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Capital gains tax relief for foreign origin funds

The condition being that the Indian assets should exceed Rs 10 crore and represent at least half the value of all assets held by the foreign investor

Indivjal Dhasmana  |  New Delhi 

Representative Image
Representative Image

Income from sale of securities in India by funds based abroad will be exempt from capital gains tax, the government  announced. This exemption will be given only when the India-focused fund is also charged to tax in India. 

The (CBDT) said the tax provision on indirect transfer would not apply to this type of income at private equity and venture capital funds. This, say experts, ought to reassure those investing in India through a multi-layered structure. The issue was a concern among (FPIs).

The of 2012 had amended section 9 of the Income Tax Act to address the ruling given by the in favour of Vodafone. Accordingly, gains through indirect transfers were made subject to capital gains tax. The condition being that the Indian assets should exceed Rs 10 crore and represent at least half the value of all assets held by the foreign investor.  

 

      Tax relief

  • Tax exemption will be given only when the India-focused fund is also charged to tax in India 
  • CBDT said the tax provision on indirect transfer would not apply to this type of income at PE and VC funds
  • The issue was a concern among foreign portfolio investors 
  • On December 21 last year, CBDT issued a circular that offshore vehicles, including FPIs, were subject to indirect transfer provisions
  • The move had set alarm bells ringing in fund houses from Hong Kong to  New York
Investors holding less than five per cent of the share capital or voting power of the company were exempt from this. The wording was such that a multi-layered structure (followed by PE funds, venture funds, pension funds) could be subject to multiple levy, despite taxes having already been paid in India by the foreign institutional investor.

On December 21 last year, CBDT issued a circular that offshore vehicles, including FPIs, were subject to indirect transfer provisions. The move had set alarm bells ringing in fund houses from Hong Kong to London to New York. Accordingly, CBDT had put the matter in abeyance the next month.

First Published: Thu, November 09 2017. 01:12 IST
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