India-UK sign protocol to avoid double taxation
India Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanickam Thursday said that a protocol amending the existing convention between India and the United Kingdom (UK) for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital gains was signed in London on Oct 30.
Palanimanickam in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha said that the protocol seeks to amend the Article on Exchange of Information by providing for exchange of banking information without domestic interest.
It also provides for the use of information for purposes other than taxation as allowed under the laws of both States and authorized by the competent authority of the supplying State.
Palanimanickam said that there is a new Article on Tax Examination Abroad, under which the competent authority may allow tax officers of the requesting State to enter the territory of the requested State to interview individuals and examine records to the extent permitted under the domestic law of the requested State.
He added that there is also new Article on Assistance in Collection of Taxes, which allows a revenue claim of a State to be collected in other State.
"It also provides for interim measures of conservancy by freezing assets of the person against whom the claim is made."
The protocol has an Article on Limitation of Benefits which provides for limitations on the benefits to prevent treaty abuse, he informed.
The Protocol seeks to extend the application of the convention to members of the partnership, who are residents of UK and amend the maximum rate at which the source country can tax dividend to 15 percent in the case of dividend paid out of income derived directly or indirectly from immovable property and 10 percent on all other dividends.
The negotiations for amending the existing convention were initiated in pursuance to the commitment of the government of India to vigorously pursue all necessary steps in coordination with the countries concerned about the issue of illegal money of Indian citizens stashed outside the country in undisclosed bank accounts.
The Government has proposed to review the India-Mauritius treaty to incorporate changes in the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) and for this purpose a Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising the members from the Government of India and the Government of Mauritius was constituted and the JWG has had eight rounds of meetings.
Next round of meeting is yet to be scheduled.