Search Results For: International Tax


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DATE: April 29, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 8, 2020 (Date of publication)
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TDS u/s 115BBA, 194E & DTAA: As the payments to the Non-Resident Sports Associations represented their income which accrued or arose in India u/s 115BBA, the assessee was liable to deduct Tax at Source u/s 194E. The obligation to deduct Tax at Source u/s 194E is not affected by the DTAA. In case the exigibility to tax is disputed by the recipient, the benefit of DTAA can be pleaded and the amount in question will be refunded with interest. But, that by itself, cannot absolve the liability to deduct TDS u/s 194E of the Act (Eli Lilly (2009) 15 SCC 1 & G.E. India Technology Centre 327 ITR (SC) referred)

The obligation to deduct Tax at Source under Section 194E of the Act is not affected by the DTAA and in case the exigibility to tax is disputed by the assesse on whose account the deduction is made, the benefit of DTAA can be pleaded and if the case is made out, the amount in question will always be refunded with interest. But, that by itself, cannot absolve the liability under Section 194E of the Act.In the premises, it must be held that the payments made to the Non-Resident Sports Associations in the present case represented their income which accrued or arose or was deemed to have accrued or arisen in India. Consequently, the Appellant was liable to deduct Tax at Source in terms of Section 194E of the Act.

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Taxability of Liaison Offices under DTAAs: The activities carried on by the liaison office of the non-resident in India as permitted by the RBI, demonstrate that the liaison office must steer away from engaging in any primary business activity and in establishing business connection as such. It can carry on activities of preparatory or auxiliary nature only. A liaison office which is only carrying on such activity of a "preparatory or auxiliary" character is not a PE in terms of Article 5 of the DTAA. The deeming provisions in Sections 5 and 9 of the 1961 Act can have no bearing whatsoever (all imp judgements referred)

The meaning of expressions “business connection” and “business activity” has been articulated. However, even if the stated activity(ies) of the liaison office of the respondent in India is regarded as business activity, as noted earlier, the same being “of preparatory or auxiliary character”; by virtue of Article 5(3)(e) of the DTAA, the fixed place of business (liaison office) of the respondent in India otherwise a PE, is deemed to be expressly excluded from being so. And since by a legal fiction it is deemed not to be a PE of the respondent in India, it is not amenable to tax liability in terms of Article 7 of the DTAA.

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DATE: March 13, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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S. 44DA prevails over s. 44BB after the amendment w.e.f. 01.04.2011. Income from provision of services through high end customized software does not constitute "Fees For Technical Services" u/s 9(1)(vii) as the definition excludes income from "mining or like project". The Q whether income from composite software and maintenance services constitutes "royalty" for purposes of s. 44DA would have to be decided from the nature of services. The assessee is eligible to take benefit of the definition of 'royalty' as per the DTAA for the purpose of applicability of s. 44DA

If the nature of services rendered have a proximate nexus with the extraction of production of mineral oils, it would be outside the ambit of the definition of FTS. In the instant case, since the nature of services rendered by the Petitioner gets excluded from the definition of “FTS”, in light of what is discussed above, the next logical question that arises for consideration is whether the Petitioner can claim the benefit of Section 44BB. The answer to this question is contingent on factual determination, as the legal position has changed from April 01, 2011. It is now required to be considered whether the receipts in the hands of the assessee qualify to be “royalty” or not? If the answer to this question is in the affirmative, then in that event, the relevant provision would now be 44DA(1).

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DATE: March 19, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2015-16
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S. 5, 9 + DTAA: The payment by an Indian company to a foreign celebrity (Nicholas Cage) for an appearance by him in Dubai, UAE, in a product launch event for promoting the business of the assessee in India, is taxable as arising from a "business connection" and also under Article 23(1) of Inda-USA tax treaty (All imp judgements referred)

business models are constantly evolving, and as the rapid communication modes such as internet and social media have completely transformed the way businesses communicate, it is time that the law is seen in tandem with the ground realities of the business world, rather than in the strict confines of what was decided in the judicial precedents, in the context of a different business world when these ground realities did not exist. Today, virtual and intangible business connections are perhaps far more critical, important and commonplace than the conventional brick and mortar business connections half a century ago, and, therefore, to disregard these business connections as a real and intimate business connection leading to earning of income by the non-residents, only because Hon’ble Courts, while delivering judgments several decades ago, could not visualize the same and hedge their observations about such possibilities, will certainly be travesty of justice.

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DATE: January 14, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 7, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2014-15
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S. 90(3): The law laid down in PVAL Kulandagan Chettiar 267 ITR 654 (SC) that once an income of an Indian assessee is taxable in the treaty partner source jurisdiction under a treaty provision, the same cannot be included in its total income taxable in India as well i.e. the residence jurisdiction, is no longer good law in view of s. 90(3) inserted w.e.f. 01.04.2004 read with Notification no. 91 of 2008 dated 28.08.2008. The substitution of s. 90 w.e.f. 01.10.2009 does not affect the validity of the said Notification. The mere amendment or substitution of a section does not affect the validity of notifications, circulars and instructions issued therein (all imp judgements referred).

The effect of Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgment in PVAL Kulandagan Chettiar 267 ITR 654 (SC) thus was clearly overruled by the legislative developments. It was specifically legislated that the mere fact of taxability in the treaty partner jurisdiction will not take it out of the ambit of taxable income of an assessee in India and that “such income shall be included in his total income chargeable to tax in India in accordance with the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), and relief shall be granted in accordance with the method for elimination or avoidance of double taxation provided in such agreement”.

