Clarification on requirement of seeking No Objection Certificate or No Dues Certificate from Income Tax Dept. during Voluntary Liquidation Process under IBC:IBBI

1. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) issued the clarification on the requirement of seeking a No Objection Certificate or No Dues Certificate from the Income Tax Department during the Voluntary Liquidation Process under IBC.

2. Regulation 14 of the IBBI (Voluntary Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2017 (the Regulations) mandates the liquidator to make the public announcement within five days of his appointment, calling for submission of claims by stakeholders within thirty days from the liquidation commencement date. The Regulations also obligate all the financial creditors, operational creditors including government, and other stakeholders to submit their claims within the specified period. If the claims are not submitted in time, the corporate person may get dissolved without dealing with such claims and such claims may consequently get extinguished.

3. It has been noticed that even after providing an opportunity for filing of claims, the liquidators seek ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) or ‘No Dues Certificate’ (NDC) from the Income Tax Department despite the fact that the Code or the Regulations do not envisage seeking such NOC/NDC. In this regard, section 178 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 which, inter alia, obligates the liquidator to fulfill certain income tax-related requirements, explicitly states that the provisions of this section shall have effect notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force except the provisions of the Code.

4. The process of applying and obtaining such NOC/NDC from the Income Tax Department consumes substantial time and thus militates against the express provisions of the Code, and also defeats the objective of time-bound completion of the process under the Code.

“Therefore, it is hereby clarified that as per the provisions of the Code and the Regulations read with Section 178 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, an Insolvency Professional handling voluntary liquidation process is not required to seek any NOC/NDC from the Income Tax Department as part of compliance in the said process,” the IBBI said.

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