Advisory

GST aims for economic growth

Designed to replace indirect taxes imposed on goods and services by the Centre and States, GST aims to achieve overall economic growth. However, many are still not sure about how exactly it will translate for them. Read on to understand the basics of GST.

WORDS: SANGEETA SINHA

IMPLEMENTED from July 1, 2017, GST is an umbrella tax levied on goods and services across India. It replaces all Central as well as State taxes like Central Excise Duty, Service Tax, Additional Duties of Excise & Customs, Special Additional Duty of Customs, and surcharges on supply of goods and services. It also replaces State taxes such as VAT, taxes on advertisements, lotteries, betting and gambling. One of the big tax reforms in India, GST impacts not only businesses but also a common man’s budget.

PURPOSE OF GST
The main purpose of launching GST was to eliminate excessive taxation and to simplify tax hurdles for the entire economy. Different VAT laws in different states were a problem especially during interstate transactions; one needed to comply with 3 different taxes – excise, VAT, and service tax.
The main purpose of GST is to simplify the system for taxpayers by unifying taxes applicable to consumers and suppliers alike. GST brings uniform taxation across the country and allows full tax credit from the procurement of inputs and capital goods which can later be set off against GST output liability.
GST will help in removing ambiguity as the different kinds of taxes applicable to different commodities and services in different states will be uniform across the country depending on the category under which they fall. Government passed four bills to implement GST – Goods and Services Tax Bill, Integrated GST Bill, Compensation GST Bill, and Union Territory GST Bill.

GST REGISTRATION
Registration is mandatory for any entity that engages in the supply of goods and services and whose turnover exceeds Rs 20 lakh within India. Registration is a simple procedure which can be done from your home. You need to login to
www.gst.gov.in and follow the procedure to complete your registration.
People who do not pay GST are liable to a penalty of 10% of the tax amount, subject to a minimum of Rs.10,000. Offenders who deliberately evade paying taxes will be levied with a penalty of 100% of the tax amount. However, genuine errors will attract a penalty of 10% of the tax due. Most of the commodities and services that are subject to GST have been categorised under four tax slabs, viz. 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%.

BENEFITS OF GST
Elimination of Multiple Taxes – The biggest benefit of GST is an elimination of multiple indirect taxes.
Reduce inflation – For a common man, GST applicability means the elimination of double charging in the system. The prices of FMCG products are expected to reduce.
Healthy business – One tax concept will check unhealthy competition among states and this will help interstate business.
Less Documentation – Tax compliance, filing returns, tax payment etc will be simple due to one tax system.

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COMPOSITION SCHEME
GST has been a welcome step for big businesses in India, but the small ones and startups are facing problems in introducing it and getting acquainted with the compliances. Hence the Composition scheme introduced by the GST Council is a welcome step as individuals have to pay tax at a minimum rate based on their turnover. We spoke to BinitaSengupta, a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India with over 17 years of professional experience in Audit, Income tax & Corporate Tax laws. She is currently practicing and providing consultancy services with special emphasis on Income tax, corporate matters and GST.
Composition levy is an alternative method of levy of tax designed for small taxpayers whose turnover is up to Rs1.5 crore and who pay a flat rate of tax regardless of what they manufacture, provide as a service or trade they carry on.
• It is optional and the eligible person opting to pay tax under this scheme can pay tax at a prescribed percentage of his turnover every quarter, instead of paying tax at normal rate.
• Composition scheme is levied only for businesses dealing in goods. It is not applicable to any professional providing any kind of service.
• The composition dealer is not eligible to issue a tax invoice and hence cannot collect the tax from the recipient. So he will have to pay tax from his own pocket and will thus be a cost to him.
• He can issue a bill of supply in lieu of tax invoice.
• The composition dealer will not be eligible to claim input tax credit on purchases made by him. As such, he is not expected to maintain detailed records. So, the amount of GST paid at the time of purchase will be a cost to the dealer.
• The composition dealer will not be expected to file monthly returns, but instead will have to file a return for every quarter, and an annual return after the end of financial year.
• The quarterly return GSTR-4 by 18th of the month after the end of the quarter and an annual return GSTR-9A by 31st December of next financial yearhas to be filed.
• The composition dealer can enter into a transaction with an unregistered dealer but the moment he enters into such a transaction, Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) shall be triggered and the composition dealer will be required to pay appropriate GST on that.
• The composition dealer cannot make Inter-state sales i.e. sales outside the state he is registered as a dealer. In case the dealer makes an inter-state sale then he will lose his position as a composition dealer and will have to be registered as a normal dealer.
• For the purpose of composition, aggregate turnover will be computed on the basis of turnover on an all India basis and will include value of all taxable supplies, exempt supplies and exports made by all persons with same PAN, but would exclude inward supplies under reverse charge as well as central, State/Union Territory and Integrated taxes and cess. So the turnover of all businesses under same PAN will be clubbed to calculate the limit.
The following chart explains the rate of tax on turnover applicable for composition dealers:
The Composition Scheme has its share of benefits as well as some shortcomings. In order to opt for this scheme, a small businessman has to make a cost-benefit analysis of his business before taking his decision. The benefits may include
1. saving compliance cost
2. saving on the hassle of filing 3 returns every month
and the disadvantages are:
1. input tax credit cannot be claimed and
2. paying tax on his annual turnover from his own pocket, which again is a heavy cost burden.

