Programs

USISPF along with key members participated in an intensive in-person consultation with the office of the Pr. Commissioner, Directorate of International Customs (DIC) to discuss long-standing challenges in implementation of CAROTAR provisions on the ground and its impact on ease of doing business. Following this round of consultations, the Forum shall shortly be making a submission detailing the challenges faced by industry. For further details, please contact Anikha Ashraf at aashraf@usinfoundation.org.
Section 194R of the Income Tax Act was introduced vide the Finance Act, 2022 with the objective of taxing perquisites and benefits arising in the course of business or profession. While the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued clarificatory guidelines earlier in June this year, the new provisions have continued to present challenges to the industry. Following multiple representations on these issues, the CBDT recently issued additional guidelines vide Circular No. 18/ 2022 on September 13, 2022, which has received mixed feedback from the industry. USISPF in collaboration with knowledge partners KPMG organized a short briefing to discuss the clarifications addressed in the Circular. The briefing was led by CA Naveen Gupta and was followed by a brief Q&A session to discuss new/ continuing challenges. For further details, please contact Anikha Ashraf at aashraf@usinfoundation.org.
USISPF was invited to attend a closed-door roundtable with officials from Ministry of Finance on September 21, 2022 to deliberate on key issues in Transfer Pricing laws in India. The meeting was attended by industry experts and other trade bodies, and several broad areas for improvement within the existing Transfer Pricing regime were discussed, including litigation issues, provisions for Safe Harbour, Advanced Pricing Agreements (APAs) and Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAP).
USISPF in collaboration with DMD Advocates organised a closed door virtual briefing and Q&A for members to discuss the Development of Enterprises and Services Hubs Bill, 2022 which seeks to replace the existing Special Economic Zone (SEZ) regulations. The Briefing covered the scope and impact of various tax and non-tax proposals envisaged under the proposed Bill.
The US-India Tax Forum organised a virtual consultation with officials at GST policy wing, CBIC to discuss GST policy issues across various sectors.
USISPF conducted a virtual consultation with Mr. Dheeraj Rastogi, Executive Vice President at GST Network on August 29, 2022 to address various technical issues emanating from GSTN systems.
The US-India Tax Forum participated in the 15th Meeting of All India Customs Consultative Group held virtually on August 26, 2022 to discuss customs issues across sectors.
Forum participated in the workshop on the DESH Bill, 2022 organised by Ministry of Commerce on August 29, 2022. The DESH Bill includes several tax and non-tax proposals. Please share your inputs/ suggestions on the draft Bill by writing to @Anikha Ashraf.
The Inflation Reduction Act, 2022 was recently passed by the United States Government, consisting of a substantial package of tax, climate, energy, and healthcare measures aimed at addressing climate change and reducing federal budget deficits. USISPF organised a virtual briefing on this new law in collaboration with knowledge partners KPMG. The briefing focused on the significant tax law changes emanating from this development and its impact on the industry at large. The briefing was led by Tax Partners at KPMG in the US, with Rishi Chugh moderating, and speakers Stephen P Borman and Hannah Hawkins.
In celebration of the recent 5-year milestone of the GST regime, the US-India Tax Forum hosted Mr. Vivek Johri, Chairman, CBIC, and Mr. D.P. Nagendra Kumar, Member (GST& Tax Policy, CBIC) on July 20, 2022 for an in-person interactive session with members. The speakers reflected on the Government’s key focus areas for GST 2.0 and emphasised the role of technology in ensuring an efficient and transparent regime.
The industry has expressed several concerns emerging from recent GSTIN system updates, which have been impacting businesses operations for multinational companies on the ground. In continuation of our advocacy efforts on GST matters, the Forum has collated these concerns and made a representation on behalf of the industry to the GST Network (GSTN). Our representation includes issues emerging from the 2-Factor authentication enabled for e-waybill and e-invoice system, AP automation with IRP for GSTR 2B reconciliation, and operational issues faced by DTA suppliers for endorsement of invoices issued on SEZ units/developers on the GSTIN.
Under the RoDTEP scheme, various unrefunded duties and levies on exported products are refunded to exporters operating out of export-oriented units. As part of our ongoing advocacy efforts on Customs issues, the Forum had collated several industry suggestions pertaining to the scheme, including enhancement of existing RoDTEP rates to bring parity with erstwhile schemes and extension of RoDTEP scheme over and above other schemes to create a level playing field with other units. Based on these inputs, the Form has made a representation before the authorities and shall also be organising consultations with key officials this month to take the matter forward.

