The Finance Act of 2023 inserted a new clause (h) in income tax section 43B that allows deductions made to MSMEs on an actual payment ground rather than the accrual basis if the payment is created within the threshold limit.

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Since from 1st April 2023, this section has been applicable. It is critical to scrutinize our activities to bypass any disallowances under the Income Tax Act of 1961, as we approach the end of the year.

Term Limitation Under Section 43B(h)

Under the same clause, the income tax has permitted the credit limit as per section 15 of the MSMED Act, 2006 which specifies that the maximum duration of the credit is 45 days if it was admitted between both parties in writing otherwise it is 15 days in the absence of written agreement. The buyer in the matter of default payment under 15 days/45 days is obligated to pay the compound interest at three times the rates of the banks specified under RBI.

With effect from 1st July 2020, the Amended Definition of MSME

The definition is defined as per the table mentioned below which is a composite criterion:

Results if the payments are not made within due time i.e. 15 days/45 days:

Precautions Must be Taken Previous FY Closing Day, March 31, 2024

  • Obtain the MSME Certificates From All the Creditors: To all the creditors send an email and obtain their MSME certificates if any and update these data in your records.
  • Launching from Micro and Small Enterprises: In the matter of the suppliers or creditors not furnishing you an MSME certificate since they are not enrolled, confirm that you have opted for an undertaking from all of them in writing.
  • Keep Aging of the Creditors: If there are certain creditors’ payments dues, ensure to maintain their ageing so that the credit period can be computed.
  • Tax Audit Report: The auditor is needed to ensure that the client/taxpayer has complied with this provision and in the matter of default in payment, such disallowance is to be reported in the Tax Audit Report.
  • An effective measure to get an MSME Certificate while placing an order with any vendor and it must be updated each year to ensure the category of the vendor does not count from Micro/Small to Medium/Large Enterprise.

Guidance From the Indian Government

Assure that such an advisory must be followed by vendors if they are registered under the MSME Act:

“it is advisable that the Micro or Small Enterprises should mention/get printed on their letterheads, supply order sheets, invoices, bills and relevant documents, the Entrepreneurs Memorandum (EM) number…., so that there always remains an identification of being an MSE supplier”.

Some FAQs Related to MSME Payments

Q.1 What is the method to identify an entity as MSME?

According to section 8(1) of MSMED Act, 2006, the supplier signifies authority who has filed a memorandum with the authority (i.e. has obtained Udyam Registration), therefore to invoke section 43B(h), the supplier needs to register itself and get the Udyam Registration.

Q.2 What is the method to verify the Udyam Registration Number given by the Supplier?

It could be verified via

Q.3 Do disallowances draw towards the purchase of capital goods?

Yes, no distinction between capital or revenue expenditure is made under section 43B. Therefore, it applies to both.

Q.4 What does written agreement suggest?

In the act, agreement is nowhere specified hence it might be oral or written but any written document that consists of the agreed time duration will be considered to be the agreement under such provision.

Closure: Rigorous compliance with Section 43B(h) and visionary criteria are crucial to render financial transactions with MSMEs and prevent disallowances under the Income Tax Act.

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