Section 115JB of the Act provides for MAT at the rate of fifteen per cent of its book profit, in case tax on the total income of a company computed under the provisions of the Act is less than the fifteen per cent of book profit. Book profit for this purpose is computed by making certain adjustments to the profit disclosed in the profit and loss account prepared by the company in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.

Representations were received that the computation of book profit under section 115JB does not provide for any adjustment on account of additional income of past year(s) included in books of account of current year on account of secondary adjustment under section 92CE or on account of an Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) entered with the taxpayer under section 92CC. Representation has also been received that since dividend income is now taxable in the hand of shareholders, dividend received by a foreign company on its investment in India is required to be excluded for the purposes of calculation of book profit in case the tax payable on such dividend income is less than MAT liability on account of concessional tax rate provided in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). Hence it is proposed to,-

(i) provide that in cases where past year income is included in books of account during the previous year on account of an APA or a secondary adjustment, the Assessing Officer shall, on an application made to him in this behalf by the assessee, recompute the book profit of the past year(s) and tax payable, if any, during the previous year, in the prescribed manner. Further, the provision of section 154 of the Act shall apply so far as possible and the period of four years specified in sub-section (7) of section 154 shall be reckoned from the end of the financial year in which the said application is received by the Assessing Officer.

(ii) to provide similar treatment to dividend as already there for capital gains on transfer of securities, interest, royalty and Fee for Technical Services (FTS) in calculating book profit for the purposes of section 115JB of the Act, so that both specified dividend income and the expense claimed in respect thereof are reduced and added back, while computing book profit in case of foreign companies where such income is taxed at lower than MAT rate due to DTAA.

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

[Clause 31]

Text of the Relevant Clause of the Finance Bill 2021

Clause 31 of the Bill seeks to amend section 115JB of the Income-tax Act relating to special provision for payment of tax by certain company.

The said section provides for levy of tax on the basis of book profit which is determined after making certain adjustments to the net profit disclosed in the profit and loss account prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.

Clause (iid) of Explanation 1 of the said section provides that the amount of income in the nature of capital gains, interest, royalty or fee for technical services accruing or arising to an assessee, being a foreign company, will be reduced from the book profit if such income is credited to the statement of profit and loss and tax on such income is at a rate less than the rate specified under that section. Further such assessee will be allowed expenses relatable to such income mentioned in the said clause under sub-clause (B) of clause (fb) of the said Explanation.

It is proposed to amend the said clause (fb) and clause (iid), occurring in the long line of Explanation 1, so as to provide similar relief to dividend as already there for capital gains, interest, royalty and fee for technical services as provided in these clauses.

It is further proposed to insert a new sub-section (2D) in the said section so as to provide that where in the case of the company there is an increase in book profit of the previous year due to income of past year or years included in the book profit on account of an advance pricing agreement entered into by the assessee under section 92CC or on account of secondary adjustment required to be made under section 92CE, the Assessing Officer shall, on an application made to him in this behalf by the asssessee, recompute the book profit of the past year or years and tax payable, if any, by the assessee during the previous year under sub-section (1), in such manner as may be provided by rules and the provisions of section 154 shall, so far as may be, apply and the period of four years specified in sub-section (7) of that section shall be reckoned from the end of the financial year in which the said application is received by the Assessing Officer.

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

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