Section 194-R, which came into effect on July 01, 2022 introduced TDS on benefits/ perquisites granted in the course of business to any resident taxpayer. While CBDT issued clarifications last month to address implementation issues arising from this levy, the industry has expressed numerous concerns from a practical and legal standpoint. In continuation of our advocacy efforts on Direct Tax matters, the Forum has collated details of such difficulties, and shall be organising a meeting with key officials from the Tax Policy and Legislation Unit of CBDT, and making a representation on behalf of the industry.

Section 194R of the Income Tax Act mandates TDS on any benefit or perquisite provided to a resident in the course of business or profession. Last week, the Forum submitted a representation to CBDT detailing the industry’s numerous concerns and requests for clarification regarding the applicability of these provisions, especially in view of the clarificatory Circular No. 12, 2022 dated June 16, 2022, which resulted in further practical and legal ambiguities.

In continuation of our ongoing advocacy efforts, we hosted a virtual interactive session with concerned officials at CBDT to present the industry’s perspective and seek necessary clarifications. The session was chaired by Tax Planning and Legislation unit’s Joint Secretary and over 20 Tax heads joined the discussion.

With support from our knowledge partners Deloitte USISPF hosted a virtual webinar to discuss two recent Supreme Court judgments as below.

a) CC, C.Ex. & ST Bangalore (Adjudication) v. Northern Operating Systems Pvt. Ltd – Wherein it has been held that reimbursement of salary cost and other expenses of overseas company’s employees seconded to the Indian company is in the nature of consideration for manpower services. Accordingly, the Indian company is liable to pay service tax under reverse charge mechanism on import of manpower services.

b) Mohit Minerals Private Limited [Special Leave to Appeal (C) No.13958/2020] – It has held that no GST applicable on Ocean freight paid on CIF imports. The Supreme Court has also made some crucial observations with respect to the powers of the GST Council and has held that the recommendations of the GST Council are recommendatory in nature and thus, are not binding in every case.

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on Customs laws and procedures, US India Tax forum organised a discussion with Key officers at Ministry of Finance to discuss issues around CAROTAR schemes launched as part of the Trade Facilitation efforts. We covered challenged faced by industry and remedial measures around CAROTAR, 2020, Faceless assessment, Customs Import Valuation and Recent changes proposed in Advance Rulings Provisions etc. by Union Budget 2022-23

USISPF, along with our knowledge partner Deloitte India, conducted an interactive session to discuss the recent trends in APA and MAP in India and the US. The session provided insights on the evolution of APA and MAP program, and its progress to date and way forward, both in India and the US.

In continuation to our advocacy efforts, forum will be engaging with GST authorities soon on GST issues across sectors. To join these consultations please write to @Shweta Kathuria

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on Customs laws and procedures, US India Tax forum will be soon organising a discussion with Key officers at Ministry of Finance to discuss issues around Faceless Assessment & CAROTAR schemes launched as part of the Trade Facilitation efforts. We would cover the challenges faced by industry and remedial measures around CAROTAR, 2020, Faceless assessment, Customs Import Valuation and Recent changes proposed in Advance Rulings Provisions etc. by Union Budget 2022-23 .

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on Customs laws and procedures, US India Tax Forum organised a discussion with Key officers at Ministry of Finance to discuss issues around Faceless Assessment & CAROTAR schemes launched as part of the Trade Facilitation efforts. We covered the challenges faced by industry and remedial measures around CAROTAR, 2020, Faceless assessment, Customs Import Valuation and Recent changes proposed in Advance Rulings Provisions etc. by Union Budget 2022-23.
The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USIPF) in collaboration with KPMG in India organized a post budget industry consultation with Mr. J.B. Mohapatra, Honourable Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on 3 February 2022.More updates click here

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on GST, Forum met with the GST policy wing to discuss specific issues of the E-commerce sector. Issues relating to E-way Bill, Food aggregator guidelines etc were discussed as part of the meeting.

Forum met with GSTN officials to discuss specific technical issues on the GST network.

To get further details on the US India Tax forum please visit our website here.

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on GST, Forum met with the GST secretariate to discuss specific issues of the E-commerce sector. Issues relating to E-way Bill, Food aggregator guidelines etc were discussed as part of the meeting.
In its 45th meeting held on September 17, 2021, the GST Council discussed the need to undertake GST rate rationalization including correction of inverted duty structure with an objective to simplify the rate structure, to reduce classification related disputes and enhance GST revenues. Basis the inputs received from our members, Forum has submitted a detailed representation for consideration of the GOM on GST rate rationalisation and recently met with Ms Shikha C – Commissioner for Commercial Taxes, Karnataka to discuss USISPF’s industry recommendations to the GOM on GST rate rationalisation.

