Introduction: Central Board of Direct Taxes, under the Ministry of Finance, has issued Notification No. 106/2023 dated December 27, 2023, amending provisions related to income tax. This notification specifically addresses sub-clause (iv) of clause (c) of Explanation 1 to clause (23FE) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Detailed Analysis: The notification specifies Ravenna Investments Holding B.V as the designated pension fund for eligible investments in India. To qualify for tax exemption, the assessee must adhere to several conditions, including filing timely returns, providing certificates of compliance, and maintaining detailed records of income and expenditure for qualifying investments.

The notification outlines the need for the assessee to continue being regulated under the laws of the Government of the Netherlands. Additionally, the pension fund’s assets and earnings are restricted for use only in meeting statutory obligations and contributions for participants or beneficiaries.

Conditions further restrict the assessee from having loans or borrowings for the purpose of making investments in India. The notification emphasizes non-participation in day-to-day operations of investees, except for monitoring mechanisms to protect investments.

Violation of any stipulated conditions in clause (23FE) of section 10 and the notification renders the assessee ineligible for tax exemption. The effective date of this notification is from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

Conclusion: The issued Notification No. 106/2023 by the Central Board of Direct Taxes introduces critical changes to income tax regulations, particularly concerning specified pension funds like Ravenna Investments Holding B.V. Taxpayers and financial professionals need to carefully review and ensure compliance with the outlined conditions to maintain eligibility for tax exemption. Any violation could result in significant implications for the assessee.

*****

MINISTRY OF FINANCE
(Department of Revenue)
(CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES)

Notification No. 106/2023- Income tax | Dated: 27th December, 2023

S.O. 5472(E).In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (iv) of clause (c) of Explanation 1 to clause (23FE) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) (hereinafter referred to as the Act), the Central Government hereby specifies the pension fund, namely, Ravenna Investments Holding B.V (PAN: AAMCR8596D), (hereinafter referred to as the assessee) as the specified person for the purposes of the said clause in respect of the eligible investment made by it in India on or after the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette but on or before the 31st day of March, 2024 (hereinafter referred to as the said investments) subject to the fulfilment of the following conditions, namely:-

(i) the assessee shall file return of income, for all the relevant previous years falling within the period beginning from the date in which the said investment has been made and ending on the date on which such investment is liquidated, on or before the due date specified for furnishing the return of income under subsection (1) of section 139 of the Act;

(ii) the assessee shall furnish along with such return a certificate in Form No. 10BBC in respect of compliance with the provisions of clause (23FE) of section 10 of the Act, during the financial year, from an accountant as defined in the Explanation below sub-section (2) of section 288 of the Act, as per the provisions of clause (vi) of rule 2DB of the Income–tax Rules, 1962;

(iii) the assessee shall intimate the details in respect of each investment made by it in India during the quarter within a period of one month from the end of the quarter in Form No. 10BBB, as per the provisions of clause (v) of rule 2DB of the Income-tax Rules, 1962;

(iv) the assessee shall maintain a segmented account of income and expenditure in respect of such investment which qualifies for exemption under clause (23FE) of section 10 of the Act;

(v) the assessee shall continue to be regulated under the laws of the Government of the Netherlands;

(vi) the assessee shall be responsible for administering or investing the assets for meeting the statutory obligations and defined contributions of one or more funds or plans established for providing retirement, social security, employment, disability, death benefits or any similar compensation to the participants or beneficiaries of such funds or plans, as the case may be;

(vii) the earnings and assets of the assessee should be used only for meeting statutory obligations and defined contributions for participants or beneficiaries of funds or plans referred to in clause (vi) and no portion of the earnings or assets of the pension fund inures any benefit to any other private person; barring any payment made to creditors or depositors for loan or borrowing [as defined in sub-clause (b) of clause (ii) of Explanation 2 to clause (23FE) of section 10 of the Act] taken for the purposes other than for making investment in India;

(viii) the assessee shall not have any loans or borrowings [as defined in sub-clause(b) of clause (ii) of Explanation 2 to clause (23FE) of section 10 of the Act], directly or indirectly, for the purposes of making investment in India; and

(ix) the assessee shall not participate in the day to day operations of investee [as defined in clause (i) of Explanation 2 to clause (23FE) of section 10 of the Act] but the monitoring mechanism to protect the investment with the investee including the right to appoint directors or executive director shall not be considered as participation in the day to day operations of the investee.

2. Violation of any of the conditions as stipulated in clause (23FE) of section 10 of the Act and this notification shall render the assessee ineligible for the tax exemption.

3. This notification shall come into force from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

[Notification No. 106/2023/F. No. 500/PF13/S10(23FE)/FT&TR-II]

APOORV TIWARI, Under Secy.

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