Home Loan

If you are getting ready to apply for a home loan and are new to it, then you must read on to understand some basic yet important concepts……

WORDS: SANGEETA SINHA

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IF finding the perfect home to buy is important, it is equally so to find the right home loan. If you wish to get a home loan, a little planning in advance will help you in more ways than one. Start by doing some good market research. Check out the eligibility criteria, rate of interest (both fixed and floating), repay option, balance transfer etc. of different banks, both private and government. A good home loan should give you the lowest interest rates throughout the loan tenure and should also give you the option of part payment or balance transfer.
It is a long-term investment so make sure that you have the finances in place to pay the EMIs. Though home loans are easy to get these days, most banks sanction only 85 per cent of the property value. This means you will have to arrange for the balance amount which you will need to pay as down payment. Planning and saving in advance will help you make a bigger down payment which in turn will lower your EMI’s monthly.
Once you are through with the down payment, you then need to make sure that your EMIs are affordable. Paying huge EMIs can be a burden on your monthly budget if not managed properly.
If you choose a longer tenure your EMI may decrease but overall you end up paying more interest; a shorter loan tenure makes you loan-free faster with low interest. Interest is calculated on the principal amount and therefore a quick repayment of the principal amount leads to lower absolute interest payout.
Paying more than the regular EMI can also help reduce your principal outstanding which in turn will reduce your interest. It is a good idea to keep a watch out for lower interest rate offers and if you find one you can always re-finance your loan by switching. However, switching a loan may add processing fees so keep that in mind. Keeping all points in mind go for the EMI amount that you can afford.

Fixed or Floating
Theoretically if you expect the interest rates to fall you can opt for floating rates while if you expect it to rise then fixed is a better option. But markets fluctuate and we are not always sure of the trend. Both fixed and floating have their pros and cons. Based on your personal requirement choose your plan and if you are unable to decide, opt for a combination loan which is part fixed and part floating. You can switch between a fixed and floating rate at a nominal fee
With a fixed rate the interest doesn’t change with market fluctuations and you pay fixed equal installments over the entire period of the loan. This definitely gives a sense of certainty but this security comes with a price; fixed interest rates are usually 1-2.5 percentage points higher than the floating rate home loan. Also if for any reason the interest rate decreases, the fixed rate home loan doesn’t get the benefit of reduced rates.
The rate of interest with floating loan scheme varies with market conditions but they are cheaper than the fixed rates. It has a drawback of uncertainty due to the uneven nature of EMIs. It may get difficult to budget as the EMIs may increase. So it is up to you to decide what option suits you best. Do your homework well before signing on the dotted line.

Loan Pre-payment
Home loan prepayment is early repayment of a home loan by a borrower which can be done in part or even full. Home Loan Prepayment is a good idea because it helps you save the interest money. So if you have excess cash it is always a better option to repay the loan.

Check with your bank for any pre-payment penalty. Some banks do take penalty charges if you repay your loan earlier and close your account. However, the Reserve Bank of India has said that banks should stop charging a penalty to customers who decide to prepay and close the loan account. But this applies to only floating loans and not the fixed ones. So if you have excess cash, check with your bank about the pre-payment penalty and get rid of your loan and in the process save money you would have paid as interest.

