With globalization, people and corporates venturing abroad for work and to explore foreign markets is common. This brings a need to pay taxes on income earned in foreign countries.

The question is, if an Indian resident earns income and pays taxes abroad, can he claim credit of the taxes paid in foreign countries and if yes, then how to claim credit of foreign taxes paid.

This article aims to throw light on the laws governing foreign tax credit and the procedural requirements to claim foreign tax credit.

Foreign Tax credit- How to claim and remember to file Form 67

If an Indian resident earns income outside India, then such income is taxable in India also, because a resident has to pay taxes on his global income as per the Indian Income Tax Act. This brings the concept of doubly taxed income as such income earned outside India is also taxed in India.

To mitigate the effect of the same income being taxed twice, the credit of taxes paid in foreign countries on such doubly taxed income is allowed to ensure that there are no undue taxes paid on doubly taxed income.

Tax credit or relief of taxes paid outside India is available u/s 90 to 91 of the Income Tax Act’1961 and Rule 128 of the Income Tax Rules.

On the table is a magnifying glass, a calculator and a notebook with the inscription - Foreign Tax Credit

According to Section 90,

“1) The Central Government may enter into an agreement with the Government of any country outside India or specified territory outside India,—

(a) for the granting of relief in respect of—

  (i) income on which have been paid both income-tax under this Act and income-tax in that country or specified territory, as the case may be, or

 (ii) income-tax chargeable under this Act and under the corresponding law in force in that country or specified territory, as the case may be, to promote mutual economic relations, trade and investment, or

(b) for the avoidance of double taxation of income under this Act and under the corresponding law in force in that country or specified territory, as the case may be, without creating opportunities for non-taxation or reduced taxation through tax evasion or avoidance (including through treaty-shopping arrangements aimed at obtaining reliefs provided in the said agreement for the indirect benefit to residents of any other country or territory), …..” 

Therefore, section 90 talks about Double taxation avoidance agreements that India may enter with foreign countries to grant relief in respect of income which has been taxed both in India and abroad. This relief is by way of granting credit of taxes paid in one country from the taxes due in another country on the same income which is taxed in the other country also or by way of reducing the tax rates on such doubly taxed income.

Therefore, to put it in a simple way credit of taxes paid outside India in a country with which India has a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) is available in Section 90.

This also includes some specified territories with which India may have a DTAA.

Similarly, there is section 91 subsection (1) of which reads as under:

(1) If any person who is resident in India in any previous year proves that, in respect of his income which accrued or arose during that previous year outside India (and which is not deemed to accrue or arise in India), he has paid in any country with which there is no agreement under section 90for the relief or avoidance of double taxation, income-tax, by deduction or otherwise, under the law in force in that country, he shall be entitled to the deduction from the Indian income-tax payable by him of a sum calculated on such doubly taxed income at the Indian rate of tax or the rate of tax of the said country, whichever is the lower, or at the Indian rate of tax if both the rates are equal.

To put it in simple words, credit of taxes paid in a country with which India does not have a DTAA is available under this section. This section gives relief on taxes paid in such countries on incomes accruing arising in those countries and provides a mechanism for calculating tax relief or credit in absence of DTAA.

Calculation of Tax credit or Tax relief available u/s 90 or 91:

Tax credit or Tax relief available under section 90 or 91 is generally lower of the following amounts:

1) Tax paid on doubly taxed income outside India.

2) Tax payable on doubly taxed income under Income Tax Act.

Therefore, tax relief on doubly taxed income will be equal to taxes paid outside India if the taxes due on such income is more under the Indian Income Tax Act’1961 and if tax payable in India on such doubly taxed income is less than taxes paid outside then tax relief will be equal to the taxes calculated under the Income Tax Act’1961.

Ques: What are some of the other important things to be kept in mind for taking credit u/s 90/91 of the Income Tax Act, 1961?

