Mukesh Butani, Seema Kejriwal & Ajitesh Dayal Singh Introduction The Supreme Court of India recently settled a two-decade old dispute pertaining to taxability of software income. The Supreme Court ruled that payments to non-resident software vendors/licensors cannot be treated as payment towards royalty, and hence no withholding tax liability can be imposed on the resident…

Introduction India’s 2021 Finance Bill proposes to add a definition of “liable to tax” in its domestic direct tax law. As per the definition, the term ‘liable to tax’, “in relation to a person, means that there is a liability of tax on such person under any law for the time being in force in…

HMRC v Embiricos [2020] UKUT 370 (TC) reflects a common issue that arises in connection with tax investigations or audits of internationally mobile individuals. Mr Embiricos  filed his tax returns on the basis that he was resident, but not domiciled in the UK. On that basis, he was entitled to the remittance basis of taxation….

Introduction One of the key reasons highlighted by OECD imploring the urgent need for consensus on digital tax under its Inclusive Framework were the repercussions arising on account of unilateral digital taxes. Recent reports released by the United States Trade Representative (‘USTR’) reveal that such concerns are real and carry ominous ramifications. A case in…

In international customary law, the scope of bilateral tax conventions is not exhaustive and instead limited by the temporal scope set out in ‘taxes covered’ clause. It is true that the scope of such clause, albeit with additional procedural stipulations, is ambulatory and taxes subsequently enacted under the domestic law provisions by treaty partners are…

Last month witnessed the release of the operative part of the award of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (‘PCA’) in the dispute initiated by Vodafone’s Dutch entity against Government of India (‘GOI’) under the India-Netherlands Bilateral Investment Treaty (‘Indo-Dutch BIT’). It is understood that the detailed award has been withheld in view of the request…

Those with a long memory for cricketing events may remember the 1996 World Cup hosted jointly by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The winner, Sri Lanka, made 398 runs for 5 wickets, in a one-day international match, a record that stood until April 2006. South Africa’s Gary Kirsten scored 188 runs, not out, against the…

I am currently working on a case that involves questions of huge significance when it comes to related-party transactions and customs valuation. It is always good to begin with a caveat and I have two. The first is that the import in question pertains to the years 2002-2006, when the Indian custom valuation rules were…

It is widely accepted that the United States of America is one of the most litigious countries on earth. As of 2010, US residents spent about 2.2% of their GDP (approximately 310 Billion Dollars) annually on litigation costs[1]. There are more lawyers per capita in the United States that any other country in the world….

In my previous post, I had discussed the judgment delivered in the case of Elsevier Information Systems Gmbh v. Dy. Commissioner of Income Tax which discussed the liability of the taxpayer when it charges a subscription fee from the customers for rendering access to its database. It seems that the Income Tax Department has still…

On February 1, 2020 India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Government’s Union Budget for the year 2020-21. With its continuing promise of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025, the budget announcements contained a host of reforms to obliterate the seeping fears regarding prospects of the Indian economy with focus on agricultural, rural…

In the year 2017, the Indian Parliament enforced “The Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017” [hereinafter “CGST”]. The purpose of the Act was to make a provision for levy and collection of tax on intra-State supply of goods or services or both and for other incidental matters by the Central Government. Subsequent to the…

India recently notified a Protocol that amends the India-China tax treaty and incorporates some of the OECD recommendations put forth as part of its BEPS project. The changes would apply from the 2020 financial year. The Protocol brings about serious changes to the tax treaty in several areas, including limiting treaty abuse, tackling artificial avoidance…

Introduction Last fortnight, India by way of a Presidential Ordinance unexpectedly unveiled a new corporate tax rate structure. Given that the annual Union Budget exercise was presented in July, the announcement was unscheduled particularly since Ordinance route is rarely resorted for such changes. Nonetheless these changes are in line with the recent spate of measures unveiled…