CIBIL score
It is important to maintain a good CIBIL score if you wish to get your home loan processed smoothly and fast. High CIBIL score gets you a loan without any issue while with a low score you may find it difficult to get your loan processed and sometimes you may even be charged high rate of interest.
People with low CIBIL score are considered risky by banks. It is important that you pay all your dues on time and improve your score. The first thing banks check as soon as you submit your loan application is your CIBIL score. Though there is no cut-off, generally a CIBIL score of 750 and above is considered good.
It is a good idea to ensure that your credit history and personal details are in order before applying for a home loan. You can purchase your credit report yourself, online at the CIBIL site, by paying a nominal amount of Rs.470.
If your loan gets rejected by any bank due to low CIBIL score it is better to try and improve your score rather than applying in different banks; their checking on your rating may not work in your favour.

Home Loan Balance Transfer
Balance transfer of a loan is often done by customers for reduced interest rates; the entire unpaid principal loan amount is transferred to another bank for a lower rate of interest. Your original bank gets the unpaid amount back and you start paying the EMI to the new bank that took up your loan.
But it is important that you do a proper cost benefit analysis before transferring your loan. Lot of points have to be checked like the difference between the interest rates offered by the two banks, the amount of the loan left unpaid and the tenure remaining. Don’t forget to add the processing fees also which the bank will charge.
You may also think of resetting your home loan with your existing bank itself. You can write to your bank to get the resetting done. Banks often agree to it as they want to retain their customer.

Terms simplified
Collateral – Your property acts as a security for the lender. In case you are unable to repay, the bank can legally takeover your property.
Tenure of Loan – Tenure is the length of contract and it can range between 10 and 25 years based on your income and age.

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Down Payment – It is the money you pay before taking the loan. You don’t get 100% loan, some amount you will require to pay upfront. It is a good idea to save some money for this as this will reduce your loan liability.
Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) – This is the monthly repayment which includes both the principal and the interest.
Rate of Interest – It is either fixed or floating. Fixed one remains same throughout the tenure of loan while floating changes depending on market conditions.
Co-applicant – A co-applicant is the co-borrower of the loan who can also claim income tax benefits on the home loan along with the borrower.
Guarantor – A guarantor is liable to repayment if there is a default by the borrower.

Best Tax Saving Instrument plans

If you have still not done tax planning for the current financial year, you need to move fast. With March 31 approaching, last minute hurry may lead to wrong decisions

WORDS: SANGEETA SINHA

Most of us start planning for investing in tax saving instruments at the last moment. As the financial year approaches closure end we rush to tax consultants. Sometimes in the rush we end up making wrong decisions and often miss out on smart investments. It is always a good idea to plan your investments a little early so that you have ample time to research and make wise decisions.
Another advantage of planning early is that it helps you in managing your finances as you can invest in a staggered manner. There are many schemes like Public Provident Fund (PPF) or National Pension System (NPS) which allow 12 transactions a year.

Often when we rush for last minute investments our focus simply remains on tax saving and in the process we miss out on other important aspects of investment. Ideally one needs to look for investment plans which offer maximum tax savings with minimum risk.

Section 80 C
Before we discuss some of the good tax saving plans, we need to understand section 80 C of Income Tax Act as most tax saving plans work as per this section. It allows deduction up to Rs 1.5 lakh.
Investments like ELSS (Equity Linked Saving Scheme),

Life Insurance, PPF, National Savings Certificate (NSC), bonds etc can be used to save tax under this section. The deduction you make towards these investments is tax deductible. It doesn’t matter if you invest in one or more of the above investments, the deduction will stop as soon as it reaches its limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Tax saving plans
There are several options and you need to devise your own plan based on your requirement and income. You will need to pick the plan which suits you.

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ELSS – Specially designed for tax saving purposes, this equity based tax saving option has the advantage of a short term lock-in period of 3 years. The investment in an ELSS can also be made through a SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) wherein you invest a small fixed amount every month instead of paying a large amount altogether.
Being a market linked product they are high risk but also offer the potential of high returns. For tax purposes, returns from an ELSS are tax free; long-term capital gains from equity funds are exempt from tax. You can claim up to Rs. 1.5 lakh of your ELSS as a deduction from your gross total income in a financial year under Sec 80C of the Income Tax Act.

ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Plan) – This investment product comes with life insurance as well. ULIPs offer tax benefits at the time of investment as well as on maturity and it also provides life cover to the person taking the policy.
Money invested in ULIP can be claimed as deduction. However it is important that you pay your premiums and keep your plan alive to avail tax benefits. If the ULIP is discontinued before 2 years, tax benefits u/s 80C will not be allowed. Any deduction allowed in the previous years will be added back to your income in the year in which ULIP is closed.