Ans:  Some other Important things to be noted for taking Tax credit u/s 90/91 are:

  • Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) shall be allowed only in the year in which the income corresponding to such tax has been offered to tax or assessed to tax in India.
  • In a case where income on which foreign tax has been paid or deducted, is offered to tax in more than one year, credit of foreign tax shall be allowed across those years in the same proportion in which the income is offered to tax or assessed to tax in India.
  • No FTC will be allowed in respect of any sum payable by way of interest, fee or penalty.
  • No credit of foreign taxes shall be available in respect of any amount of foreign tax or part of it which is disputed in any manner by the assessee.
  • Foreign Tax credit shall also be allowed against tax payable u/s 115JB and 115JC of the Income Tax Act in the same manner as available against normal tax.
  • Since the taxes paid in foreign countries are in foreign currencies, the credit shall be determined by conversion of the currency of payment of foreign tax at the telegraphic transfer buying rate on the last day of the month immediately preceding the month in which such tax has been paid or deducted.

Ques: What are the procedural requirements for taking foreign tax credit?

Ans: Procedural requirements for taking credit of taxes paid abroad is given in Rule 128 of the Income Tax Rules.

The credit of foreign taxes shall be available by filing Form 67 and filing the Income Tax return. Form 67 for claiming foreign taxes shall be filed on or before the due date of filing the return of income under section 139(1).

Credit of foreign taxes may not be available if form 67 is not filed within the due date of ITR.

Form 67 is available for filing in the online mode on the IT Portal.

Some documents to be attached with Form 67 for claiming FTC are:

1) Certificate or statement specifying the nature of income and the amount of tax deducted therefrom or paid by the assessee.

a) This statement specifying nature of income and tax paid in foreign country can be the return of income filed in the foreign country or certificate issued by the foreign tax authority.

(b) This can also be a certificate of tax deduction from the person responsible for deducting such tax in the foreign country just like Form 16/16A/16C furnished in India i.e TDS/TCS certificates or some other certificate specifying income and taxes.

c) In absence of the above-mentioned documents, the person claiming the credit of foreign taxes can also furnish self-attested/self-signed statement specifying the income offered and taxes paid abroad, but the said statement shall be valid only if it is accompanied by:

(i) an acknowledgement of online payment or bank counter foil or challan for payment of tax where the payment has been made by the assessee;

(ii) proof of deduction where tax has been deducted.

Form No.67 shall also be furnished in a case where the carry backward of loss of the current year results in refund of foreign tax for which credit has been claimed in any earlier previous year or years.

Form 67 is a simple form for claiming Foreign tax credit which asks for all the basic information mentioned above like:

a) Source and amount of income earned abroad in INR

b) Taxes paid outside India in INR

c) Country in which taxes are paid

d) Exchange rate for computation of tax credit

e) Tax payable on such income in India under normal provisions also under section 115JB/115JC where applicable.

f) Article of DTAA where tax credit is claimed as per the Double taxation avoidance agreement.

g) Rate of tax as per DTAA.

h) Whether credit for any foreign tax has been claimed which is under dispute

i) Whether any refund of foreign tax has been claimed in any prior accounting year as a result of carry backward of losses.

(The author is a Chartered Accountant and can be contacted at [email protected] or Mobile: +91-9953199493)

Author Bio

Qualification: CA in Practice
Company: Pratik & Associates
Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India
Member Since: 10 Jun 2017 | Total Posts: 59
Pratik Anand is the founder of youronlinefilings.in, an online startup for business registrations, annual business compliance services, Tax filings, book keeping, legal consultancy etc. He is a Chartered accountant by profession and has special flair and expertise in the area of direct Taxation. He View Full Profile

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3 Comments

  1. Manish says:

    Hi Sir,

    What is meant by “disputed in any manner by the assessee” ?

    What if there is a refund on Foreign tax credit due to income tax filing but only in the next year in foreign country? Does it require filling form 67 again?

    Is the FTC settled against tax+surcharge+cess only on foreign income or on tax+surcharge+cess on total income?

    Thanks,
    Manish

  2. Mahendra says:

    Dear Sir,
    I have two questions :
    1. Form 67 can be revised ?
    2. If someone forgot to claim FTC in original return then can he claim it in revised return so then form 67 can be filed with revised return ?

    1. Pratik Anand says:

      Sir,

      In my opinion, Form 67 once filed cannot be revised.
      He can claim FTC with revise return but Form 67 should have been filed before due date of original return. If Form 67 is not filed before due date of original ITR then FTC may will not be available.

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