Part II: Course Aim India has a comprehensive tax structure. The power to levy taxes and duties is distributed among the three tiers of Government, in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Constitution. There is a broad classification of taxes done under the categories of direct and indirect taxation. The Central government, the state governments and the local bodies levy and collect different types of taxes in accordance with the provisions of the relevant legislation. It is to be noted that any of these legislations shall not be in violation of the provisions of the Constitution. The taxes levied shall not be arbitrary or without legislation. The efficient collection of both, the income based and the consumption based taxes, contribute towards the development of the nation and also in meeting the costs of governance.
The tax system in India has under gone a radical change in line with the liberalization of policies since 1991. Some of the changes include:- rationalization of tax structure reduction in corporate tax rate; alignment of customs duty in accordance with bilateral treaties; introduction of value added tax and widening of the tax base. It would be apt to say that tax laws form an integral part of the fiscal and trade policies of the nation.
Even though several tax laws have been simplified to ensure better compliance, they still represent a complex system of legislations for the layman. The Indian courts have played a pivotal and incessant role in curtailing arbitrary taxation by the authorities and have laid down several guidelines for the effective implementation and valid interpretation of the tax laws. Contrary to the popular notion of it being a vast and arid subject, the study of tax laws is quite intriguing. It is highly utile for students of law as it elevates their general awareness of taxation principles from personal as well as practice perspective.
This course –
provides students with the knowledge of the basic principles of taxation, for both direct and indirect taxes, in India
develops comprehension and application of these principles as they have been interpreted by the Indian courts
develops an awareness of the concurrent issues in the domain of taxation laws through periodic case studies of the relevant domestic and international judicial pronouncements
introduces students to the co-relation between domestic taxation laws, fiscal policies and international trade
introduces students to basic practical skills required to conduct research in the domain of taxation of corporations and commodities
Course Intended learning outcomes
Course objective By the end of the course students
should be able to:
Teaching and Learning Activities
Analytically and critically describe and explain the substantive principles of direct and indirect taxation pertaining to the topics to be covered in the syllabus.
Analyse and critically evaluate:
issues and concerns in the fields of direct and indirect taxation
the operation of the principles of corporate taxation and taxation of commodities
the practical implications of the taxation principles on international trade and commerce
the practical implications of the taxation principles and their social contexts.
Apply the principles of corporate taxation to solve legal problems by:
researching issues of corporate taxation
analysing and innovating to resolve problems concerning issues of corporate taxation.
Reading of relevant cases and other material and research.
Students will acquire knowledge of the scheme of direct and indirect taxation pertaining to the topics to be covered in the syllabus.
Students will be encouraged to participate in class discussion to develop their analytical and critical skills.
Students will be given guidance
on their reading and research for their lectures and tutorials.
Students will, by responding to questions and performing exercises, develop their analytical and critical capabilities to discuss important issues of taxation on corporations and commodities.
Students will be introduced to issues and concerns and aspects of the operation of the principles of direct and indirect taxation.
Preparation for tutorials Students will research on the issues of direct and indirect taxes, corporate taxation and international taxation.
Tutorials Students will give presentations on selected topics in which they will scrutinise, analyse and evaluate issues and concerns in the topics related to taxation of corporations and commodities, domestic and international.
Students will be shown how legal problems are solved applying principles of corporate and international taxation.
End-of-course closed book, timed examination
(50% of marks)
Tutorials (25% of marks for attendance, presentation and participation)
Assignment/s(25% of marks for case reviews/case studies, etc.)
Students’ ability to describe and explain the main substantive rules of direct and indirect taxation on topics covered in the syllabus will be tested on all three assessment parameters.
End-of-course examination +Tutorials +Assignments
Students’ ability to analyse and critically evaluate will be tested by all three assessment tasks/activities to determine their ability to apply the legal principles to a given factual situation.
Students’ ability to apply the principles of law to given situations and resolve problems will be examined.
Students will be required to make presentations on problems and questions allotted to them and all students will be required to participate and contribute to tutorial discussions whether they are making a presentation research, analyse and resolve problems, and communicate solutions orally will be tested.