Tax free bonds - A bond is a fixed income instrument carrying a coupon rate of interest and is issued for a fixed tenure. As the name suggests, interest earned from tax-free bonds is exempt from tax.

PPF– A Long term saving scheme issued by the Central Government, this is good for investors who look for assured earnings. Under section 80C, the contribution made towards PPF is tax deductible and interest earned and received at the maturity is absolutely tax free.
With a lock-in period of 15 years this option may not be suitable for those looking for a short term tax-saving investment but the tax free status gives it a distinct advantage over fixed deposits. You can withdraw a certain amount from PPF after the fifth year without any prepayment penalty.

NSC – Similar to PPF, this is also risk-free with guaranteed returns and saves tax under section 80C. With NSC, no tax is deducted at source and it is the responsibility of the certificate holder to declare the income so that appropriate income tax can be calculated and charged. In case of bank FDs the tax that is due to be paid on the returns earned is deducted at source by the banks but needs declaration.

Life insurance premium – This comes with dual benefit; gives life cover plus the premium you pay on a life

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insurance plan is deductible from your total income under section 80 C. The proceeds of a life insurance policy, whether the maturity amount or the sum assured, are exempt under Section 10(10D) of the Act.

NPS - It is one of the few tax saving investments options that let the investor surpass the Rs 1.5 lakh limit of deduction set by section 80C. The percentage of basic salary (up to a max of 10%) that your employer contributes towards your NPS is tax deductible. An additional Rs 50,000 can also be invested in NPS for tax deductions under Section 80CCD(1B).
One also needs to keep in mind that on maturity one has to compulsorily invest 40 per cent of the accumulated corpus in annuity which gets locked in for lifetime and is also entirely taxable. Some pension plans don’t have such restrictions; enquire and understand all the pros and cons before you invest.

Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme (SCSS) - This offers regular income apart from giving tax benefits too. Anybody over 60 can invest in this government backed scheme. The tenure of the scheme is 5 years, which is extendable by another 3 with an investment limit of Rs 15 lakh and gives 8.6% per annum. Investment in SCSS qualifies for deduction under Section 80C of the Income-tax (I-T) Act.

Sukanya Samridhi Scheme (SSS) – This is a small deposit scheme for the girl child launched as a part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign. An SSS account can be opened any time after the birth of a girl till she turns 10, with a minimum deposit of Rs 1,000. The account has an annual cap of Rs 1.5 lakh and the interest is tax free.
The account can be opened for up to two daughters, but the combined limit is Rs 1.5 lakh in a year. Accounts can be opened in any post office or designated banks.

Payment of children’s tuition fees - The tuition fee paid for the education of two children is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C of up to Rs 1.5 lakh. The fee can be paid to any school, college, university or educational institute situated in India. The fees have to be for a full-time course only.

Repayment of home loan - The repayment of the principal of a loan taken to buy or construct a residential property is eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C. This deduction is also applicable on stamp duty, registration fees and transfer expenses.

BEYOND SECTION 80 C – EXPERT ADVISE

We spoke to Binita Sengupta, a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India with over 17 years of professional experience in Audit, Income tax & Corporate Tax laws. She is currently practicing and providing consultancy services with special emphasis on Income tax, corporate matters and GST. She gives us insight on tax savings which can be done beyond section 80 C

Apart from section 80 C, certain other sections of income tax also allow you to save tax over and above the 80C limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Tax saving on house rent allowance – House rent allowance, commonly known as HRA, is a major chunk of a salaried individual’s total pay. Under Section 10 (13A) of the Income Tax Act, you can save tax on the rent you pay to your landlord. However, you get partial tax benefit on the rent you pay.

The amount that is allowed for exemption under HRA is calculated as the minimum of:

i) Rent paid annually minus 10 per cent of basic salary plus dearness allowance
ii) Actual HRA received
iii) 40 per cent of basic and dearness allowance (50 per cent in case of metro cities).

Your HRA allowance will be taxable if you are not paying any rent or you stay in your own house. But those who stay with their parents can also claim HRA benefits by paying rent to their parents.

Health Insurance – Premiums paid for health insurance for self, spouse, children, and parents qualify for deduction under Section 80D. One can claim deduction of Rs. 25,000, if he is below 60 years of age, and Rs. 30,000 if above 60, towards medical insurance premium paid for self, spouse and children.

