India-UK Protocol : Treaty benefit extended to partners in UK firms, ‘Limitation of benefits’ clause introduced
Protocol Amending the Convention between India, UK and the Northern Ireland Signed for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital Gains
India and UK signed a Protocol amending the Convention between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect of Taxes on Income and Capital Gains (DTAC). This Protocol amends the earlier Convention that was assigned in New Delhi on 25th January, 1993. The Protocol was signed on 30th October 2012 in London by Dr Jaimini Bhagwati, High Commissioner of India to the UK on behalf of the Government of India and Mr David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury on behalf of the Government of UK.
The Protocol streamlines the provisions relating to partnership and taxation of dividends in both the countries. Now, benefits of the Convention would also be available to partners of the UK partnerships to the extent income of UK partnership are taxed in their hands. Further, the withholding taxes on the dividends would be 10% or 15% and would be equally applicable in UK and in India.
The Protocol incorporates in the Convention provisions for effective exchange of information between tax authorities of the two countries in line with latest international standards including exchange of banking information and supplying of information irrespective of domestic interest. It now also provides for sharing of information to other agencies with the consent of the supplying state.
There would now be a new article in the Convention on assistance in collection of taxes. This article also includes provision for taking measures of conservancy. The Protocol also incorporates into the Convention anti-abuse (limitation of benefits) provisions to ensure that the benefits of the Convention are not misused. Both the countries would further enter into MOUs to expedite exchange of information and assistance in collection of taxes.
The Convention, as amended by this Protocol, will provide tax stability to the residents of India and U.K. and will facilitate mutual economic cooperation between the two countries. It will also stimulate the flow of investment, technology and services between India and U.K.