. 70000 in your PPF account each year. The interest of 8% is completely tax free. Moreover the security of funds is guaranteed by the government. PPFs are among the best options for capital building. However, it has some drawbacks. The funds can only be withdrawn after five years (the full time period of PPF account is 15 years, after which it has be renewed). Also you cannot have a PPF account in joint name (however you can appoint a nominee). A PPF account can be opened at any State Bank of India branch or a post office. It is also available with some other banks like Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Central Bank of India.

  4. Mutual Funds- A Mutual Fund is a trust that pools the money collected from investors who share a common financial goal and is invested by the mutual fund company in different types of securities depending upon the objective of the scheme. These could range from shares to debentures to money market instruments. They are a good option if you are not looking for fixed/assured returns. Among the various types of funds offerred by various companies any of them can be chosen as per ones preferences. However, owing to current recessionary trends and fluctuations in the share market, one has be to be careful while investing in mutual funds.

  5. Fixed Deposit Schemes- Banks have started the fixed deposit schemes that provide you the benefit under section 80C. However, they have a lock in period of 5 years and their interest rate is somewhat lower than the regular fixed deposits. When investing, be sure t ask for the specific tax saver fixed deposit.

  6. Infrastructure Bonds- Infrastructure Bonds are issued by public sector infrastructure development companies like Rural Electrification Corporation Limited, National Highways Authority of India. The money rasied is utilised for the development of Infrastructure. With a 3 year lock in period and low rate of return they are not among the preferable choices of any investor.

  7. Salary Retirals- The Provident Fund (PF), Group Provident Fund (GPF) amounts deducted from your salary are also eligible for the secion 80C Rs. 1 Lakh deduction limit. Only the employee's share is allowed as deduction. Employer's contributio is not allowed.

  8. House Loan Principal Repayment- The principal portion of the home loan repayment installment is also eligible for the deduction. The interest portion is allowed as a deduction from house property income. At the end of the year, get a certificate from your lending institution stating clearly the amount of principal and interest repaid during the year.

  9. Children's Tuition Fee- The tuition fee factor in your child's school fee is also allowed as the deduction.

Mediclaim Policies (Section 80D)

An amount upto Rs. 15000/- for mediclaim premium paid for yourself, spouse and children can be claimed as deduction from taxable income. Also an amount of Rs. 20,000/- is allowed for payment of mediclaim premiums for dependent parents above 65 years of age. Always remember - Do not pay mediclaim premiums in cash.

Also Read:

January 27, 2009

How to Choose the Right Company for Investment?

The global recession along the sudden collapse of high profile companies has made it quite difficult for the investors, especially individual and retail investors to choose a company where their investments could be safe.
Moreover, the regular fluctuations in stock market and sudden fall of the real estate sector in India have made things more difficult to understand and believe.
Things are not easier for companies either as they are also striving to raise debt, capital from public or from financial institutions.

Here are some general but very effective points which can be helpful in choosing among different investment schemes of different companies:
1. Returns Offered – First of all, when investing in fixed return securities, see the rate of returns claimed by the company. If a company is offering very high rate of returns (say 15%), be careful. It would not be a wise decision on a borrower’s part to raise money at such a high rate. In such cases, the possibilities of a company not being able to meet its obligations increase. Go for securities offering decent returns.
2. Company Rating- Almost all the companies get themselves rated with credit rating agencies like
CRISIL, ICRA etc. The ratings of the company are often mentioned in the deposit applications. Moreover, credit ratings can easily be found on the websites of the agencies providing the credit rating. (An AAA rating by CRISIL means that the security of funds in the company is very strong)
3. Company Profile- The historical profile of a company is also a vital component while analyzing the security of funds in a company. This is the general goodwill and name of the company. The Tata Group is one, for example, that can be easily trusted upon.
4. History of company’s share- If you follow the stock market, the history of a company’s share prices can also be a good indicator. The share prices trends can be used to see the level and the frequency of fluctuations in the share prices of a company. Normally, risk factor is directly related to the level of fluctuations.
5. Liquidity- If you can source a company’s annual report or interim financial statements, look for the quick ratio (also called acid test ratio). Generally, an quick ratio of less than 1 would determine that the company cannot meet its short term obligations without selling its stock/inventory. Moreover, very high ratio would mean the company has excess current assets (more than what is required). A quick ratio of around 1 is considered satisfactory.
6. Dividend policies- It is always good to see the performance of a company in distributing its profits. This can be done by analyzing the past dividend policies of the company. This would reveal, whether the company keeps its profits with itself or distributes it with the shareholders.