Under this section, additional deduction of Rs. 25,000 is available if one buys medical insurance for parents. This deduction can go up to Rs. 30,000 per year if parents are above 60. So the total deduction you get under Section 80D is up to Rs 60,000. This is in addition to Rs. 1.5 lakh deductions you avail under Section 80C.

Medical allowance – Medical reimbursement is an arrangement under which employers reimburse the portion of the health expenses incurred by the employee.

The Income Tax act allows exemption of up to Rs.15,000 on medical reimbursements paid by employer.

Expenditure on the health of disabled person Section (80DD) - If a taxpayer has dependent parents, spouse, children or siblings who are differently-abled, then he can claim deductions up to Rs. 75,000 for expenses on their maintenance and medical treatment under this section. If the disability is severe in nature, then the deduction can increase to Rs 1.25 lakh.

Deduction under Section 80DDB - Under this section, one can claim deduction of Rs. 40,000 for medical treatment of specified disease or ailment for self and dependents. The deduction can go up to Rs. 60,000 if the taxpayer is above 60 and if he is above 80, then the deduction amount is up to Rs. 80,000. The diseases have been specified in Rule 11DD. To claim this benefit a certificate in form 10 I is to be furnished by the taxpayer from any registered doctor.

Deductions under Section 80CCD (1B) - Under this section, one can get tax benefits on investments up to Rs 50,000 in NPS tier 1 account. This is over and above the Rs 1.5 lakh limit under Section 80C. An individual in highest tax bracket can save Rs. 15,450 by investing Rs. 50,000 in NPS under Section 80CCD(1B).

Deduction under Section 80E - If you have taken an education loan for yourself, spouse or children, then the interest paid on the loan qualify for tax benefit under Section 80E. The best thing here is that there is no upper limit on the amount of deduction. But the criterion is that the loan must have been taken from a financial institution or approved charitable institution and for full-time higher education.

Deduction of interest on housing loan (Section 24B) – If you have taken a housing loan, then the interest you pay on it qualify for tax benefit under Section 24B. Interest paid up to Rs 2 lakh in a financial year on housing loan is allowed as deduction from your income. If you have taken a home improvement loan, then interest up to Rs 30,000 will be allowed as deduction under this section.

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Deduction under Section 80EE – Reintroduced in Union Budget 2016, an additional deduction of Rs. 50,000 is available under this section, which is over and above the limit of Section
24B on interest paid on home loans if a person is buying a house for the first time.

But there are conditions to avail this benefit:
a) The cost of the property must be below Rs 50 lakh
b) The loan amount must be less than equal to Rs 35 lakh.
c) The property must be bought after April 1, 2016.

Donation to specified institutions (80GGA) – If you have donated to an institution carrying on scientific research or to a university or college which is approved by the government, then the amount contributed would be eligible for deduction under this section. The mode of payment cannot be cash; any mode other than cash can be claimed for deduction.

Donations to social causes: You are entitled to tax benefits under section 80 G if you make any donations for social cause. Make sure that the organisations you donate to are covered under this scheme.

In addition to the above, one must not miss out the dates of payment of TDS & advance Tax. TDS liability arising out of any payments made during a month is to be paid before the 7th of the following month.

ONE PERSON COMPANY (OPC)

You want to start a company but not sure if you want it to be a proprietorship, partnership or private limited…amidst the confusion there comes a new concept called OPC. If you as an entrepreneur are capable of starting a venture on your own then OPC is for you. It allows you to create a single person economic entity. Read on to understand what exactly OPC is and how it can help you.

WORDS: SANGEETA SINHA

Introduced through the Companies Act, 2013 the concept of ‘One person Company’ (OPC) encourageVs self-employment with a backbone of India’s legal system. OPC is the best way to start a company if there is only one promoter/founder; you avail of the advantages of limited liability and the benefit of separate legal entity as well. OPC requires only one member and that is its biggest advantage; for a private limited company minimum of two members are required.

OPC comes with its own benefits where the liability of the member is limited; any loss or debts which is purely of business nature will not impact personal savings or wealth of an entrepreneur. Since complete control of the company is with the single owner, it helps in making fast decisions and execution. The owner can appoint as many as 15 directors in the OPC for administrative functions, without giving any share to them. Though OPC has its advantages and it allows a single entrepreneur to operate a corporate

entity with limited liability protection, it has its limitations too.
OPC is suitable only for small businesses. It can have maximum paid up share capital of Rs.50 lakh or turnover of Rs.2 crore. If the annual turnover crosses Rs.2 crore then the company has to be converted into a Private Limited Company and must file audited financial statements with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs at the end of each Financial Year like all types of companies. OPC cannot carry out non-banking financial investment activities.