To enable a policy discussion around the Budget recommendations, USISPF organised a virtual pre-budget consultation with Mr Kamlesh Varshney, Joint Secretary (TPL-1), Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance on November 23, 2021.

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on GST legislative and procedural issues, USISPF met with the GST Policy wing. Tax colleagues from across industry participated and discussed issues relevant to their sector.

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on GST legislative and procedural issues, USISPF met with GSTN officials. Tax colleagues from across industry participated and discussed issues relevant to their sector.

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on GST legislative and procedural issues, USISPF met with the Principal Secretary, Investment Promotion of the state of Madhya Pradesh. We are planning to engage with few more state tax departments in coming days.
In continuation to our advocacy efforts on GST legislative and procedural issues, USISPF met with the commissioner of the state of Punjab and Gujarat. We are planning to engage with few more state tax departments in coming days.

In continuation to our advocacy efforts on GST legislative and procedural issues, USISPF is planning to engage with few important state tax departments. The idea is apprise and also to get guidance on some of the key long standing GST policy issues. While we continue to engage with the GST council secretariate and also the GST policy wing at Ministry of Finance, we felt it’s also important to engage with states which have an important representation at the GST council meetings. To start with, we did a close door virtual session with Punjab tax department and next will be with the State of Gujarat  To participate.

Recently, CBIC had issued clarifications in respect of applicability of Dynamic Quick Response (QR) Code on B2C invoices and compliance of Notification No. 14/2020- C.T. dated March 21, 2020. Please refer to clarifications here. On the basis of feedback received from our members, USISPF has submitted a detailed note highlighting the need for additional clarifications. To discuss the feedback and to share further suggestions to the Government forum did back-to-back meetings with CBIC, GST policy wing, and also with the GST council secretariat.

January 9 2021 6:30pm to 8:30pm IST| 8:00am-9:00am EST

The Cairn Energy and Vodafone awards by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague under Bilateral Investment Agreements are one of a kind landmark rulings on retrospective taxation which could bear a far-reaching impact on tax policy. USISPF is supporting the IFA India Branch & IFA India Academy’s Masterclass discussing the same. The Masterclass is designed as a combination of lectures (on investment arbitration and aspects of the two awards by the PCA) and panel discussion.

Registration Link:
www.rebrand.ly/ifa21

On December 8, USISPF hosted an rountable discussion with Mr. Rajat Bansal, IRS who is a member of the UN’s subcommittee on Tax Challenges of the Digitalization of the Economy. The UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, at its 20th session, agreed to consider adding new provisions addressing the taxation of the digital economy to the UN Model Convention. Mr Bansal presented an alternative approach to tax the digital economy through a new tax treaty article redefining nexus and profit allocation. 

On December 3, 2020 Forum hosted an industry consultation with CBIC to discuss issues faced by industry on Faceless Customs and CAROTAR 2020. To get a recording of the session and for queries if any please write to Ms Shweta Kathuria @ skathuria@usinfoundation.org

The All India Customs consultative group meeting was held on November 19, 2020. The Forum participated in the meeting to discuss customs issues of our member companies. The meeting was chaired by Member (Customs) and several officials from the CBIC and state custom authorities were present to address specific concerns as submitted by the forum.

The dynamic QR code in case of B2C supplies is currently proposed to be implemented from December 1, 2020.  There are some prevailing concerns and ambiguities which our members are apprehensive about and basis the same we have submitted a detailed note with the CBIC and also held a closed door meeting with CBIC in relation to this.

The OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS on October 12, 2020, released its Pillar One and Pillar Two Blueprint Reports which reflects the latest stage of this work, which is meant to provide a basis for political agreement across the Inclusive Framework member countries.  While OECD’s Pillar One Blueprint provides the technical framework for re-allocation of taxing rights to market economies for certain digital and consumer facing business, the Pillar Two Blueprint lays down the contours for introducing a minimum global tax. On November 2, 2020 USISPF hosted an interactive session with Mr Rashmi Ranjan Das, Joint Secretary (FT&TR), Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry Finance  to discuss the key features of the aforesaid developments, their impact from an India perspective and what the future holds in terms of timelines, consensus and way forward. 