Also Read:

January 26, 2009

Will the World Economic Forum Get Us a Remedy to Recession?

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009- the economic meet of the business leaders from all over the world is going to be held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland from January 28 to February 1, 2009. The meeting will witness participation of business leaders as well as NGOs, Trade Unions and experts from a wide range of fields.

Today, global recession and crisis being the major economic issue around the world, the Meeting will also be focused on managing the current crisis and shaping the entire post-crisis agenda, from economic reform to climate change.

Business leaders from all sectors and from all regions will be well represented among the participants in this year’s Annual Meeting. Other participants include heads of NGOs and labour leaders, Social Entrepreneurs and Young Global Leaders.

Among the participants from India are Mr.Mukesh D. Ambani (Chairman and Managing Director Reliance Industries Limited), Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan (Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Infosys Technologies Ltd), Mr. K. V. Kamath (Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ICICI Bank; President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)), Lalit K. Modi (President and Managing Director Modi Enterprises), Azim H. Premji (Chairman Wipro Limited), Mr. Vikram K. Akula (Founder and Chairman SKS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd), Mr. Sandeep Parekh (Visiting Associate Faculty Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India).
Also, Mr. Anand Mahindra (Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra) will be among the seven co-chairs in the meet.

Let’s hope, The World Economic Forum 2009 brings about some positive and instant solutions for the current economic problems which everyone around the globe is facing.

Join The World Economic Forum to start a discussion about the key issues facing the world that will be discussed at the Annual Meeting 2009 in Switzerland.
You can join the discussions through a variety of ways including video blogs on YouTube, a community on Facebook or subscriptions to Twitter. Your input could feed into selected sessions at the Annual Meeting 2009.

Also Read:

January 23, 2009

Want to Fight Job Crunch- Just Reduce the Expected Salaries a Bit

We asked our readers about their views on current job crunch. Our question was:
Will decreasing the salary packages would reduce the job crunch?
Majority of the participants (55%) were in favour of reducing the initial salary packages as a step to raise the demand and match it with the supply. 22% of the voters felt that decreasing the salary packages would not help in tackling job crunch. Only a minority of the voters were not sure. Some of them thought that it might do the job while the rest chose the option of ‘can’t say’.
As we can see that in the current recessionary period, every one of us is focusing on cost reduction and building up as much cash inflows as possible. Human resource is one of the major aspects here. Thus every employer would be willing to reduce its human resource costs. However, this would not mean that they want to reduce the number of employees. They just want to reduce the cost per employee/productivity. Recently the companies in the BPO sector in India adopted the method of increasing the working time of employees to achieve the same.
Moreover, as inflation was on a high over the past few years, everything related to this was also increasing. So were the salaries. Now since inflation is deflating (came down from 12% in August 2008 to les than 6% in January 2009), the other things are ought to come down.

PS: The poll results depict the opinion of the people who voted on this poll. It should not be considered as an opinion of any particular segment or
Also Read:

January 22, 2009

PAN Holders- View Your Income Tax Credit Status Online

Few days back when Archana (name changed) received her income tax refund along with the assessment order sent by the Income Tax Department, she found that the amount of refund was lower than what was claimed by her while filing her income tax return. On studying the details, it was found that records of some of the advance tax payments made by her for the relevant year were not available with the income tax department which resulted in a lower amount of refund. This was because of the mistake made by the collecting bank while uploading the advance tax challan details with the department. It took her several visits to the bank and income tax department to the get the things cleared.

To avoid these problems faced by the tax payers, Income Tax Department’s TIN (Tax Information Network) has facilitated the service for PAN holders to view their Annual Tax Statement (Form 26AS) online. Form 26AS contains

  • Details of tax deducted on behalf of the taxpayer by deductors
  • Details of tax collected on behalf of the taxpayer by collectors
  • Advance tax/self assessment tax/regular assessment tax, etc. deposited by the taxpayers (PAN holders)

In order to view your income tax credit status, first you need to register online giving your PAN and other basic details. After submitting your application online, you need to get your details verified by a registered TIN-FC(Facilitation Centre) by showing your original PAN Card (You can also call their representative to visit you and verify the details). Three days after getting the verification done, you can view your tax credit status online.