Students’ ability to research, analyse and resolve problems, and communicate solutions in writing will be tested.
GRADING OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT To pass this course, students must obtain a minimum of 50% in each of the coursework and the examination elements of the assessment. Coursework for this purpose means those ways in which students are assessed otherwise than by the end of session examination. End of semester exam will be in the form of a traditional 3 hours written exam. 5% of the total marks (100) will be awarded for attendance, subject to University policies.
Total Course Marks
(50 for exam, 25 for assignments & 25 for tutorials)
Grade Definitions and Explanation
70 and above
Outstanding: Sound knowledge of the subject matter, excellent organizational capacity, ability to synthesize ideas, rules and principles, critically analyse existing materials and originality in thinking and presentation.
65 to 69.75
Excellent: Sound knowledge of the subject matter, thorough understanding of issues; ability to synthesize ideas, rules and principles and critical and analytical ability.
60 to 64.75
Good: Good understanding of the subject matter, ability to identify issues and provide balanced solutions to problems and good critical and analytical skills.
55 to 59.75
Adequate: Adequate knowledge of the subject matter to go to the next level of study.
50 to 54.75
Marginal: Limited knowledge of the subject matter and irrelevant use of materials and, poor critical and analytical skills.
Failure: Poor comprehension of the subject matter; poor critical and analytical skills and marginal use of the relevant materials. Will require repeating the course.
Tutorials To encourage participation, students would be expected to contribute in deciding the content, format, and methodology of tutorial classes. Decided thus, tutorial exercises will be distributed from time to time.
Student Participation Students are required to prepare for lectures and tutorials and to participate in them. Their participation will be assessed and graded.
Cases and other Reading Material Corporate Tax Planning and Business Tax Procedures, 2013 Ed, Taxmann by Dr. Vinod Kr. Singhania and Dr. Monica shall be used as the main text book for this coursework. Communication regarding relevant chapters/reading material and specific cases to be studied for each week’s lecture will be sent to students in advance.
Plagiarism Any idea, sentence or paragraph that the students cull out from the internet must be credited with the original source. Paraphrasing or directly quoting from a web source in the exam, presentation or essays, would require disclosure of the source. The university has strict rules with consequences for students involved in plagiarism.
This is an issue of academic integrity on which no compromise shall be made.
Part III KEYWORD SYLLABUS Direct and Indirect taxation, Taxable entities, Tax planning, Avoidance and Evasion, Types of companies for tax purposes; Tax incidence, Tax planning in respect to new businesses, Tax planning in respect to nonresident, Restructuring of business, Amalgamation, Demerger, Double taxation avoidance agreements, Transfer pricing, Authority for Advanced Ruling
Part IV DETAILED SYLLABUS Introduction to General Principles of taxation- tax planning- avoidance- evasion Key features of direct and indirect taxes, canons of taxation Constitutional provisions with respect to taxation laws Corporate taxation in India- Concept of company- Indian company- Foreign Company- Industrial Company- Investment Company- Widely held company- closely held company Key concepts of the Income Tax and Wealth Tax Residential Status and tax incidence- incidence of tax
Concepts of Previous Year and Assessment Year, Assessment Procedure
Concept of Residential status
Tax planning with reference to new business- nature and form of new business- tax planning with reference to financial management decisions- tax planning with reference to managerial decisions
Restructuring Business and Amalgamation- Merger- Conversion of Sole Proprietary Business or Firm into Company- Slump Sale- Transfer of Assets between Holding and Subsidiary Companies- Conversion of Company into Limited Liability Company/ Partnership
Tax Planning in Respect of Non Resident International Taxation- Double Taxation Agreements- Transfer Pricing- Advance Ruling for Non Resident
Taxation on Commodities (Indirect Taxation) Objects and structure of the Service Tax, Principles and Concepts, Legal Issues and recent developments
Objects and structure of the Customs Act, Principles and concepts of the Customs Act, Legal Issues and adjudication mechanism
Objects and structure of Central Excise, Principles and concepts, Legal Issues and computation methods
Objects and structure of VAT, Principles and concepts, Legal Issues and computation methods
The advent of GST in India
Part V READINGS The lecture handouts or any other relevant literature will be circulated a week in advance. They will have a significant role as they would be a customized source of pertinent information on the upcoming topics. Students are advised to keep a regular record of them.
