Foreign companies or firms or associations of individuals operate in India through a branch or a liaison office after approval by Reserve Bank of India. The branch constitutes a permanent establishment of the foreign entity and is, therefore, required to file a return of income along with requisite details. A non-resident does not file a return of income with regard to its liaison office on the ground that no business activity is allowed to be carried out in India.
It is proposed to seek regular information from non-residents regarding the activities of their liaison offices in India. A new section 285 is, therefore, proposed in the Income-tax Act mandating the filing of annual information, within sixty days from the end of the financial year, in the prescribed form and providing prescribed details by non-residents as regards their liaison offices.
This amendment is proposed to take effect from 1st June, 2011.