So get yourself registered with TIN-FC, and next time when your TDS is deducted or you deposit any tax, be sure to verify the details online before submitting your income tax return.

This measure would also help you in getting tax refunds faster.

Click here to apply online for registration

Also Read:

January 21, 2009

Online PAN Verification- Step Taken to Check PAN Frauds

Next time when you mention your Income Tax PAN (Permanent Account Number) anywhere be sure to double check its accuracy or you may land up in trouble.
Income Tax Department has authorized National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) to launch an online PAN verification service. The service is available to the entities in the following sectors:

  • Government Agencies (Central/State)
  • Reserve Bank of India
  • Banks
  • Depositories & Depository Participants
  • Mutual Funds
  • Companies
  • Credit card Companies / Institutions
  • Any other entity required to furnish Annual Information Return
  • Stock Exchanges
  • Companies and Government deductor (Required to file TDS/TCS return)

This step has been taken by the Income Tax Department to facilitate certain entities and institutions to verify (PAN) submitted to them by people or entities while applying for various services, financial products or during the general business dealings. The objective behind the step is to trace and tackle those people who intentionally mention wrong or duplicate PAN.
The Income Tax Department has imposed a penalty of Rs. 10,000 for those who mention wrong PAN.

NSDL provides the following three types of PAN verifications:
(1) Screen based Verification: The users, after login, can furnish up to a maximum of five PANs in the screen provided. The PANs may be entered in the boxes provided in the screen and then submitted. The response giving details of PAN will be displayed in the response screen.
(2) File based Verification: The users, after login, can upload a file containing maximum of 200 PANs (file structure as specified by NSDL). The site will make available, within 24 hours, a response file containing details of the PANs. In case, file format is incorrect, the system will convey the rejection within 24 hours. The entity can download the response at his convenience up to 15 days.
(3) Software (API) based PAN verification: The facility is an interface that allows the user to make an online verification of PAN by accessing the verification-site through a software application.
Click here to see registration process

Also Read:

January 20, 2009

Are You An Agitated Satyam Investor?- Take Revenge From Raju (But Virtually)

Not many days before, when the (in)famous shoe incident happened with Former President of U.S.A. the online gaming sites were full of games that required the user to act like the reporter who threw shoes at Bush and score points for hitting him.
Taking the concept ahead, its Satyam’s Former chief Ramalinga Raju, who is now the hot spot among the game players. A number of gaming sites have come up with games that need the players to throw rotten eggs on Raju’s face.
After the Satyam Scandal, it’s a great chance for the company’s agitated investors to show their anger and take revenge in Satyam's own style (electronically).

Click here to see one of them.

Many thanks to Shailesh and Priya for sharing this info.

ICAI Students- Pass Three Papers and Your Graduation is Complete

Recently The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. Under this scheme MBA, M.Com, BBA and B.Com courses will be available exclusively for Chartered Accountancy Students as well as qualified Chartered Accountants.

Graduation courses (BBA and B.Com) will be offered to students who have either passes the entry level examination of Chartered Accountancy course of ICAI (i.e. CPT or PE I) or those who have passed the the Intermediate stage of Chartered Accountancy course of ICAI (i.e. PCC or PE 2).
Students under the second category (those who have passed the PE 2 or PCC examination) will be exempt from 12 out 15 papers in B.Com and in 10 out of 15 papers in BBA.

Post graduation courses (MBA and M.Com) are available either to graduate from a recognized university or who have passed the Final Examination of ICAI or to the ones who successfully complete graduation under this scheme. Here, those who have passed the Final Examination of ICAI will be exempt from 10 out of 15 papers in MBA and 7 out of 10 papers in M.Com.
Existing Chartered Accountants may also apply and get the exemption by applying through the institute for admission in through lateral entry.

Bharathiar University is a state university in Coimbatore and is accredited by NAAC with 'A' Grade. This would certainly be a great opportunity for several CA students who sometimes have to forego their regular classes to prepare exclusively for CA exams.
Click here to download full details

Also Read:

Desktop Toolbar for ICAI Members and Students
Accounting Technician- ICAI aims at matching the supply with demand
CA students get a bit of relief for Exams

January 18, 2009

Why You Should Choose Tata Motors Fixed Deposit Scheme for Investment?

