India, Cyprus ink new tax pact to replace 2 decade-old treaty

India, Cyprus ink new tax pact to replace 2 decade-old treaty

New pact updates provisions related to exchange of info to accepted global standards.

India and Cyprus on Friday signed a new double tax avoidance pact under which capital gains tax will be levied on sale of shares on investments made after April 1, 2017, bringing the island nation at par with Mauritius in terms of tax treatment. The latest pact would replace the existing Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), which was in place since June 13, 1994.

“The new DTAA provides for a source-based taxation of capital gains arising from alienation of shares, instead of a residence-based taxation provided under the existing DTAA. However, a grandfathering clause has been provided for investments made prior to April, 1 2017, in respect of which capital gains would continue to be taxed in the country of which taxpayer is a resident,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

The new agreement provides for assistance between the two countries for collection of taxes. The new agreement also updates the provisions related to exchange of information to accepted international standards, which will enable exchange of banking information and allow the use of such information for purposes other than taxation with the prior approval of the competent authorities of the country providing the information.

The new agreement expands the scope of ‘permanent establishment’ and reduces the tax rate on royalty in the country from which payments are made to 10 per cent from the existing rate of 15 per cent, in line with the tax rate under Indian tax laws. It also updates the text of other provisions in accordance with the international standards and consistent policy of India in respect of tax treaties.

Provisions of new DTAA will enter into force after the completion of necessary internal procedures in both the countries and is expected to come into effect in India in respect of income derived in fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2017, the finance ministry added.