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CBDT to settle FII tax claims under DTAAs in a month
May, 04th 2015

Seeking to quickly resolve the controversial tax issue facing foreign portfolio investors, the CBDT today said all claims coming under the ambit of DTAAs will be settled within a month of being filed.

"It has been decided that in all cases of Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) seeking treaty benefits under the provisions of respective DTAAs, decision may be taken on such claims within one month from the date such claim is filed," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.

In a communication to top tax officials, CBDT has asked for "strict compliance" of instructions as the number of such cases is limited, "such claims should be decided expeditiously".

The Income Tax department has sent notices in 68 cases to FIIs for payment of dues totalling Rs 608.83 crore towards Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT), according to information provided in the Lok Sabha today.

Following a decision by the Authority of Advance Rulings (AARs), the Tax Department had slapped notices, saying they have to pay 20 per cent MAT on untaxed capital gains made by them over the past three years.

As the issue has generated a lot of controversy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to come out with some clarification at the time of his reply to the debate on the Finance Bill in the House.

CBDT said several FIIs, which have received income from transactions in securities, claim such income as exempt from tax under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) signed between India and their countries of residence.

According to experts, foreign investors paying capital gains tax in their home nations will not be subject to the 20 per cent minimum alternate tax (MAT) in India.

Commenting on the circular, Sunil Shah, Partner at Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP, said that for those investors who do not have treaty protection, "the controversy would continue till it is settled either by the government or by the courts".

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