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Home Knowledge Links

Direct Tax International Tax

  • Vodafone tax case: Get an arbitrator, settle the dispute
    Apr 16, 2016
    The Vodafone tax case has been hanging fire for far too long. This long delay is not in India’s interest as it seeks to attract greater investment into the country. Both the government and the company are open to finding a mutually acceptable resolution through arbitration.
  • Tax pact with Mauritius to get GAAR-like teeth
    Jul 17, 2015
    India and Mauritius are set to limit the benefits of their double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) to only genuine businesses bringing foreign direct investment (FDI) to India by inserting a new clause in the treaty straight from New Delhi’s yet to be implemented General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR), reports Gireesh Chandra Prasad in New Delhi.
  • India-Canada FTA likely to be concluded by March 2016
    Jul 14, 2015
    The proposed free trade agreement between India and Canada, which aims to reduce or eliminate duties on a large number of products traded between the two nations, is likely to be concluded by March next year. "CEPA with Canada is at a very advanced stage. We expect that by December or latest by March it should take shape," a senior official told PTI.
  • India, US sign FATCA to curb tax evasion
    Jul 10, 2015
    Come September 30, India and the US will start sharing information about bank accounts or financial investments made by their citizens in each other’s countries. This move will help curb offshore tax evasions.Both countries, on Thursday, signed an Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) to promote transparency on tax matters.“This will bring in greater transparency in tax administration and enforcing tax compliance as well as prevention of offshore tax evasion. This is a major step in the Government’s resolve to fight the menace of black money,” Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said after signing the agreement on behalf of India. US Ambassador to India Richard Verma was another signatory.
  • Indo-Mauritius pact may lower tax on interest income from bonds
    Jul 09, 2015
    Mauritius, which serves as the gateway to Dalal Street for most foreigners, will be back in news soon. India and the tax haven are believed to be close to finalising a revised tax treaty that would lower tax on interest income of overseas investors betting on Indian debt papers. The move could make Mauritius as attractive a destination as Singapore for investors putting money in Indian debt securities.
  • India likely to sign US tax compliance law FATCA on Thursday
    Jul 08, 2015
    India is likely to sign the inter- governmental pact for the US tax compliance law FATCA on Thursday, a move that will help it fight tax evasion. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is aimed at combating possible tax evasion by Americans through financial entities of other countries.The pact is likely to be signed by Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das and US Ambassador Richard Verma on July 9 here, sources said.
  • US-Stamped IT Pros Need to Declare All
    Jul 08, 2015
    Anyone who's worked in the US and opened a 401k account may need to inform the Indian tax authorities or face harsh penalties under the black money law that came into force on July 1. Thousands of India's IT professionals and others who've worked overseas will potentially have to declare such investment plans as these will be considered foreign assets. The law prescribes stiff penalties for non-disclosure even if the asset is from income that's accounted for. “There are plans where the subscriber has certain control in terms of investments -those would definitely need to be disclosed,“ said Kuldip Kumar, partner at PwC India. Tax practitioners said they have been swamped with queries from professionals who worked overseas to clearly understand the kind of disclosures required to be made.
  • Changes in tax treaty: India, Mauritius to discuss issue today
    Jun 29, 2015
    Indian Government will seek to allay the concerns of Mauritius over controversial tax laws related to investments flowing in from that country, according to reports. A report says that the two countries will meet in Mauritius capital Port Louis on 22-24 August to discuss changes to double taxation avoidance treaty dating back to the 1980s.This move comes against the backdrop of India’s flip-flop of first introducing the general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) and then announcing its intention to review them.
  • India likely to sign FATCA pact in early July: Finance Ministry official
    Jun 27, 2015
    India is likely to sign the inter-governmental pact for the US tax compliance law FATCA early next month, a government official said here today. "Indian government is likely to sign the Inter- Governmental Agreement (IGA) for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in early July 2015," Akhilesh Ranjan, a Joint Secretary in the Finance Ministry, was quoted as saying in a release issued by industry body Ficci.
