Section 90 of Income Tax Act for AY 2023-24

Section 90 of Income Tax Act 1961 amended by Finance Act 2022 and Income-tax Rules. Agreement with foreign countries or specified territories.

Amended and updated notes on section 90 of Income Tax Act 1961 as amended by the Finance Act 2022 and Income-tax Rules, 1962. Detail discussion on provisions and rules related to agreement with foreign countries or specified territories.

Chapter IX (Sections 90 to 91) of the Income Tax Act 1961 deals with the provisions related to double Taxation Relief. Section 90 of IT Act 1961-2020 provides for agreement with foreign countries or specified territories.

Recently, we have discussed in detail section 89 (Relief when salary, etc., is paid in arrears or in advance) of IT Act 1961. Today, we learn the provisions of section 90 of Income-tax Act 1961. The amended provision of section 90 is effective for financial year 2020-21 relevant to the assessment year 2021-22.

In this article, you will learn detail of the provisions of section 90 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 Bare Act read with the Income-tax Rules, 1962, regulations, notifications, circulars, orders and Press Release by CBDT, Income Tax Department and the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.

Section-90: Agreement with foreign countries or specified territories

Section 90(1) of Income Tax Act

The Central Government may enter into an agreement with the Government of any country outside India or specified territory outside India,—

(a) for the granting of relief in respect of—

  • (i) income on which have been paid both income-tax under this Act and income-tax in that country or specified territory, as the case may be, or
  • (ii) income-tax chargeable under this Act and under the corresponding law in force in that country or specified territory, as the case may be, to promote mutual economic relations, trade and investment, or

(b) for the avoidance of double taxation of income under this Act and under the corresponding law in force in that country or specified territory, as the case may be, without creating opportunities for non-taxation or reduced taxation through tax evasion or avoidance (including through treaty-shopping arrangements aimed at obtaining reliefs provided in the said agreement for the indirect benefit to residents of any other country or territory), or

[Clause(b) of sub-section (1) of section 90 has been amended w.e.f. 01.04.2021 by the Finance Act 2020.]

(c) for exchange of information for the prevention of evasion or avoidance of income-tax chargeable under this Act or under the corresponding law in force in that country or specified territory, as the case may be, or investigation of cases of such evasion or avoidance, or

(d) for recovery of income-tax under this Act and under the corresponding law in force in that country or specified territory, as the case may be,

and may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make such provisions as may be necessary for implementing the agreement.

Section 90(2) of Income Tax Act

Where the Central Government has entered into an agreement with the Government of any country outside India or specified territory outside India, as the case may be, under sub-section (1) for granting relief of tax, or as the case may be, avoidance of double taxation, then, in relation to the assessee to whom such agreement applies, the provisions of this Act shall apply to the extent they are more beneficial to that assessee.

Section 90(2A) of Income Tax Act

Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), the provisions of Chapter X-A of the Act shall apply to the assessee even if such provisions are not beneficial to him.

Section 90(3) of Income Tax Act

Any term used but not defined in this Act or in the agreement referred to in sub-section (1) shall, unless the context otherwise requires, and is not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act or the agreement, have the same meaning as assigned to it in the notification issued by the Central Government in the Official Gazette in this behalf.

Section 90(4) of Income Tax Act

An assessee, not being a resident, to whom an agreement referred to in sub-section (1) applies, shall not be entitled to claim any relief under such agreement unless a certificate of his being a resident in any country outside India or specified territory outside India, as the case may be, is obtained by him from the Government of that country or specified territory.

Section 90(5) of Income Tax Act

The assessee referred to in sub-section (4) shall also provide such other documents and information, as may be prescribed.

Explanation-1: For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the charge of tax in respect of a foreign company at a rate higher than the rate at which a domestic company is chargeable, shall not be regarded as less favourable charge or levy of tax in respect of such foreign company.

Explanation-2: For the purposes of this section, “specified territory” means any area outside India which may be notified as such by the Central Government.

Explanation-3: For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that where any term is used in any agreement entered into under sub-section (1) and not defined under the said agreement or the Act, but is assigned a meaning to it in the notification issued under sub-section (3) and the notification issued thereunder being in force, then, the meaning assigned to such term shall be deemed to have effect from the date on which the said agreement came into force.

Explanation-4: For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that where any term used in an agreement entered into under sub-section (1) is defined under the said agreement, the said term shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in the agreement; and where the term is not defined in the said agreement, but defined in the Act, it shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in the Act and explanation, if any, given to it by the Central Government.


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