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Rationalisation of MAT Provision

Suyash Tripathi 
Updated on 07 May 2021

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It is pertinent to note that the Finance Act, 2020 has abolished the dividend distribution tax (DDT) with effect from Assessment Year 2021-22. Therefore, the dividend declared, distributed or paid on or after 01-04-2020 is now taxable in the hands of the shareholder. Thus, if a foreign company receives a dividend in respect of its investment in India, it shall be liable to pay MAT on such dividend income even if such income is chargeable to tax at a rate lower than the rate of MAT. Thus, it was recommended that Section 115JB should be amended to provide that dividend income and expenses claimed in respect thereof to be added back or reduced from the net profit while computing MAT in case of foreign company.

The Finance Bill, 2021 has proposed to amend section 115JB to provide that dividend income and expenses claimed in respect thereof to be reduced or added back from the net profit if such income is taxed at lower than MAT rate due to DTAA. It should be noted that the dividend income shall be taxable in the hands of a foreign company in accordance with the provisions of the Act or relevant DTAA, whichever is more beneficial

Rationalisation of MAT Provision
  • 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 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.
 
  • 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.

 

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Suyash Tripathi 

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