  • CBDT signs 3 more unilateral APAs
    Apr 04, 2015
    The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed three more unilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs) with companies in India, taking the overall number of APAs to nine.An APA is an agreement between a corporate taxpayer and the tax authority on its transfer pricing methodology and the tax rate applicable on inter-company transactions. It normally covers multiple years and helps avoid any disputes with the taxman over transfer pricing.Of the nine APAs signed till date, eight are unilateral (with only one company) while one is a bilateral agreement signed with Japan in December last year.The three unilateral APAs signed on March 31 relate to the contract manufacturing, professional services and support services sectors. The names of the companies involved could not, however, be ascertained.Amit Maheshwari, Partner, Ashok Maheshwary & Co, a firm of chartered accountants, said that the signing of these three APAs underscores the success of the programme in India as a dispute resolution mechanism
  • Tax kept out of draft bilateral treaty
    Apr 04, 2015
    The government has kept tax matters out of the ambit of a new draft bilateral investment treaty to avoid arbitration with multinational companies that may receive tax notices from India, as it looks to prevent situations similar to the Vodafone and Cairn tax matters. One of the key proposals is that if India deems a certain dispute to be tax-related, companies at the receiving end cannot invoke the treaty in international arbitration to seek relief or compensation. The new treaty is expected to replace the existing bilateral investment protection and promotion agreements. The draft is in the public domain to invite suggestions from the general public till April 10.
  • Double taxation a headache for India’s product startups
    Jan 22, 2015
    India's software product startups plan to approach the finance ministry this week to get the ambiguity cleared in this Union Budget on the pending issue of whether software sold in the country should be classified as a product or service. Tax officials have been levying both value-added tax and service tax on sales of software products in the country, a move that's prompting many companies to shift their registered offices overseas.
  • Obama in India: India, US finalise framework to resolve transfer pricing cases
    Jan 22, 2015
    India and the US have finalised a framework to resolve transfer pricing cases, some of them pending for five years, in what could end tax trauma for more than 50 American MNCs such as Microsoft, IBM and Oracle by the fiscal year-end and send a strong signal to overseas investors that the Modi government is indeed committed to a non-adversarial tax regime.
  • Switzerland assures full cooperation on tax issues
    Jan 22, 2015
    Switzerland on Wednesday assured India of full cooperation on tax information exchange and agreed to discuss the issue of unaccounted money stashed in Swiss banks.This assurance was given during a meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had with his Swiss counterpart Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet.
  • Nations may come together to stop abuse of tax pacts
    Nov 08, 2014
    India's attempts to amend tax treaties with countries such as Mauritius may have drawn a blank so far, but its efforts are about to get a huge boost with several nations getting together to ramp up work on a global convention to plug treaty abuse. "Multilateral convention will supplement tax treaties. World is moving towards multilateralism... There would be communiques that would be binding," Akhilesh Ranjan, joint secretary, ministry of finance said at an event organised by industry body CII on Friday.
  • New transfer pricing rules to be less taxing
    Nov 08, 2014
    Soon, tax authorities in India and elsewhere will pick up cross-border transactions by multinational corporation for audit much less randomly than now in what would appear to be a non-intrusive approach to these firms even as the taxman’s revenue utility of such audits would only increase. A senior finance ministry official said on Friday that the country will adopt a set of new transfer pricing (TP) documentation rules compliant with a framework being evolved at the OECD’s behest by 2015-end. The new rules, he said, would make scrutiny of MNC transactions to ascertain if companies understate income and slash tax bills here more efficient and result-oriented.
  • I-T dept moves SC on PE definition
    Nov 05, 2014
    The income tax department has moved the apex court seeking setting aside of a Delhi High Court judgment that held that Indian subsidiaries providing back-end services to foreign parent companies cannot be considered their permanent establishments (PE) in India if they conduct business at arm’s length. If the SC accepts the plea, it could adversely impact foreign companies that conduct back-office operations in India or get contract manufacturing done here.
  • India assures Mauritius on bilateral tax treaty
    Nov 03, 2014
    India today told Mauritius that it will not take any decisions that will "adversely impact" bilateral relations while reassuring the country that amendments to the bilateral tax treaty would be made only after considering the legitimate interests of both sides. This was conveyed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her meetings with top leadership of Mauritius including President Rajkeswur Purryag and Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam.
  • Tax treaties can't be amended to drop confidentiality clause
    Nov 01, 2014
    India cannot amend its Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) to drop the confidentiality clause that has come into sharp focus after the government handed over a list of foreign bank account holders to the Supreme Court this week and failed to sign a multilateral agreement in Berlin on automatic exchange of information.“We cannot amend bilateral tax treaties unilaterally and the confidentiality clause cannot be removed even if there is a re-negotiation. The clause is put as per international standards,” a finance ministry official who did not wish to be identified told Business Standard.
  • Failure to sign Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act with US may hurt India
    Oct 31, 2014
    The central bank transferred its entire Rs 52,679-crore surplus from its earnings to the government earlier this year, immensely improving finances and alleviating fiscal slippage concerns. Not signing FATCA could put this under a cloud. The apex court has directed the Justice MB Shah-led SIT to look at the issue of confidentiality clauses along with other matters in international treaties after the government sought clarity.
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