Tax benefits, duty cuts top industry wish list

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.
“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.
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.
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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