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Therefore it is important to understand all aspects of this One Person Company prior to incorporation.
It is essential to have a nominee who becomes the member of the company in case of death or any other incapacity of the original member. You also need to know that you cannot incorporate more than one OPC or be the nominee of more than one OPC. Also a minor cannot be a member or nominee of OPC.
WHO CAN FORM AN OPC?
Only a natural person (Not Association of persons, Body of Individuals, Company, or any other entity) who is a resident of India in preceding calendar year (stayed in India for 182 days) can form OPC. There is threshold of paid up capital (Rs. 50 lakh) and average annual turnover (Rs. 2 crore) in 3 immediate preceding financial years, beyond which the status of OPC is lost.

STEPS TO REGISTRATION
Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) – You need to apply for DSC, which is required to digitally sign all documents submitted online under Information Technology Act, 2000 as Application for incorporation of companies is done online. DSC is issued by Certifying Authorities, registered with Controller of Certifying Authorities.
Director Identification Number (DIN) – After getting DSC done one needs to apply for the DIN of the proposed Director in Form DIR – 3 along with the name and the address proof of the director.
Name Approval Application – The next step while incorporating an OPC is to decide on the name of the Company. INC – 1 has to be filed for the name approval to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) by giving 6 names in the order of the preference.
Documents – The Memorandum of Association (MoA) stating the business for which the company is going to be incorporated and The Articles of the Association (AoA) which lays down the bylaws on which the company will operate will have to be prepared.
Nominee – Nominee has to appointed and his consent in Form INC – 3 will be taken along with his PAN card and Aadhar Card.
Proof of ownership – Proof of the registered office of the proposed Company, proof of ownership and Affidavit and Consent of the proposed Director is required. Also a declaration by the professional certifying that all compliances have been made.
Application for incorporation- This application has to be filed with the Registrar within whose jurisdiction your registered office will be located via e-form INC-32.
Once the Registrar of Companies (ROC) issues a Certificate of Incorporation business can start.

EXPERT QUESTIONS
Surabhi, Associate Advocate with Legal Consultus, a New Delhi based law firm gives us more insight into One Person Company. Surabhi specialises in Corporate and Consumer laws.
Q. Can a private company convert itself into OPC?
A. Yes a private company can convert itself into OPC provided it meets the following conditions – it must have a paid up capital of Rs. 50 lakh or less; it must have its average annual turnover of Rs. 2 crore or less. It will have to pass a special resolution in General Meeting and then file an application in Form No. INC. 6 for its conversion into One person Company.
Q. When will a company cease to operate as an OPC?
A. It will cease to operate as an OPC where the paid up capital exceeds Rs.50 lakh or its average annual turnover during the relevant period exceeds Rs.2 crore.
Q. When can an OPC be converted into Private Limited Company?
A. OPC has an option of getting converted into a Private Limited Company but only when 2 years have expired from its date of incorporation except where the paid up share capital is increased beyond Rs 50 lakh or its average annual turnover exceeds Rs. 2 crore during the relevant period.
One Person Company then can file forms with the registrar of companies for conversion into Private Limited Company within a period of six months on breaching the above threshold limit.
Q. What if, a nominee of one OPC becomes a member of another OPC?
A. A nominee of one OPC cannot be a member of another OPC as per the Act. If he is a member of two OPCs he will have to withdraw his membership from either of the OPCs within 180 days.
Q. What is the Process of Conversion of a Private Limited Company to an OPC?
Obtain NOC from members and creditors of the Private Limited Company
Pass a Special Resolution for conversion
File Special Resolution in Form No. MGT.14 with ROC
File fees and application in Form No. INC.6 and supporting documents with ROC.
Q. Whether a Non-Banking Financial Investment Company can be formed as a One Person Company?
A. As per the provisions of the Act, the OPC cannot carry the business of Non-Banking Financial Investment activity including investment in security of any corporate.
Q. Which form is to be filed in case of withdrawal of consent by the nominee of an OPC or in case of intimation of change in nominee by the member?
A. The member shall file Form INC-4 in case of withdrawal of consent by the nominee or in case of intimation of change in nominee.
Q. When can a One Person Company apply for its closure?
A. OPC can apply for its closure if-
It was non-operative for at least one year.
At least one year should have lapsed from the date of incorporation.

