Section 115JAA(2A) – Restriction on carry forward of MAT/AMT credit and claim of FTC in relation to taxes under dispute – Restriction to be removed

Issue/Justification

In line with Rule 128(7), the Finance Act 2017 inserted second proviso to section 115JAA(2A) restricting quantum of MAT credit to be carried forward to subsequent years. The proviso provides that where the amount of FTC (Foreign Tax Credit) available against MAT/AMT is in excess of FTC available against normal tax, MAT/AMT credit would be reduced to the extent of such excess FTC.

Similar restriction is imposed in S. 115JD(2) on AMT credit.

Both the provisions are made effective from 1 April, 2018 i.e. will apply in relation to A.Y. 2018-19 and onwards.

The rationale of aforesaid restriction/limitation is not clear. The restriction on quantum of MAT/AMT credit to be carried forward subjects taxpayer to duplicated MAT liability while denying the rightful carryover of MAT/AMT credit.

The FTC is an alternative form of tax payment. For all purposes including for grant of refund or levy of interest, FTC is treated as advance tax paid to the extent the same is creditable against tax liability in India. Once MAT liability is admitted to be tax liability on income in India, there is no justifiable reason for treating FTC separately depending on whether FTC is creditable against normal tax liability or MAT liability. The said amendment is inconsistent with the Government’s assurance that MAT is to be effectively phased out and incidence of MAT is to be counter matched by grant of extended period of MAT credit

Suggestion

The restriction on carry forward of MAT/AMT credit may be removed.

Source-  ICAI Pre-Budget Memorandum–2018 (Direct Taxes and International Tax)

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