October

In a landmark arbitral award published on September 25, 2020 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, the bilateral investment treaty tribunal ruled in favour of Vodafone with respect to the Government of India’s retrospective tax claim of ~US$ 5.5 billion (inclusive interest & penalty).  On October 8 2020 , USISPF organied a close-door discussion with Ms. Anuradha Dutt, Founding & Managing Partner (Delhi) and Ms. Fereshte Sethna, Founding & Managing Partner (Mumbai), who represented Vodafone as Counsel at the international investment treaty arbitral tribunal proceedings, to discuss the journey and share valuable insights in terms of tax planning, tax structuring and policy risk for foreign investors in India

September

Ministry of Finance, Government of India, introduced the first and second phase of country-wide faceless assessment in June 2020 and August 2020, respectively. Considering the encouraging results, CBIC has decided to roll out the faceless assessment across India, at all ports of import and for all imported goods by 31 October 2020. Introduction of faceless assessment is part of the string of reforms called “Turant Customs”. This includes paperless customs through intelligent e-Sanchit and Machine Release, or end-to-end automated clearance, without officer interface at any stage. In this regards USISPF hosted an Interactive session on Trade Facilitation measures including Faceless Assessment under Customs with Central Board of Indirect taxes & Customs officials and Deloitte India.

August

Forum co-hosted a webcast on  Making an Atmanirbhar Bharat – Make in India – An Indirect Tax Perspective. We would like to cordially invite you to join in a webcast themed “Atmanirbhar Bharat – Make In India – An Indirect Tax Perspective”. The event was inaugurated and Presided over by the Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, India, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur.  The webcast was  co-hosted by the Directorate General of Taxpayer Services – Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC), in association with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), the Manufactures Association for Information Technology (MAIT) and Deloitte India – the Knowledge Partners to USISPF. This interaction was a part of Series of Government – Industry interactions being hosted by the DGTS-CBIC. 

July

On July 28, USISPF conducted an interactive discussion with GST council with an objective of briefing the the council of key legislative and procedural issues and to get the council’s perspective on the same through a virtual policy roundtable before the next GST council meeting scheduled to happen soon.

On July 14, 2020 forum hosted an interactive discussion on the implications of recent amendments under section 9A of Income tax Act, 1961 jointly with KPMG in India and DMD Advocates. The Finance Act, 2019 amended one of the conditions for availing safe harbour under section 9A by removing the requirement for the eligible fund manager to receive an arm’s length remuneration for performing the fund management activity and replacing it with a minimum fee to be prescribed by the CBDT. Thereafter there have been a series of amendments including the recent amendment to Rule 10V through the Income-tax (10th Amendment) Rules, 2020. 

USISPF in association with Foreign Investors India Forum (FIIF) hosted a webinar to discuss how India can succeed in this goal from a tax-policy perspective and some potential solutions that can be put forth to the government that can potentially attract billions of dollars into the Indian economy. The webinar was presented by our knowledge partners, DMD Advocates. 

June

India, in recent times, has witnessed a slew of initiatives to improve tax administration with the latest and most prominent one being the reforms related to e-assessments. The Finance Act 2020, has expanded the remit for this reform to include e-appeals and e-penalty.  E-assessments, despite their merits, have also been the epicentre for tax disputes owing to some inherent pitfalls. Tax collections, credit claims and refunds are all bound to be impacted given these technical and procedural impediments and therefore need urgent attention from the authorities to de-weed the process to achieve its full effectiveness. The recent introduction of a citizen’s charter for both direct and indirect tax statutes is a step in that direction, to enforce existing rights.  USISPF with KPMG in India team hosted an interactive session to help decode the merits and illustrate the areas of focus for this critical journey the government has embarked on. 

May

On May 26, 2020, Ministry of commerce organised an industry consultation to  discuss provisions in the Finance Act, 2020 pertaining to the e-commerce sector including expansion in the scope of equalisation levy and TDS on e-commerce companies. USISPF was invited to represent their member companies impacted by these provisions and we used the opportunity to highlight ambiguities under both the provisions. 

The expanded scope of Equalisation Levy, having now received Presidential assent and enacted as a law effective 01 April 2020, still leaves the industry grappling with several unanswered questions. While the request for a deferral of the levy continues to be a larger industry ask, USISPF  continues with its efforts to make its voice heard on some of the key clarifications required under the law. To achieve this, we have been actively engaged with the industry and the Government of India. In an effort to drive further momentum, we invite you join us for an interactive discussion with Mr. Akhilesh Ranjan, Former Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) who will provide an expert view on some of the finer nuances relating to the law and deliberate on the way forward.

