Page 14 - IACC Newsletter January 2013 Issue no. 8 HD

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Happenings at IACC
Head Office
IACC supports International Taxation Conference – 2012 on December 6-8, 2012 at ITC Maratha Hotel,
Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) supported the International Taxation Conference organized by Foundation
for International Taxation (FIT). There were over 450 delegates with over a third of them were international participants.
Nearly 35 senior Indian Revenue officials attended the conference, including Mr. R N Dash, Former Director General of
International Taxation, and Mr. Sanjay Mishra, India's Competent Authority as speakers. Also Dr. Parthasarathi Shome,
Director – ICRIER (New Delhi), Justice S. H. Kapadia, Chief Justice of India, Prof. Frederik Zimmer, Professor, Oslo
University – Norway were some of the key speakers and around 50 speakers from all over the world spoke on the
various issues and topics such as Substance and form (e.g. GAAR) in international taxation, Emerging international tax
issues in India, International tax structuring for investing abroad, Indirect taxation developments, Recent international
taxation developments, Recent Model treaty developments, Regional international taxation developments, etc. .
During the “Substance and form in International Taxation Plenary session”, Professor Frederik Zimmer, of Law,
University of Oslo, Norway explaining some of the general issues in connection with substance over form, stated that
real facts of a transaction should not be set aside on the basis of anti-avoidance rules. He also believed that the doctrine
of substance over form and use of anti-avoidance rules should be separated from the Transfer Pricing issues.
The other speaker Mr. Andrew Dawson, Her Majesty Revenue & Customs, United Kingdom during the session then
expressed his personal views on the doctrine of Substance over Form in the OECD and UN Models. Comparing the
differences between the two models, he mentioned that they share a common ancestry. While neither of the Models
have the doctrine of Substance over Form embedded in particular, several anti-avoidance rules are present.
Professor Bruno Gangemi, Partner, Macchi di Cellere, Studio Legale, Italy gave a European view to the doctrine of
substance over form. Two Court cases [France and Norway] were discussed which held that commissionaire agreements
do not legally bind the principal and hence, do not create a Permanent Establishment.
Mr. Sohrab Dastur, Senior Advocate, India Session Chairman in his closing remarks mentioned that the debate on Form
vs. Substance started 77 years ago with the Duke of Westminster case and is still alive today.
There was also a panel discussion led by Mr. Jairaj Purandare, former Senior Partner, PwC, India and chaired by Dr.
Parthasarathi Shome, Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER, New Delhi, which included panelists such as Ms. Mary
Bennett, Partner, Baker & McKenzie, New York; Prof. Bruno Gangemi, Partner, Macchi di Cellere, Italy; Ms. Ana Utumi,
Partner, Baker & McKenzie, France; and Prof. Frederik Zimmer, Oslo University, Norway.
Mr. Dinesh Kanabar, Deputy CEO and Chairman Tax, KPMG, India and chairman of the session “EMERGING ISSUES IN
INDIAN INTERNATIONAL TAXATION” on day 2 in his opening remarks mentioned that a number of things (some, not so
pleasant) have put India on the international tax map. The key developments in India which have caught the world’s
attention are the sheer number of retrospective amendments, some trying to overrule Indian Supreme Court [SC]
decisions, introduction of General Anti-Avoidance Rules [“GAAR”], recent advance rulings which have had the effect of
unsettling some of the already settled tax principles and the fact that India is home to 70% of transfer pricing litigation
across the world. All these are making the already hostile Indian tax environment worse, and there does not seem to be
an end to litigation.
Dr. Parthasarathi Shome, Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER, New Delhi while highlighting the Indian Tax Policy and
Administration, mentioned that the modern tax principles are anchored on four pillars: effects and efficiency of
productive resource allocation; equity across taxpayers; economic stabilization during business cycles, and revenue