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DATE: November 15, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 30, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2018-19
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CITATION:
Static vs. Ambulatory interpretation of DTAAs: Entire law on whether the retrospective amendments to the definition of "royalty" in s. 9(1)(vi) of the Act can have bearing on the interpretation of the same term in the DTAAs explained with reference to the doctrine of "treaty override" and the Vienna Convention (Siemens AG 310 ITR 320 (Bom) explained)

That is a classic case of a subtle unilateral treaty override. While, in India, the expression ‘treaty override’ is often loosely used for the situations where the provisions of tax treaty prevails over any inconsistent provisions of domestic law, this approach seems to be at variance with the international practices wherein connotations of ‘treaty override’ refer to a situation in which domestic legislation of a treaty partner jurisdiction overrules the provisions of a single treaty or all treaties hitherto having had effect in that jurisdiction. That will be the end result of a domestic law amendment of an undefined treaty term, in departure from the current position, and import such amended meaning of that term, under article 3(2), in the treaty situations as well. Such an approach, on the first principles, is unsound inasmuch as it is well settled in law that the treaty partners ought to observe their treaties, including their tax treaties, in good faith. Article 26 of Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties provides that, “Pacta sunt servanda: Every treaty in force is binding on the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith”. What it implies is that whatever be the provisions of the treaties, these provisions are to be given effect in good faith. Therefore, no matter how desirable or expedient it may be from the perspective of the tax administration, when a tax jurisdiction is allowed to amend the settled position with respect to a treaty provision, by an amendment in the domestic law and admittedly to nullify the judicial rulings, it cannot be treated as performance of treaties in good faith. That is, in effect, a unilateral treaty over-ride which is contrary to the scheme of Article 26 of Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties

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DATE: November 27, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 30, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2007-08
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Law on taxation under DTAAs of "transparent entities" & "representative assesseess" explained: When an assessee is a representative assessee of a tax transparent entity, it is the status of beneficiaries or constituents of tax transparent entities which is relevant for the purpose of determining treaty protection (Linklaters LLP 9 ITR (Trib) 217 (Mum) followed)

The principle emerging out of this analysis of legal position is that when an assessee is a representative assessee of a tax transparent entity, it is the status of beneficiaries or constituents of tax transparent entities which is relevant for the purpose of determining treaty protection. Viewed thus, this is beyond doubt that the income in question has actually accrued to the taxable entities on the Netherlands, which, according to the approach adopted by the Assessing Officer, is sine qua non for tax treaty protection. It would thus appear that the treaty protection has indeed been wrongly declined to the assessee

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DATE: February 5, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 8, 2019 (Date of publication)
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S. 9(1)(vi) 'Royalty': The insertions of Explanations 5 & 6 to s. 9(1)(vi) by the Finance Act 2015 w.r.e.f. 01.04.1976, even if declaratory and clarificatory of the law, will not apply to the DTAAs. The DTAAs are a bilateral agreement between two Countries and cannot be overridden by a unilateral legislative amendment by one Country (New Skies Satellite BV 382 ITR 114 (Del) & Siemens AG 310 ITR 320 (Bom) followed)

India’s change in position to the OECD Commentary cannot be a fact that influences the interpretation of the words defining royalty as they stand today. The only manner in which such change in position can be relevant is if such change is incorporated into the agreement itself and not otherwise. A change in executive position cannot bring about a unilateral legislative amendment into treaty concluded between two sovereign states. It is fallacious to assume that any change made to domestic law to rectify a situation of mistaken interpretation can spontaneously further their case in an international treaty.

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DATE: May 10, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 8, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2016-17
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CITATION:
S. 9(1)(vi) Royalty: Payment for 'bandwith services' is not assessable as 'royalty' if the assessee only has access to services and not to any equipment. The assessee also did not have any access to any process which helped in providing of such bandwith services. All infrastructure & process required for provision of bandwith services was always used and under the control of the service provider and was never given either to the assessee or to any other person availing the said services

The assessee pursuant to the terms of the “agreement‟ had only received standard facilities i.e bandwith services from RJIPL. In fact, as observed by the CIT(A), the assessee only had an access to services and did not have any access to any equipment deployed by RJIPL for providing the bandwith services. Apart there from, the assessee also did not have any access to any process which helped in providing of such bandwith services by RJIPL. As a matter of fact, all infrastructure and process required for provision of bandwith services was always used and under the control of RJIPL, and the same was never given either to the assessee or to any other person availing the said services

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DATE: April 12, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 23, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2004-05
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S. 44BB: Amount reimbursed to the assessee (service provider) by ONGC (service recipient), representing service tax paid earlier by the assessee to the Government of India, would not form part of the aggregate amount referred to in clauses (a) and (b) of sub-section(2) of Section 44BB of the Act (Mitchell Drilling International 380 ITR 130 (Del), CBDT Circular No. 4/2008 dt 28.04.2008 & Circular No. 1/2014 dt 13.01.2014 followed)

Except to state that the said judgment needs re-consideration, no justifiable cause has been shown as to why this Court should take a view different from that of the Delhi High Court, in Mitchell Drilling International Pvt. Ltd.48, more so when the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court has taken a view similar to that of a Division Bench of this Court in M/s Schlumberger Asia Services Ltd.2. As the revenue has not been able to show just cause for this Court to take a different view, we see no reason to differ with the Division Bench judgment of the Delhi High Court that reimbursement of service tax is not an amount paid to the assessee on account of providing services and facilities in connection with the prospecting for, or extraction or production of, mineral oils in India.