India has ratified the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI), which was signed by the Finance Minister at Paris on 7th June, 2017 on behalf of India, alongwith representatives of more than 65 countries.
Ratification and Application of the Convention
On 25th June, 2019, India has deposited the Instrument of Ratification to OECD, Paris alongwith its Final Position in terms of Covered Tax Agreements (CTAs), Reservations, Options and Notifications under the MLI, as a result of which MLI will enter into force for India on 01st October, 2019 and its provisions will have effect on India’s DTAAs from FY 2020-21 onwards.
Origin of convention
The Multilateral Convention/MLI is an outcome of the OECD / G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “BEPS Project”) i.e. tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid. India was part of the Ad Hoc Group of more than 100 countries and jurisdictions from G20, OECD, BEPS associates and other interested countries, which worked on an equal footing on the finalization of the text of the Multilateral Convention.
Impact of convention
The MLI will modify India’s tax treaties to curb revenue loss through treaty abuse and base erosion and profit shifting strategies by ensuring that profits are taxed where substantive economic activities generating the profits are carried out. The MLI will be applied alongside existing tax treaties, modifying their application in order to implement the BEPS measures. Out of 93 CTAs notified by India, 22 countries have already ratified the MLI as on date and the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with these countries will be modified by MLI. For the remaining CTAs, effect of MLI will take place as and when these countries ratify the MLI.