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Govt relaxes norms for startups, raises investment limit to avail angel tax concession

Giving major relief to budding entrepreneurs, the government Tuesday relaxed the definition of startups and allowed them to avail full angel tax concession on investments worth up to Rs 25 crore.

Earlier, a startup was allowed to avail tax concession only if total investment, including funding from angel investors, did not exceed Rs 10 crore.

“Considerations of shares received by eligible startups for shares issued or proposed to be issued by all investors shall be exempt up to an aggregate limit of Rs 25 crore,” Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a series of tweets.

The development assumes significance as several startups have claimed to receive angel tax notices, impacting their businesses. Various startups have raised concerns on notices sent to them under section 56(2)(viib) of Income Tax Act, 1961, to pay taxes on angel funds received by them.

The minister said that a notification regarding simplifying the process for startups to get exemptions on investments under section 56(2)(viib) of Income Tax Act will be issued on Tuesday by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

To provide these tax concessions, the department has relaxed the definition of startups.

Now “an entity shall be considered as startup if its turnover for any of the financial year, since its incorporation or registration, has not exceeded Rs 100 crore instead of the existing Rs 25 crore,” he said.

Besides, investments by listed companies with a net worth of Rs 100 crore or turnover of Rs 250 crore into an eligible startup would also be exempted from the Section 56(2)(viib), beyond the Rs 25 crore limit.

Further, an entrepreneur will also be eligible for the exemption if it is a private limited company recognised by the DPIIT, and is not investing in specified asset classes.

To avail these concessions, eligible startups will only have to file a duly signed self-declaration with the DPIIT for availing exemption.

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