VACATION PLANNING Start saving for that exciting outing

Vacations are as important for our overall wellness as healthy food and exercise. In today’s fast-paced world when we list down our priorities we often forget about relaxation and vacations. Most of us skip vacations due to lack of money. It is time we give our vacations priority and start saving and planning. Here’s how to do it.

WORDS: SANGEETA SINHA

We often dream of a nice, relaxing and happy holiday with our loved ones but it does not materialise many times due to lack of advance planning and saving. Taking vacations is good for your health; a lot of studies have highlighted the cardiovascular health benefits of taking a vacation.

Relaxing and getting away from your worries — both personal and professional — can help lower anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure, which can in turn lower the risk of heart disease and chronic illness caused by stress.

The most important part of any vacation is to fit it in your budget and for that planning is the key. First of all you need to zero-in on your destination. Destination and the duration of your vacation should be such that they fit in your budget and do not hit your bank balance.
Next you can research for holiday packages. Travelling off-season is also a good idea if you wish to you save money.

Travel companies offer many plans. You can go for group holiday, family holiday or you also have the option to get the package customised. If you are the adventurous kind you can also go solo.
For most of us the biggest constraint in going for a vacation is finance. But these days with advance planning and regular saving you can enjoy your dream vacations. Understanding the requirement of market, a lot of travel agencies have come up with packages which can help you plan and save money for your vacation.
Some of the popular schemes are listed below. Do your own research and find out about such schemes floating in the market. Based on your requirement you can choose the scheme and plan your vacation.

SAVINGS HOLIDAY SCHEMES
These days the concept of ‘savings holiday schemes’ is very popular.

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These schemes are offered by travel companies where you can save for the holiday package at the current tariffs without worrying about the change in air fares and hotel tariffs during the time of travel.
HOLIDAY SAVING ACCOUNT
Many travel companies have come up with innovative plans that allow people to save money for big vacations.

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Holiday saving account is one such scheme where travel companies have tied up with banks like ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
One travel agency offers a unique savings plan for holiday goers. Under this scheme you can save monthly amount in the form of a recurring deposit with the bank in order to avail a vacation package. The cost of the package you choose is divided by 13 and you pay for 12 months and at the end of the year, the maturity proceeds are transferred to the travel company to pay for your pre-selected holiday package. The company funds the balance amount i.e – the 13th installment – to purchase your package after factoring in the accrued interest.

HOLIDAY INVESTMENT PLAN
Holiday investment plans are also being offered by travel companies in partnership with various leading banks.

EMI SCHEME
You can opt for this scheme when you are ready for a vacation but tight on the budget. The EMI option being offered by many travel companies has large takers. Whether it is domestic or international holiday, you can choose your destination and divide all your expenditure into easy EMIs. You may have to pay minimum down payment and the rest is taken care of.
It is all about prioritising. A vacation has to be taken as a therapy and should be on our agenda. You don’t have to go for long or expensive destinations but break is something we all need for our overall wellness and productivity. Options are many, financing is also available…you just need to make up your mind.
So next time when you budget your expenses make sure you don’t miss out on the vacation.

HOW VACATION HELPS
Relieves stress – Stress can take a serious toll on your physical health. Chronic stress can be destructive to our bodies. Getting away from personal and professional stress can help your physical health
More productivity – Your productivity and focus increases after a good break. Continuous work with no breaks or vacations can make people feel blocked and distracted, and they have problems concentrating
Increases family bonding – Family vacations increase bonding and help forge closer bonds. They create more memories than any other activity
Makes you happy – People who take regular vacations feel extremely happy with an overall feeling of well-being

FUND YOUR VACATION
Planning and scheduling well can help you save a good deal on your vacation
Plan well in advance so that you can save on air fare
Keep a separate fund for vacations; many schemes are being offered by travel companies – study them well
Recurring deposit with your bank is a good option if you are saving for a holiday 1-2 years away
For greater flexibility, and possibly higher returns, you can opt for short-term debt funds; they offer stable returns and are not very volatile.
For bigger vacations SIP is also a good idea; if you have 3-4 years to plan then you can add equities too
Keep your eyes and ears open for latest updates

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SOME TIPS
Choose your destination and duration keeping your budget in mind
Next look for best packages to your selected destination
Research on your destination; it helps making your own itinerary
One of the best ways of going about it is visiting the country’s official tourism website and read their recommendations
List all essential items you would need so that you don’t miss any important thing
If you are travelling abroad, a valid passport and tourist visa should be in place
Do not forget to check if there are some country guidelines on specific vaccinations you might have to take before your visit
Don’t miss on the travel insurance

STAYCATION
A period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night. They might make day trips to local tourist sites, swimming venues, or engage in fun activities such as painting, hiking or visiting museums. When on a tight budget and when annual family vacation becomes difficult it can be used as a cheaper substitute where you save on air tickets, accommodation etc. It is called fun vacation or stay-at-home-vacation.

