Tuesday, August 2, 2016

MFN clause is an integral part of DTAA and selfoperational; Delhi HC sets aside decision of AAR

Facts :
a) An application was filed by the Steria India (i.e., petitioner) before the AAR to determine taxability of payment made for the management services provided by Steria France.
b) The Petitioner (i.e., Steria India) was of the view that due to existence of Most Favoured Nation (‘MFN’) clause in India-France DTAA (Clause 7 of the Protocol) the less restrictive definition of FTS‟ appearing in the India-UK DTAA, must be read as forming part of the India-France DTAA as well.
c) The AAR disagreed with the Petitioner. It ruled that the Protocol could not be treated as forming part of the DTAA itself. Further, it held that the “make available” clause found in the India-UK DTAA could not be read into the expression “FTS” occurring in the India-French DTAA unless there was a notification issued by the Govt. to incorporate the less restrictive provisions of the India-UK DTAA into the India-France DTAA.
d) The petitioner filed the writ petition against such ruling of AAR. The Delhi High Court held in favour of assessee as under: