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Tax benefits, duty cuts top industry wish list
February, 16th 2015

As the Budget day approaches, various sectors are lobbying hard for tax benefits and duty cuts while a few others want the government to ensure a stable and predictable taxation regime.

The groups and consultants lobbying for MNCs want the government, in the Union Budget on February 28, to bring in clarity on taxation in case of sale or indirect transfer of Indian operations.

Following the retrospective amendment to Income Tax Act in the wake of the Vodafone-Hutchison tax controversy, a company incorporated overseas is deemed to be situated in India only if it derives its "value substantially" from assets located within this country.

Tax experts want this term "value substantially" to be defined properly by putting in a threshold limit, preferably of 50 per cent to avoid uncertainty and litigation.

READ ALSO: Tax relief for individuals and companies likely in 2015-16 Budget

"One of the key concerns of the foreign investors in respect of indirect transfer of shares is the lack of clarity as to what constitutes substantial value of assets situated in India. Therefore, it is critical that government clarifies its position in this year's Budget," KPMG (India) Partner Tax Vikas Vasal said.

File photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (PTI photo)

The uncertainty over threshold has impacted the global acquisitions and group restructuring transactions (involving merger, demergers, business sale etc) wherein the shares of Indian company are also involved, said Gokul Chaudhri Leader (Direct Tax) BMR & Associates.

READ ALSO: Rail Budget 2015 — Introduction of vacuum toilets likely

On its part, the pharmaceutical sector wants Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to grant more tax incentives for research and development (R&D) activities.

In its Budget proposals, the Commerce Ministry has sought "weighted average tax benefit of 400 per cent for R&D activities for the sector".

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