ADIT v. Asia Today Ltd. (2021) 210 TTJ 8 / (2022) 213 DTR 239(Mum.)(Trib.)

S. 9(1)(i) : Income deemed to accrue or arise in India-Business connection-If an Indian agent has been paid an arm’s length remuneration, nothing further could be taxed in hands of Assessee-DTAA-India-Mauritius [Art, 5(4)]

The Assessee being a foreign telecasting company incorporated in Mauritius sold advertising time and collected subscription revenues through its Indian affiliates Zee Telefilms and El Zee.  It is the claim of the Assessee that it did not have any permanent establishment in India, and so, no part of its income was taxable in India. Further on without prejudice basis the Assessee contended that if that Assessee was held to have a dependent agent permanent establishment, no further profits could be attributed in the hands of the Assessee as the agent had been paid arm’s length remuneration services rendered. Upon appeal by the revenue, the Hon’ble Tribunal observed that the case of the revenue is clearly confined to the existence of DAPE on the facts of this case. The existence of dependent agency permanent establishment is wholly tax-neutral, unless it is shown that the agent has not been paid an arm’s length remuneration, and when it is not the case of the AO, that the agents have not been paid an arm’s length remuneration, the question regarding the existence of dependent agency permanent establishment, i.e., under article 5(4), is a wholly academic question.  (AY. 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06)