Tata Motors Ltd. have recently launched a Fixed Deposit (FD) investment scheme. Through this, the company will be raising debt capital directly from public. Let’s see some of the features that make this FD scheme more advantageous than other fixed return schemes available currently:
· Rate of Interest: The rate of interest varies from 10% to 11% depending upon the lock in period of the investment. The maximum rate of interest offered by the company is 11% per annum for an FD of three years lock in period. For senior citizens, an additional 0.5% will be given.
Similar to the FDs of banks, the interest will be compounded quarterly and if you choose the cumulative deposit option in the plan, the 3 year FD would give you an annual return of 12.83%. This is because interest at year quarter is automatically reinvested, thus yielding higher rate of return.
The interest rate is more than that offered by any bank.
·Current Market Scenario: Owing to regular decrease in inflation and recessionary trends, the banks have been constantly decreasing the interest rates on fixed deposits. It is a good option to invest in a fixed return plan offering good returns at the moment.
·Security of Funds: Some of the regional and co-operative banks are offering fixed deposits at somewhat similar rates of interest. But the security of money with them is always questionable, especially in the current economic circumstances. If we have to trust any company, the
Tata Group is undoubtedly among the favorites. Moreover, successful vehciles like Tata Indica, Tata Safari, Tata Ace etc and anticipatory success of Tata Nano makes the funds more more secure
·Compare with other investment options: While some market linked investment plans might reap you better returns, but seeing the daily fluctuations in share market, it would not be advisable to invest huge amount in these schemes.
Returns under other fixed return schemes are lower than that of Tata Motors FD scheme.

Other Information
A minimum amount of Rs. 20,000 can be invested in the scheme. There are three options for interest payment:
1.Accumulate them and receive the full amount at maturity
2.Receive interest every quarter
3.Receive interest every month (for deposit above Rs. 1 lakh)
Brochure and investment forms are available at
Tata Motors website. The forms can be deposited at designated branches of HDFC Bank Ltd, Tata Securities , Kotak Securities, JM Financial(list of branches available at Tata Motors website).

Click here to get application forms

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January 16, 2009

How Do We Get Tax Benefits of Rs. 33,990 on Insurance Policies?

As the end of another financial year is approaching, we are coming across a number of advertisements of insurance companies for their life insurance products. The major emphasis in these advertisements is on the Tax Benefits upto Rs. 33,990. Let’s see what are the various conditions that need to be fulfilled to get this benefit:
1. Premiums paid on life insurance policies reduce the amount of taxable income (as per section 80C of the Income Tax Act). However, there is a ceiling limit of Rs. 1 lakh. Thus the maximum deduction available on premium of life insurance policies is Rs. 1 lakh.
2. Now, the second aspect here is that the basic tax rates range from 10% to 30% depending upon the amount of income. For the financial year 2008-09 (assessment year 2009-10), the maximum tax rate of 30% is applicable if the total income is above Rs. 5 lakhs.
(Total income is the gross income less deductions and benefits available under chapter VI A- mainly they are section 80C benefits of 1 lakh and mediclaim premiums)
3. The third aspect here is that an additional surcharge @ 10% of basic tax is levied if the total income is above Rs. 10 lakhs.
4. An amount equal to 3% of Basic Tax plus Surcharge (if any) is levied as education and higher education cess.
Summarizing the above , to get the maximum tax benefit of Rs. 33,990; our total income has to be above Rs. 10 lakhs.
Moreover, if we have invested any amount in other schemes under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, then the tax benefit amount of this particular policy would reduce accordingly.
Rs.33,990 is the maximum amount of tax benefit available under the section.

Image: Taxation Guide

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January 15, 2009

Blogs Find Their Importance for Indian Politicians

After getting popular with movie celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan, blogs have started gaining importance to politicians. This time its Mr. L.K. Advani presently one of the most senior leaders of one of the largest political parties in India - Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). He has recently started his blog in January. In his first blog post- Electioneering: From Handbill to the Internet, he has mentioned the reasons for starting his blog. The basic reason here is using the internet as a medium to reach public for political communication and campaigning. The blog is an extension of his political portal lkadvani.in
Currently, L.K.Advani is being considered as the Prime Ministerial candidate from BJP for the next election. Who knows the blog may give him that extra edge and win him the elections. Well, at least blogging will surely enable Mr. Advani to reach a different section of citizens who seldom give attention to political speeches.
Go to the official blog of L.K.Advani :

