What is Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR)?
- The scheme of Advance Rulings has been introduced under the Income-tax Act, 1961. It was reinforced by the Finance Act, 1993. Chapter XIX-B of the Income-tax Act, which deals with advance rulings, came into force with effect from 1-6-1993. Under the scheme the power of giving advance rulings has been entrusted to an independent adjudicatory body. Accordingly, a high level body headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court has been set-up. This is empowered to issue rulings, which are binding both on the Income-tax Department and the applicant. The procedure prescribed is simple, inexpensive, expeditious and authoritative.
- Advance Ruling means written opinion or authoritative decision by an Authority empowered to render it with regard to the tax consequences of a transaction or proposed transaction or an assessment in regard thereto.
- The Authority for Advance Rulings has emerged as an important adjudicatory body on tax matters. Recent rulings by the AAR in Castleton Investment Limited and the MAT controversy have brought the importance of the institution in tax disputes and related matters.
- The Responsibility of the AAR is to provide the facility of ascertaining the income-tax liability of a non-resident as well as that of certain special categories of residents. If an entity or company has any doubt about the tax liability of its business, it can go to the AAR. The AAR here gives a ruling and it will become policy guide to the company as well as to the tax authorities. Hence, the companies can plan their income-tax affairs well in advance and to avoid long drawn and expensive litigation.
- In the case of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, a company goes to it if it has a grievance related to the tax notice it has got from the tax authorities. But in the case of AAR, such a notice is not needed to seek its ruling.
Constitution of AAR
- Authority for Advance Rulings consists of a Chairman who is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court and two members of the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of India, one each from the Indian Revenue Service and the Indian Legal Service. A non-resident or certain categories of resident can obtain binding rulings from the Authority on question of law or fact arising out of any transaction/proposed transactions which are relevant for the determination of his tax liability.
- The Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR) pronounces rulings on the applications of the non-resident/residents submitted in the prescribed form following prescribed procedure and such rulings are binding both on the applicant and the income-tax department.
- Thus, the applicant can avoid expensive and time consuming litigation on any question of law or fact which might arise from normal income-tax assessment proceedings. AAR (Procedure) Rules, 1996 provide detailed procedure for obtaining advance rulings.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances; Before making any decision do consult your professional /tax advisor for their misrepresentation or interpretation of act or rules author does not take any responsibility. Neither the author nor the firm accepts any liability for the loss or damage of any kind arising out of information in this document or for any action taken in reliance there on. The author is a Chartered Accountant and the Chief Gardener & Founder Director of Rajput Jain & Associate, a leading Tax & Investment planning Advisor Service provider. His Blog can be found at http://carajput.com for any query you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope the information will assist you in your professional endeavors. For query or help contact: email@example.com or call at 09811322785/4- 9555555480.