DTAA overrides provisions of Income Tax Act: ITAT [Read Order]

Income Tax Act - ITAT - Taxscan

The Bangalore bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has recently held that the provisions of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) would prevail over the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

The contention of the assessee contended before the Tribunal was that the rate of tax at which TDS should be made by the assessee is 10% in accordance with the Treaty for Avoidance of Double Taxation between India and Germany (DTAA) and not at the higher rate of tax @ 20% by invoking the provisions of section 206AA of the Act.

Based on the order passed by the Pune Tribunal in the case of Serum Institute of India Ltd, the CIT(Appeals) allowed relief to the assessee. Aggrieved by the order, the Revenue approached the Tribunal for relief contending that section 206AA starts with a nonobstante clause and therefore it overrides all other provisions of the Act including 90(2), 115A and 139A.

“The issue regarding the applicability of provisions of section 206AA of the Act, in cases of tax to be deducted at source, when the income is exigible to tax under DTAA and the payees are unable to provide valid Permanent Account Numbers, came up for consideration before the Special Bench, ITAT Hyderabad in the case of Nagarjuna Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd. Vs. AC IT (2017) 78 taxmann.com 264 (Hyderabad-Tribunal) (SB). The question before the special bench was whether the provisions of section 206AA had an overriding effect for all other provisions of the Act, whether the assessee has to deduct tax at source at the rates prescribed in section 206AA in case the payees are unable to furnish their PANs, even in cases where tax liability arises out of the treaty. The DTAA provides for a rate of 10% whereas as per the provisions of Sec.206AA of the Act, the rate of tax deduction at source is 20%,” the Tribunal observed.

Referring to a catena of decisions of the Tribunal, the bench held that DTAA overrides the Act, even if it is inconsistent with the Act. DTAAs are entered into between two nations in good faith and are supposed to be interpreted in good faith.

“Otherwise it would amount to the breach of Article 253 of the constitution,” the bench observed.

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