Tuesday, October 20, 2015

LOB clause of Indo-Singapore DTAA won't apply if income of Singaporean Shipping Co. is remitted in UK

Facts
a)  Assessee (a Singaporean Shipping Company) claimed benefit of India-Singapore DTAA in respect of freight charges remitted to it by its Indian agent.
b)  AO denied to grant benefit of DTAA by invoking Limitation of benefit (LOB) clause of India-Singapore DTAA (Article 24) on ground that remittance was made by the Indian agent in UK and not in Singapore.
c)  Aggrieved by the order of AO, assessee filed an unsuccessful appeal before CIT(A). The contention of the assessee was that benefit of DTAA should be granted as it was a tax resident of Singapore and income from shipping activities is also taxable in Singapore as per Article 8 of India-Singapore DTAA.
d)  Aggrieved by the order of CIT(A) the assessee filed the instant appeal before the Tribunal
The Tribunal held in favour of assessee as under-
1)  Article 24 of India-Singapore DTAA lays down twin conditions - Firstly income should be exempt from tax in source state or is subject to low tax and, secondly said income is taxable in Singapore on receipt basis though remitted outside Singapore. But in the instant case, income of assessee was taxable on accrual basis and not on receipt basis in Singapore and his global income (including freight remitted by Indian Agent) was taxable only in Singapore as it was a tax resident of that country.
2)  Hence, benefit of India- Singapore DTAA can’t be denied and income from shipping activities shall be taxable only in Singapore even if such income is remitted outside Singapore. - Alabra Shipping Pte Ltd. v.  ITO [2015] 62 taxmann.com 185 (Rajkot - Trib.)


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