Essential Reading- Dr. Vinod K. Singhania and Dr. Monica Singhania, Corporate Tax Planning and Business TaxProcedures, Taxmann Publications, 17thEdition, 2013
Supplementary Readings- Dr. Vinod K. Singhania and Dr. Monica Singhania, Students Guide to Indirect Tax Laws,Taxmann Publications, 49thEdition, 2013
Roy Rohatgi, Basic International Taxation (Vol. I and II), Taxmann Publications, 2nd Edition
Scholarly Articles- Infanti, Anthony C., Tax as Urban Legend (January 24, 2011). Harvard Blackletter Law Journal, Vol. 24, 2008; University of Pittsburgh School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007-13. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1069182
Martin, Isaac William and Mehrotra, Ajay K. and Prasad, Monica, The Thunder of History: The Origins and Development of the New Fiscal Sociology. THE NEW FISCAL SOCIOLOGY: TAXATION IN COMPARATIVE AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE, Isaac William Martin, Ajay K. Mehrotra, Monica Prasad, eds., New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009; Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 147. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1461204
Mankiw, N. Gregory and Weinzierl, Matthew and Yagan, Danny, Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice (June 11, 2009). Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Working Paper No. 09-140. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1418043 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1418043
Thomas Sowell, “Trickle Down” Theory and “Tax Cuts for the Rich”, http://www.tsowell.com/images/Hoover%20Proof.pdf
Malloy, Robin Paul, Adam Smith in the Courts of the United States (May 1, 2010). Loyola Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 3, p. 33, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1660574
Bandyopadhyay, Sankha Nath, The Problem with Tax: Planning, Avoidance or Evasion? (July 8, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2102282 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2102282
Slemrod, Joel B. and Yitzhaki, Shlomo, Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration (January 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7473. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=213192
Infanti, Anthony C. and Crawford, Bridget J., Critical Tax Theory: An Introduction (January 1, 2009). CRITICAL TAX THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION, Cambridge University Press, 2009; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-04. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1333799
Vann, Richard J., 'Liable to Tax' and Company Residence under Tax Treaties (November 23, 2010). RESIDENCE OF COMPANIES UNDER TAX TREATIES AND EC LAW, EC AND INTERNATIONAL TAX LAW SERIES, Vol. 5, pp. 197-271, G. Maisto, ed., IBFD: The Netherlands, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/131. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1714131
Shaviro, Daniel, The Forgotten Henry Simons (November 27, 2012). NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-39, read pp. 30-47. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2181719
Cockfield, Arthur J., Introduction: The Last Battleground of Globalization (August 23, 2010). GLOBALIZATION AND ITS TAX DISCONTENTS: TAX POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENTS, Arthur J. Cockfield, ed., pp. 3-17, University of Toronto Press, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1663974
Nguyen, Xuan-Thao and Maine, Jeffrey A., The History of Intellectual Property Taxation: Promoting Innovation and Other Intellectual Property Goals? (July 12, 2011). Southern Methodist University Law Review, Vol. 64, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1884361
Gupta, Sayantan, Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions: Addressing the Taxation Issues from an Indian Perspective (December 4, 2008). Corporate Professionals Today, CPT, Vol. 13. No. 6, p. 525, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1311102
Goutam, Swapneshwar, Concept of Slump Sale & Taxation Issues in India (November 28, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1716182 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1716182
Chaturvedi, Nishant and Sharma, Priyesh and Makkar, Karandeep, Applicability of Minimum Alternate Tax in India (February 11, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1759907
Raju, Dr. K. D., Intellectual Property Taxation in India: Need for a Comprehensive Policy and Law (July 21, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1166546 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1166546
Thacker, Sunil, A Study of the Indian Tax System - Part I and II (October 17, 2008). Tax Notes International, Vol. 52, No. 2, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1286009
Jha, Raghbendra, Indirect Tax Reform and Fiscal Federalism in India (July 18, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2295255 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2295255
