On 6th April, 2022, Ministry of Finance notified Income Tax (8th Amendment) Rule, 2022. This amendment aims to amend the guidelines of Infrastructure Debt Fund in the parent rules of Income Tax Rules, 1961. The 8th amendment will be in force with immediate effect.

Key Points of Amendments:

  • Rule 2-F explains the guidelines for setting up an Infrastructure Debt Fund for the purpose of exemption under 10 (47).
  • The Infrastructure Debt Fund is set up as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) according to the conditions set by the Reserve Bank of India in the Infrastructure-Debt Fund–Non-Banking Financial Companies (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2011.
  • Any income of an infrastructure debt fund, set up in accordance with the guidelines as may be prescribed, which is notified by the Central Government.
  • Sub-rule (3) of Rule 2-F is substituted to add zero coupon bonds [ 2(48)] to the list of denominated bonds/ foreign currency bonds issued by Infrastructure Debt Fund. The changes are as under-
  • rupee denominated bonds or foreign currency bonds in accordance with the directions of Reserve Bank of India and the relevant regulations under the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident outside India) Regulations, 2000, as amended from time to time; Or
  • zero coupon bonds in accordance with rule 8B.
  • The conditions on which bond is issued are under the provisions of sub- rule 3.
  • By Rule 3, Rule 8-B is modified-
  • “infrastructure capital fund” is substituted with “infrastructure capital fund or infrastructure debt fund”.
  • Proviso is added as under

“Provided that an application shall not be made for notification of a bond which is to be issued beyond a period of two financial years following the financial year in which such application is made:

Provided further that an application made in Form No. 5-B shall be disposed of within a period of six months from the date of receipt of such application.”

  • New clause is inserted to stating where the application is made by an infrastructure debt fund, such fund shall along with the application, submit an undertaking that a sinking fund shall be maintained for the interest which will accrue on all the zero coupon bonds subscribed and such interest shall be invested in Government security as defined under Section 2(f) of the Government Securities Act, 2006.
  • Rule 8 and 9 is introduced to regulate “electronic verification code” which is as under-
    • The application in Form No. 5-B referred to in sub-rule (1) and the certificate of accountant in Form -5BA referred to in sub-rule (6) shall be furnished electronically either under digital signature or electronic verification code.
    • The Principal Director-General of Income-tax (Systems) or Director-General of Income-tax (Systems) shall specify the procedures, formats and standards for ensuring secure capture and transmission of data and shall also be responsible for evolving and implementing appropriate security, archival and retrieval policies in relation to furnishing of Form No. 5-B and Form No. 5-BA.
    • The codes generated for the purpose of electronic verification of the person furnishing the return of income as per the data structure and standards specified by Principal Director General of Income-tax (Systems) or Director General of Income Tax (Systems) comes within the scope of “electronic verification code” .

*Shubhi Srivastava, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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