DTAA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     18th April 2024        
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Context: The recent amendment signed at Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, has essentially inserted the "principal purpose test (PPT)" clause in the India- Mauritius DTAA.

Double Taxation

  • About: It refers to the imposition of two or more taxes on the same source of income, often occurring across borders or jurisdictions.

Principal Purpose Test (PPT)

  • About: The tax administration can reject the tax treaty benefit if obtaining a benefit was one of the main objectives of the action taken by the taxpayer.

Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)

  • About: It is an accord between two nations aimed at promoting capital investment, trade, and economic activities by preventing International Double Taxation.
  • Mechanism of DTAA: It entails agreed-upon tax rates and jurisdictions for specific types of income originating in one country and received by tax residents of another.
  • Coverage of DTAA: Depending on the types of businesses/holdings, DTAA may encompass all income types or focus on particular categories, as outlined in the agreement.
  • Addressing Double Taxation: The primary concern of DTAA is to mitigate the impact of double taxation on international income, ensuring that individuals or entities engaged in cross-border activities are not unfairly taxed in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Importance of DTAA: Discrepancies in tax collection globally necessitate DTAA to facilitate international business activities, preventing individuals from being subjected to taxation on the same income in both their home country and the nation where the income is generated.
  • Indian Taxation Rate: Dividend income in India is taxed at a rate of 20%, with applicable surcharge and cess, resulting in an effective rate exceeding 42% for High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs).
  • Mauritian Tax Advantage: Shareholders from Mauritius benefit from a lower withholding tax rate of only 5% on dividend income if the Mauritian investor entity, as the beneficial owner, holds at least 10% of the Indian company's capital.