Anand, Manoj, Doctrine of Unjust Enrichment and Refunds Under Central Excise Law. The Management Accountant, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 147-149, February 1995. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=629243
Dahal, Rajib, Basic Concepts and Features of Goods and Service Tax in India (May 25, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1615472 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1615472
Singh, Nirvikar and Srinivasan, T. N., Federalism and Economic Development in India: An Assessment (November 6, 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=950309 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.950309
Jain, Tarun, Investments Through DTAA Route in India and Strategic Tax Planning (July 20, 2011). Institute of Business Laws Newsletter, No. 2, August 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1918286
VanderWolk, Jefferson P., The New World of Tax Information Exchange (February 18, 2010). Asia-Pacific Journal of Taxation, Vol. 13, No. 2, Autumn/Winter 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1582452
Göx, Robert F. and Schiller, Ulf, An Economic Perspective on Transfer Pricing (February 1, 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=885480 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.885480
Dean, Molly and Feucht, Frederick J. and Smith, Murphy, International Transfer Pricing Issues and Strategies for the Global Firm. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1123706
Baistrocchi, Eduardo A., The Use and Interpretation of Tax Treaties in the Emerging World: Theory and Implications (September 24, 2008). British Tax Review, No. 4, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1273089
Statutory References- Indian Companies Act, 1956
Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008
Income Tax Act, 1961
Wealth Tax Act, 1957
Central Excise Act, 1944
Customs Act, 1962
Part VI LECTURE PROGRAMME The following lecture schedule is tentative and may be revised by the instructor(s).
Week 1 Introduction to General Principles of taxation- Ideologies- Fiscal policy
Introduction to Fundamental principles of taxation (Concept of Income based taxes and consumption based taxes, purpose and goals of a tax system)
Tax Ideology (Ideologies in Direct/Indirect taxes; Ideology of ability, Ideology of Barriers and Deterrents, Ideology of Equity)
Levy of Tax(Regulatory, Compensatory), Tax Neutrality (Taxes causing excess burden, Progressive and Proportional tax, Tax neutrality in the light of equity)
Introduction to Fiscal Policy Design in India
Union-State Financial Relation
Limitations of Taxation Policy
Week 2 Canons and Sources of Tax Laws, Constitutional Provisions related to Indian Taxation system
Canons of Taxation: Main basic principles set to build a good tax system. A brief introduction to the canons proposed by Adam Smith such as Canon of Ability , Canon of Certainty , Canon of Convenience, etc.
Sources of Tax Laws
Constitutional Provisions with respect to Taxation Laws
Art. 265, No taxation without legislation, (Read Ghulam Hussain v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1963 SC 379 & Mehra Harish Vansh Lal vs State of Maharashtra 1971 (2) SCC 54)
Article 265, Right to refund, (Read Mafatlal Industries Ltd. and Ors. Vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (1997) 5 SCC 536)
Art 246, Art 248, Scheme of distribution of legislative powers between the Centre and State
Art. 301, 304, Freedom of Trade Commerce and Intercourse, restrictions, legality of entry tax, (Read Jindal Stainless Ltd. & Anr vs State Of Haryana & Ors,  145 STC 544)
Art. 280 (Establishment of the Finance Commission of India, Qualifications of members, Role and duties of the Commission)
Week 3 Direct Taxes: Introduction to Income Tax The Central Government has been empowered by Entry 82 of the Union List of Schedule VII of the Constitution of India to levy tax on all income other than agricultural income (subject to Section 10(1)). The Income Tax Law comprises of the Income Tax Act 1961, Income Tax Rules 1962, Notifications and Circulars issued by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Annual Finance Acts and Judicial pronouncements by Supreme Court and High Courts.
Key concepts and principles of the Income Tax, Tax base and Concept of Income, case laws:
(C. I. T. v. Shaw Wallace, 59 I.A. 206), (Emil Webber v. C. I. T., 200 ITR 483 (SC))
(Minister of Finance v. Smith, 1927 A.C. 193)
(Godhra Electric Company v. C. I. T., (1997) 4 SCC 530) (Poona Electric Supply v. C. I. T., 57 ITR 521)
Key concepts and principles of Wealth Tax Act, 1957
Week 5 Corporate Tax in India Company whether Indian or foreign is liable to taxation, under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Corporation tax is a tax which is levied on the incomes of registered companies and corporations.
