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Aligning the scope of “business connection” with modified PE Rule as per Multilateral Instrument (MLI).

Budget - Dated:- 5-2-2018 - Aligning the scope of business connection with modified PE Rule as per Multilateral Instrument (MLI). Under the existing provisions of Explanation 2 to clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 9, business connection includes business activities carried on by non-resident through dependent agents. The scope of business connection under the Act is similar to the provision .....

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s relating to Dependent Agent Permanent Establishment (DAPE) in India s Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs). In terms of the DAPE rules in tax treaties, if any person acting on behalf of the non-resident, is habitually authorised to conclude contracts for the non-resident, then such agent would constitute a PE in the source country. However, in many cases, with a view to avoid establishin .....

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g a permanent establishment (hereafter referred to as 'PE') under Article 5(5) of the DTAA, the person acting on the behalf of the non-resident, negotiates the contract but does not conclude the contract. Further, under paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the DTAAs, a PE is deemed not to exist when a place of business is engaged solely in certain activities such as maintenance of stocks of goods f .....

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or storage, display, delivery or processing, purchasing of goods or merchandise, collection of information. This exclusion applies only when these activities are preparatory or auxiliary in relation to the business as a whole. The OECD under BEPS Action Plan 7 reviewed the definition of 'PE' with a view to preventing avoidance of payment of tax by circumventing the existing PE definition b .....

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y way of commissionaire arrangements or fragmentation of business activities. In order to tackle such tax avoidance scheme, the BEPS Action plan 7 recommended modifications to paragraph (5) of Article 5 to provide that an agent would include not only a person who habitually concludes contracts on behalf of the non-resident, but also a person who habitually plays a principal role leading to the con .....

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clusion of contracts. Similarly Action Plan 7 also recommends the introduction of an anti fragmentation rule as per paragraph 4.1 of Article 5 of OECD Model tax conventions, 2017 so as to prevent the tax payer from resorting to fragmentation of functions which are otherwise a whole activity in order to avail the benefit of exemption under paragraph 4 of Article 5 of DTAAs. Further, with a view to .....

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preventing base erosion and profit shifting, the recommendations under BEPS Action Plan 7 have now been included in Article 12 of Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures (herein referred to as MLI ), to which India is also a signatory. Consequently, these provisions will automatically modify India s bilateral tax treaties covered by MLI, where treaty partner has also opted .....

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for Article 12. As a result , the DAPE provisions in Article 5(5) of India s tax treaties, as modified by MLI, shall become wider in scope than the current provisions in Explanation 2 to section 9(1)(i). Similarly, the antifragmentation rule introduced as per paragraph 4.1 of Article 5 of the OECD Model Tax Conventions, 2017 has narrowed the scope of the exception under Article 5(4), thereby expa .....

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nding the scope of PE in DTAA vis-a-vis domestic provisions contained in Explanation 2 to section 9(1)(i). In effect, the relevant provisions in the DTAAs are wider in scope than the domestic law. However, sub-section (2) of section 90 of the Act provides that the provisions of the domestic law would prevail over corresponding provisions in the DTAAs, to the extent they are beneficial. Since, in t .....

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he instant situations, the provisions of the domestic law being narrower in scope are more beneficial than the provisions in the DTAAs, as modified by MLI, such wider provisions in the DTAAs are ineffective. In view of the above, it is proposed to amend the provision of section 9 of the Act so as to align them with the provisions in the DTAA as modified by MLI so as to make the provisions in the t .....

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reaty effective. Accordingly, clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 9 is being proposed to be amended to provide that business connection shall also include any business activities carried through a person who, acting on behalf of the non-resident, habitually concludes contracts or habitually plays the principal role leading to conclusion of contracts by the non-resident . It is further propose .....

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d that the contracts should be- (i) in the name of the non-resident; or (ii) for the transfer of the ownership of, or for the granting of the right to use, property owned by that non-resident or that thenon-resident has the right to use; or (iii) for the provision of services by that non-resident. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2019 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to asse .....

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ssment year 2019-20 and subsequent assessment years. [Clause 4] - News - Press release .....

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