Akhilesh Ranjan Committee on Taxation of E-Commerce submitted report to Union Government

Mar 22, 2016 08:09 IST

A Committee on Taxation of e-commerce constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to examine the business models for e-commerce submitted its report on 21 March 2016.

The Report of the Committee was received by the Government of India and taken into consideration in the preparation of Finance Bill, 2016.

The Report provides the view of the Committee on issues related to taxation of e-commerce and recent international developments in this area.

The Committee included officers of the CBDT, representatives from the industry, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and tax experts. The 8-member committee was headed by Akhilesh Ranjan, Joint Secretary (FT&TR-I), CBDT, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

Key recommendations of the committee are:

Equalization Levy may be imposed on payments to non-residents for specified services by a separate chapter in the Finance Act, 2016.

The Equalization Levy should be chargeable on any sum that is received by a non resident from a resident in India or a permanent establishment in India as a consideration for the specified digital services.

The rate of Equalization Levy may be between 6 to 8 percent of the gross sum received.

Equalization Levy should not be charged unless the consideration received for specified services in a year from a person in India is more than one lakh rupees.

Equalization Levy should also not be charged on payments received by a permanent establishment of a non-resident in India, which are attributable to that permanent establishment and taxable under Income-tax Act, 1961.

Every person that has received any sum chargeable to Equalization Levy, would be required to pay the Equalization Levy chargeable on that sum to the union government.

Every person that has received any sum chargeable to Equalization Levy, would be required to file a return of Sum chargeable to Equalization Levy as prescribed, if such total sum received by that person in a year exceeds ten crore rupees.

Any income arising from a transaction on which Equalization Levy has been paid should be exempted from income-tax, by necessary amendment in Section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

The definition of business connection in section 9 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 may be expanded to include the concept of significant economic presence.

Work on exploring the possibility of deduction of Equalization Levy by the payment gateways should be initiated immediately.

The implementation and impact of Equalization Levy may be monitored on a regular basis.

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