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Modification of the definition of “business trust”

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Dated: 1-2-2020

Budget 2020-21 + FINANCE BILL, 2020

Modification of the definition of “business trust”

Section 115UA of the Act provides for a taxation regime applicable to business trusts. Under the said regime, the total income of the trust, excluding capital gains income is charged at the maximum marginal rate. Further, the income by way of interest and rent, received by the business trust from a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is accorded pass through treatment i.e. there is no taxation of such interest or rental income in the hands of the trust and no withholding tax at the level of SPV. The business trusts are also required to furnish return of income and adhere to other reporting requirements.

The definition of “business trust” has been provided in clause (13A) of section 2 of the Act, to mean a trust registered as an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) or a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) under the relevant regulations made under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992 and the units of which are required to be listed on a recognised stock exchange in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Representations have been received stating that private unlisted InvITs should be given the same status as public listed InvITs with regards to tax treatments provided under the Act. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) (Amendment) (Regulations), 2019 vide notification No.SEBI/LAD-NRO/GN/2019/10 has, inter-alia, done away with the mandatory listing requirement for InvITs. In light of this, the definition of business trusts under the Act is required to be aligned with the amended SEBI Regulations.

Therefore, it is proposed to amend clause (13A) of section 2 of the Act to modify the definition of “business trust” so as to do away with the requirement of the units of business trust to be listed on a recognised stock exchange.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-22 and subsequent assessment years.

[Clause 62]



Budget 2020-21 + FINANCE BILL, 2020


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