Budget 2015-16 Amendment to the conditions for determining residency status in respect of Companies

The existing provisions of section 6 of the Act provides for the conditions under which a person can be said to be resident in India for a previous year. In respect of a person being a company the conditions are contained in clause (3) of section 6 of the Act. Under the said clause, a company is said to be resident in India in any previous year, if‑

  • it is an Indian company; or
  • during that year, the control and management of its affairs is situated wholly in India.

Due to the requirement that whole of control and management should be situated in India and that too for whole of the year, the condition has been rendered to be practically inapplicable. A company can easily avoid becoming a resident by simply holding a board meeting outside India. This facilitates creation of shell companies which are incorporated outside but controlled from India. ‘Place of effective management‘ (POEM) is an internationally recognized concept for determination of residence of a company incorporated in a foreign jurisdiction. Most of the tax treaties entered into by India recognise the concept of ‘place of effective management’ for determination of residence of a company as a tie-breaker rule for avoidance of double taxation. Many countries prefer the POEM test to be appropriate test for determination of residence of a company. The principle of POEM is recognized and accepted by Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also. The OECD commentary on model convention provides definition of place of effective management to mean the place where key management and commercial decisions that are necessary for the conduct of the entity’s business as a whole, are, in substance, made.

The modification in the condition of residence in respect of company by including the concept of effective management would align the provisions of the Act with the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) entered into by India with other countries and would also be in line with international standards. It would also be a measure to deal with cases of creation of shell companies outside India but being controlled and managed from India.

In view of the above, it is proposed to amend the provisions of section 6 to provide that a person being a company shall be said to be resident in India in any previous year, if‑

  • it is an Indian company; or
  • its place of effective management, at any time in that year, is in India .

Further, it is proposed to define the place of effective management to mean a place where key management and commercial decisions that are necessary for the conduct of the business of an entity as a whole are, in substance made.

Since POEM is an internationally well accepted concept, there are well recognised guiding principles for determination of POEM although it is a fact dependent exercise. However, it is proposed that in due course, a set of guiding principles to be followed in determination of POEM would be issued for the benefit of the taxpayers as well as, tax administration.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2016 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2016-17 and subsequent assessment years.

Note On Relevant Clauses of Finance Bill 2015

Clause 4 of the Bill seeks to amend section 6 of the Income-tax Act relating to residence in India.

The existing provisions contained in sub-clause (c) of clause (1) of the aforesaid section provide that an individual is said to be resident in India in any previous year if he, having within the four years preceding that year been in India for a period or periods amounting in all to three hundred and sixty-five days or more, is in India for a period or periods amounting in all to sixty days or more in that year. Clause (a) of Explanation to clause (1) of the said section provides that in the case of an individual, being a citizen of India, who leaves India in any previous year as a member of the crew of an Indian ship, the above mentioned condition of sixty days is extended to one hundred and eighty-two days.

It is proposed to amend the said clause by insertion of a new Explanation 2 so as to provide that in the case of an individual, being a citizen of India and a member of the crew of a foreign bound ship leaving India, the period or periods of stay in India shall, in respect of such voyage, be determined in the manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

This amendment will take effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2015 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to assessment year 2015-16 and subsequent assessment years.

Under the existing provisions contained in clause (3) of the aforesaid section, a company is said to be resident in India in any previous year, if––

(i)       it is an Indian company; or

(ii)      during that year, the control and management of its affairs is situated wholly in India.

It is proposed to amend the said clause (3) to provide that a company shall be said to be resident in India, in any previous year, if––

(a)      it is an Indian company; or

(b)      its place of effective management, at any time in that year, is in India.

It is also proposed to insert an Explanation to clarify the expression “place of effective management” to mean a place where key management and commercial decisions that are necessary for the conduct of the business of an entity as a whole are, in substance made.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2016 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to assessment year 2016-17 and subsequent assessment years.

Extract of Relevant Clauses from Finance Bill 2015 proposing amendment to Income tax Act, 1961

4. Amendment of section 6.

4. In section 6 of the Income-tax Act,—(i)       in clause (1), the Explanation shall be numbered as Explanation 1 thereof and after Explanation 1 as so numbered, the following Explanation shall be inserted, namely:—

“Explanation 2.—For the purposes of this clause, in the case of an individual, being a citizen of   India and a member of the crew of a foreign bound ship leaving India, the period or periods of stay in India shall, in respect of such voyage, be determined in the manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.”;

(ii)      for clause (3), the following clause shall be substituted with effect from the 1st day of April, 2016, namely:—

‘(3) A company is said to be resident in India in any previous year, if,—

(i)       it is an Indian company; or

(ii)      its place of effective management, at any time in that year, is in India.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this clause “place of effective management” means a place where key management and commercial decisions that are necessary for the conduct of the business of an entity as a whole are, in substance made.’.

( Compiled by CA Ankit Banka & Taxguru Team)

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Category : Income Tax (24919)
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Tags : Budget (1473) Budget 2015-16 (272) POEM (15)

0 responses to “Amendment to conditions determining Companies residency status”

  1. motichand gupta says:

    thanks you very much for sharing.

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