The Year of 2013: Tax Reforms, Budget, Foreign Investments and Much More!

The year 2013 has gone but the changes and new happenings in the year will have an effect on 2014 in terms of budget, taxation, foreign alliances, new investments, etc. The government is going to change soon in the capital and there is lot more to expect from 2014, but we still need to ponder upon facts and happenings from 2013 and how things went and what were the reasons?

A remarkable and busy year for Mr Amit Maheshwari (Partner, Ashok Maheshwary & Associates) as there were numerous events, media coverage and his highly thoughtful inputs on issues that are of great importance for the financial situation in India. Being a regular guest columnist on newspapers like Economic Times of India, Live Mint, Business Today, etc., he gave his inputs on why Indian market is tough to enter and how its strong consumption growth is attracting medium sized MNCs. An article on Business Today about “Global Networks/Alliances/Associations/ entering India quoted him as, “India is still new to many, and global advisors prefer to have an Indian partner to handhold them to build their presence in India.”

In the month of November, Cyprus termed India’s decision for putting investments from them under tax lens as a “unilateral measure”. Mr Amit rightly quoted this decision in his article as, “Low tax jurisdictions have been coming under increasing pressure from cash strapped countries across the world for encouraging tax base erosion and profit shifting. Cyprus has been used by investors for doing structured debt-equity deals and this decision is bound to soothe nerves of investors.”

The government announced this year that the final version of “Safe Harbour rules” will exempt MNCs from the audit process if specified minimum profits and tax liability from India operations are declared beforehand. Mr Amit Maheshwary addressed this as a very positive development and also added that the final draft of “Safe Harbour rules” is more flexible and less conservative, which is again a good point for the MNCs struggling to establish in the country. A similar article in The Economic Times by him talked about transfer pricing audit trends and how the “Safe Harbour rules” will reduce the litigation.

There was quite a relief among NRIs last year when the Indian Government finally decided to accept Tax Residency Certificate (TRC) as a proof of residence and one of the articles published in Mail Today had Mr Amit making this bit more clear for the audience through his column. According to him, “In 2013 budget, it is proposed that obtaining a Tax Residency Certificate would be necessary but not sufficient condition to get the benefits of the DTAA’s.”

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