April

As the World continues to reel under the threat of a widespread global pandemic, the Government of India, with a view to mitigate the paralysing effects of this, has announced several important relief measures on statutory and regulatory matters across sectors.  It is expected that these measures would provide companies a much needed breather and help them focus on more pressing issues caused by a distressed and strained economy.   However, in an environment that was already extremely capricious, this recent world event has only added to the challenges in so far as GST is concerned.  USISPF hosted a webinar covering an update on these measures introduced from a GST perspective on the 7th of April 2020.  

March

In June 2019, India ratified the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). MLI seeks to modify India’s tax treaties in an attempt to curb revenue loss through treaty abuse and BEPS strategies. As a result of the MLI ratification, India’s tax treaties with some of its key treaty partners are expected to be modified from 1 April 2020. From a U.S. perspective, it may have a significant impact on MNCs’, especially in cases where investments have been made via intermediary jurisdictions in India.  To discuss the potential implications of the above development, On Monday, 30 March 2020 USISPF in partnership with KPMG in India hosted a webinar.

On March 13, 2020, Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued a circular inviting public comments on the draft Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2020 (“Amendment Rules”) available here. On March 25,2020, Wednesday USISPF in association with DMD Advocates conducted a webinar to discuss the draft Amendment Rules and address member queries if any.

The ‘Vivad se Vishwas Scheme 2020′  introduced to provide for dispute resolution in respect of pending income tax litigation has received the President’s assent and has been notified as the “Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act 2020”. As next steps, Rules will be prescribed and forms will be notified shortly. The Scheme aims to settle pending income tax litigation and benefit taxpayers by providing certainty around the long-drawn litigation process.  US India Strategic Partnership Forum in association with the IFA-India Branch Western Region Chapter hosted an online Interaction on Dispute Resolution Scheme (“Direct Tax – Vivad se Vishwas Scheme 2020”) with Mr Kamlesh Varshney, JS (TPL 1).

In a move to curb fake invoices the Government of India implemented the mechanism of electronic invoices under GST voluntarily for select companies. Pursuant to the same all invoices for business-to-business sales by entities beyond a specified turnover threshold will be generated on a centralised government portal. Forum organized an industry consultation with the GST policy wing to pass on industry recommendations the most critical one seeking an extension to the date of mandatory implementation.

The All India Customs consultative group meeting was held on March 5, 2020 in New Delhi. The Forum participated in the consultation sharing customs issues of our member companies.  The meeting was chaired by Member (Customs) and several officials from the CBIC and state custom authorities were present to address specific concerns as submitted by the forum.

Forum hosted an Interactive Discussion on attracting strategic FDI by addressing specific tax issues

USISPF hosted webinar on the implications of recent amendments under section 9A of Income tax Act, 1961

USISPF hosted a Policy roundtable with GST council on industry issues across sectors

Forum engages into focused discussions with GST council on select industry issues across

Forum co-hosted a webcast on Making an Atmanirbhar Bharat - Make in India – An Indirect Tax Perspective with Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Ministry of Finance.t Taxes and Custom

Industry consultation on GST E-invoicing with GST policy wing, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Custom

Online Interaction on Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme 2020 (Vivad se Vishwas) with Mr Kamlesh Varshney JS (TPL 1), Ministry of Finance

Webinar on Draft Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2020

Webinar on recent GST updates on regulatory and procedural issues with support from Deloitte India

Webinar on Impact of Multilateral Instrument on individual tax treaties starting April 1, 2020 in partnership with KPMG in India

Discussion on expanded scope of Equalisation Levy with Mr. Akhilesh Ranjan - Former Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes

Interactive session with Mr Yogendra Garg, GST policy, CBIC moderated by Deloitte India to discuss GST policy issues

Webinar on Direct Tax E-assessment scheme 2019 with KPMG in India

Forum participated at the 13th All India Customs Consultative group meeting

Discussion with CBIC on Trade Facilitation measures including Faceless Assessment under Customs

Forum engaged with CBIC officials on industry recommendations on clarifications required on B2C QR code applicable from December 1 2020

Forum hosted a webinar on the retrospective tax dispute decision at The Hague in $5.5 billion Vodafone case

To participate in the US India Tax forum engagements, please write to Shweta Kathuria

For further details please reach us here
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