Excluding interest paid or payable to Permanent Establishment of a non-resident Bank for the purpose of disallowance of interest under section 94B

Section 94B of the Act, inter alia, provides that deductible interest or similar expenses exceeding one crore rupees of an Indian company, or a permanent establishment (PE) of a foreign company, paid to the associated enterprises (AE) shall be restricted to 30 per cent. of its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) or interest paid or payable to AE, whichever is less. Further, a loan is deemed to be from an AE, if an AE provides implicit or explicit guarantee in respect of that loan. AE for the purposes of this section has the meaning assigned to it in section 92A of the Act. This section was inserted in the Act through the Finance Act, 2017 in order to implement the measures recommended in final report on Action Plan 4 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project under the aegis of G-20-Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to address the issue of base erosion and profit shifting by way of excess interest deductions.

Representations have been received to carve out interest paid or payable in respect of debt issued by a PE of a non-resident in India, being a person engaged in the business of banking for the reason that as per the existing provisions a branch of the foreign company in India is a non-resident in India. Further, the definition of the AE in section 92A, inter alia, deems two enterprises to be AE, if during the previous year a loan advanced by one enterprise to the other enterprise is at 50 per cent. or more of the book value of the total assets of the other enterprise. Thus, the interest paid or payable in respect of loan from the branch of a foreign bank may attract provisions of interest limitation provided for under this section.

It is, therefore, proposed to amend section 94B of the Act so as to provide that provisions of interest limitation would not apply to interest paid in respect of a debt issued by a lender which is a PE of a non-resident, being a person engaged in the business of banking, in India.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-22 and subsequent assessment years.

[Clause 46]

Extract of Relevant Clauses of Finance Bill, 2020

Clause 46

“Clause 46 of the Bill seeks to amend section 94B of the Income-tax Act relating to limitation on interest deduction in certain cases.

Sub-section (1) of said section, inter alia,provides that notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, where an Indian company, or a permanent establishment of a foreign company in India, being the borrower, incurs any expenditure by way of interest or of similar nature exceeding one crore rupees which is deductible in computing income chargeable under the head “Profits and gains of business or profession” in respect of any debt issued by a non-resident, being an associated enterprise of such borrower, the interest shall not be deductible in computation of income under the said head to the extent that it arises from excess interest, as specified in sub-section (2).

It is proposed to insert a new sub-section (1A) after the said sub-section so as to provide that nothing contained in that sub-section shall apply to interest paid in respect of a debt issued by a lender which is a permanent establishment of a non-resident, being a person engaged in the business of banking, in India.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2021-2022 and subsequent assessment years.”

Extract of Relevant Amendment Proposed by Finance Bill, 2020

46. Amendment of section 94B.

In section 94B of the Income-tax Act, after sub-section (1), the following sub-section shall be inserted with effect from the 1st day of April, 2021, namely:––

“(1A) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to interest paid in respect of a debt issued by a lender which is a permanent establishment in India of a non-resident, being a person engaged in the business of banking.”.

Source- Finance Bill 2020 / Union Budget 2020-21

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