Looks like government and its agencies are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to torturing startups. While startups who got notices over Angel Tax yet to get any concrete relief, Ministry of Corporate Affairs wants startups to file a separate active letter with photos to prove that they are alive.
To prove government that startups are genuine and not shell companies, they have to furnish Registrar of Companies details of their registered office, their location by latitude and longitude, weather, and pictures of office (inside and outside). The pictures also have to mandatorily feature one of the directors and these rules are applicable to all startups registered before December 2017.
Adding more ridicule to this mandate, the government also laid out detail process – how to click and upload pictures.
Besides filing Income Tax, Goods and Service Tax (GST), ESI amongst others, providing the aforementioned details would be additional liabilities for startups.
Given that thousands of startups operate from coworking and shared spaces, they hardly feature any board outside containing the firm’s name and other details.
Filings of TDS, PF and ESI can easily separate genuine startups from shell companies. However, RoC believes that these details aren’t sufficient.
While the government is trying to identify shell companies, control money laundering and tax evasion, providing an address and managing a couple of pictures for a con company would be a cakewalk.
Providing these details would be an additional burden for genuine startups. Reacting on the development, veteran journalist Andy Mukherjee took a jive through a tweet.
Just like a public pensioner’s life certificate, except that a startup in India gets little or no money from the public exchequer, only suspicion. Prove you’re alive so we can keep harassing you?
— Andy Mukherjee (@andymukherjee70) March 18, 2019