Finance terms simplified

Financial terms often intimidate us. But once you understand the terms they look simple. Read on for some investment terms simplified. Self-knowledge is always the key to good investment

WORDS: SANGEETA SINHA

SIP (Systematic Investment Plan)
In SIP an investor invests a fixed amount of money monthly or quarterly in a mutual fund. The investor is allocated a number of units according to the current NAV (Net Asset Value). Every time a sum is invested, more units are added to the investor’s account.
Instead of making one heavy investment it allows you to make small periodic investments. It is like a recurring deposit where you invest in a mutual fund without altering your financial liabilities.
IPO (Initial public offering)
Also colloquially called ‘going public’, IPO is a type of public offering in which shares of a company are made open to public; the owners of the company give up part of their ownership to stockholders and they transform from private to public company.
In simple words, IPO is a source of collecting money from the public for the first time in the market to fund its projects. In return, the company gives shares to the investors of the company.
NFO (New Fund Offers)
NFO is a security offering where investors may purchase units of a closed-end mutual fund. This offering, similar to a stocks’ initial public offering (IPO) allows the underlying company to raise capital for the purpose of buying securities. The difference being that for an NFO there is no past performance as it is a new fund.
Balanced Fund
A balanced fund combines a stock component, a bond component and sometimes a money market component in a single portfolio. It is a type of mutual fund that has a policy of diversifying shareholder assets between both stocks and bonds, providing a one-stop solution for those who want everything in a single package. These are ideal for investors looking to retire in the near future and have a moderate risk appetite.
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Consolidated Account Statement (CAS)
Due to a recent amendment in SEBI regulations, Consolidated Account Statements are being issued which contains complete information of your portfolio in one statement.
It covers all schemes and mutual funds and can be viewed online. You can now request for a CAS across your entire holdings in mutual fund scheme services by Mutual Fund Registrars, CAMS, Karvy, FTAMIL and SBFS.
Mutual Fund
A mutual fund is a professionally-managed investment scheme. The number of units you purchase represents your share of holding in the particular scheme. The units can be purchased or redeemed at the fund’s current Net Asset Value (NAV). The NAVs fluctuate and so the investor also participates proportionally in the gain or loss of the fund.
All mutual funds are registered with SEBI with strict rules created to protect the interests of the investor.
Debt Fund
Debt funds are mutual funds that invest in fixed income securities like bonds and treasury bills. Debt funds are preferred by individuals who are not willing to invest in a highly volatile equity market.
Comparatively less volatile, a debt fund provides a steady but low income relative to equity. The main investing objectives of a debt fund are largely preservation of capital and generation of income.
ELSS (Equity Linked Savings Scheme)
These are tax-saving mutual funds that you can use to save income tax of up to Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C. ELSS funds have a lock-in period of 3 years and invest a majority of their portfolio in the stock market. Since these are equity mutual fund schemes which invest in stocks, invest in them only if you can handle the volatility in the stock market.
Equity Fund
An equity fund (also known as stock fund) is a mutual fund that invests principally in stocks. Stock mutual funds are principally categorised according to company size, the investment style of the holdings in the portfolio and geography.
AMC (Asset Management Company)
Asset management companies provide investors with more diversification and investing options than they would have by themselves. These companies charge service fees and they manage mutual funds, hedge funds and pension plans for clients.
NAV (Net Asset Value)
Net Asset Value is a fund’s market value per unit. It is calculated by dividing the total value of all the assets in a portfolio, minus all its liabilities. NAV is calculated at the end of every market day but it is advisable to look for annualised returns rather than daily returns while selecting a mutual fund for investment.
Load
Mutual fund companies collect an amount from investors when they join or leave a scheme. This fee is generally referred to as a ‘load’. Entry load can be said to be the amount or fee charged from an investor while entering a scheme or joining the company as an investor.
Exit load is a fee or an amount charged from an investor for exiting or leaving a scheme or the company as an investor.
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