Concept of a company [Sec 2(17)]
Indian Company[Sec. 2(26)]
Domestic Company Foreign Company, Industrial Company
Company in which Public are substantially interested[Sec. 2(18)]
Widely held Company
Closely held Company
Residential status and Tax Incidence [Sec. 6(3)] and [Sec. 5]
Week 6 and 7 Capital Gains Taxation
Concept of Capital Gains and Loss on Capital
Capital and Revenue receipts
Long Term Capital Gains
Short Term Capital Gains
Exemptions under Section 54
Week 8 Tax Planning/Avoidance/Evasion- Concept in Brief, Tax Planning in Respect of Non Resident
Income taxable in the hands of Non-resident in India
Income deemed to accrue or arise in India [Sec. 9]
Case study of Vodafone International Holdings B.V. v. Union of India & Anr., (2012) 6 SCC 613, in the light of sections 5(2), 9(1) and 195 of the Income Tax act, 1961. (Taxation of capital gains under Section 9 (1) (i) for an overseas sale related to Indian assets)
Week 9 Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements Double taxation is the levying of tax by two or more jurisdictions on the same declared income (in the case of income taxes), asset (in the case of capital taxes), or financial transaction (in the case of sales taxes). This double liability is often mitigated by tax treaties between countries. In India, the provisions related to DTAA are laid in Sec. 90, 90A and 91 of the Income Tax Act, 1961
Legal status of DTAA
Broad Features of DTAA
UN and OECD Model Conventions
Methods for elimination of Double Taxation
Non –Discrimination Provision
Misuse of DTAA
Week 10 Transfer Pricing: Key concepts Increasing participation of multi-national groups in economic activities in India has given rise to new and complex issues emerging from transactions entered into between two or more enterprises belonging to the same group. Hence, there was a need to introduce a uniform and internationally accepted mechanism of determining reasonable, fair and equitable profits and tax in India in the case of such multinational enterprises. Accordingly, the Finance Act, 2001 introduced law of transfer pricing in India through sections 92A to 92F of the Indian Income tax Act, 1961 which guides computation of the transfer price and suggests detailed documentation procedures.
Concept of International Transaction [Sec. 92 to 92F]
Computation of the Arm’s Length Price (ALP)
Method of computing ALP [Sec. 92C]
Comparability of Transaction
Most appropriate method of ALP computation
Determination of Arm’s Length Price by the Assessing Officer in certain cases [Sec. 92 C(3)]
Maintenance of books of account [Sec. 92 D]
Report from Accountant [Sec. 92 E]
Week 11 Mechanism of Advanced Ruling in India The scheme of advance rulings was introduced by the Finance Act, 1993, Chapter XIX-B of the Income-tax Act, which deals with advance rulings, came into force with effect from 1-6-1993. Under the scheme, the power of giving advance rulings has been entrusted to an independent adjudicatory body. Accordingly, a high level body headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court has been set up. This is empowered to issue rulings, which are binding both on the Income-tax Department and the applicant. The procedure prescribed is simple, inexpensive, expeditious and authoritative.
Authority for Advance Ruling [Sec. 245 –O]
Meaning of Applicant and Advanced Ruling [Sec 245 N (a) and (b)]
Procedure for filing Application
Procedure on receipt of application [Sec. 245 R]
Applicability of Advance ruling [Sec 245S]
Advance Ruling to be void in certain circumstances [Sec. 245 T]
Powers of Authority [Sec. 245 U]
Week 12 Objects and structure of the Service Tax Service Tax was introduced in India through the Finance Act, 1994 (“the FA, 1994”), and continues to be levied under that Act. No separate legislation exists, to this day, dealing with service tax
Taxable Service, Read iMagic Creativev. C. C. T., (2008) 2 SCC 614
Week 13 Objects and structure of the Customs Act Customs duty is a tariff or tax imposed on the import of goods. As in the case of excise, the tax is not imposed on the goods, but on the activity of import. