100 FIIs get tax notices for $6bn, say it's retrospective

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  1. Vishwarupa

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    100 FIIs get tax notices for $6bn, say it's retrospective

    Around 100 overseas FUNDS have been slapped with tax notices estimated at $5-6 billion for `untaxed gains' made by them in the Indian MARKETS over the past years, prompting them to approach government functionaries citing fresh concerns over the tax regime.
    The number of affected in vestors can rise as assessments are still in progress and notices could be served in many more cases, taking the overall tax demand to well over $10 billion, sources told a news agency . Of Tax dept raps FUNDS, P 13 ficials however said they did not have consolidated data on the notices.

    When contacted by TOI, senior officials said the Author ity for Advance Rulings had ruled in the tax department's favour, which allows it to levy minimum alternate tax on capital gains. But the government has proposed to amend the law after FIIs cited concerns. The offshore funds, however, said these “amendments will take effect from April, 1, 2016 and will, apply in relation to the assessment year 2016-17 and subsequent assessment years“. Officials defended the notices saying that they have been issued under the current legal regime.

    “Every action against foreign players should not be blown out of proportion especially when the government is trying to address concerns. It should be seen in the context of its legal validity . Other countries have similar laws, India alone doesn't have such laws,“ a senior officer said, adding that the notices by field offices are in line with the norms prior to the introduction of the FINANCE Bill 2015.

    The tax department is also critical of the way issues are being raised by overseas INVESTORS. “They seem to be trying to browbeat us through a sus tained campaign... if you want to do business in a country and derive value from the country , you are liable to pay tax in that country ,“ the officer added.

    But worried over the “retrospective“ notices and assessment orders, the foreign INVESTORS have begun lobbying intensely with policy makers and regulators, while stating that the move goes against the government's stated position of providing a `non-adversarial and stable tax regime'. .

    Till March 31, close to 100 funds got notices for a controversial Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) of 20%, making the capital gains tax regime irrelevant. The government taxes short-term capital gains at 15% and there is no long-term capital gains tax on INVESTMENT beyond one year.
     
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