January 13, 2009

Sharpen Your Share Trading Skills With This Virtual Share Market Game

At this time when there is high uncertainty in the share market, many experts are advising to stay as much away from the stock market as possible. For those who cant resist their urge to deal in shares, here's a virtual stock market game that operates exactly as per the real stock market with even real stock prices. The only difference here is that you are free from risk - the money is virtual.
Moneybhai Investor gives you a virtual amount of Rs. 25 Lacs to start up with your game. The rules are simple- buy and sell shares to make as much profits as possible. You can only transact during the stock market hours. The game gives you the exact feel of the real stock market - and when I say exact here, I mean it.
So go on and try out your skills at the almost real stock market.

January 12, 2009

Bank Accounts for NRIs - Choose the One For You

Below are the significant features of the different types of bank accounats that can be opened by NRIs. NRIs can maintain the following three types of bank accounts in India:

1) Non-Resident (External) Rupee Accounts (NRE Accounts)
NRIs, PIOs, OCBs are eligible to open NRE Accounts. These are rupee denominated accounts. Accounts can be in the form of savings, current, recurring or fixed deposit accounts. They can be opened by remittance of funds in free foreign exchange. Foreign exchange brought in legally, repatriable incomes of the account holder, etc. can be credited to the account. Joint operation with other NRIs/PIOs is permitted. Power of attorney can be granted to residents for operation of accounts. The deposits can be used for all legitimate purposes. The balance in the account is freely repatriable.
Interest lying to the credit of NRE accounts is exempt from tax in the hands of the NRI.
Funds held in NRE accounts may be freely transferred to Foreign Currency Non Resident (FCNR) accounts of the same account holder. Likewise, funds held in FCNR accounts may be transferred to NRE accounts of the same account holders. Currently, the interest rate on NRE –SB (Savings Bank) A/c is 3.5% per year.
2) Ordinary Non-Resident Rupee Accounts (NRO Accounts)
These are Rupee denominated non-repatriable accounts and can be in the form of savings, current, recurring or fixed deposits. These accounts can be opened jointly with residents in India. When an Indian National/PIO resident in India leaves for taking up employment, etc. outside the country, his bank account in India gets designated as NRO account.
The deposits can be used to make all legitimate payments in rupees. Interest income, from NRO accounts is taxable. Interest income, net of taxes is repatriable. Authorised Dealers may allow the facility of repatriation of funds from NRO account for the specific purposes like children’s education, medical expenses, sale proceeds of properties, etc.

3) Foreign Currency Non Resident (Banks) Accounts (FCNR (B) Accounts)

NRIs/PIOs/OCBs are permitted to open such accounts in US Dollars, Sterling Pounds, Japanese Yen and Euro. The account may be opened only in the form of term deposit for any of the three maturity periods viz; (a) one year and above but less than two years (ii) two years and above but less than three years and (iii) three years only.
Interest income is tax free in the hands of NRI until he maintains a non-resident status or a resident but not ordinarily resident status under the Indian tax laws.
FCNR (B) accounts can also be utilised for local disbursements including payment for exports from India, repatriation of funds abroad and for making investments in India, as per foreign investment guidelines.

Image: KalyanB

January 10, 2009

Desktop Toolbar for ICAI Members and Students

CAclubindia has launched a great tool customised for the needs of ICAI members and students. In this desktop toolbar we get to access the latest forum topics posted along with latest files submitted for download. But the two main features of the toolbar are its Search-Powered by Google and the news ticker which displays the latest news posted on the site.
Along with all this the toolbar also provides add-on features like Weather Forecaster, Radio and Email Notifier. The new toolbar can be customised easily as per our preferences.
Certainly this toolbar should become the favourite among CAs and other related professionals.

Download the toolbar

January 5, 2009

Zimbabwe is full of Billionairs- But in their own Currency

As per the official information avilable on the website of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe July 2008 price inflation was a whooping 231150888.87% more than that of July 2007. Adding to the shock the interbank exchange rate of US$ 1 was ZWD 925,825.00 as of December 17, 2008 (official figure from the same source).
There was a havoc kind of a situation here in India when the inflation rates were increasing steeply to11-12%. One can imagine what could be the situation there in Zimbabwe.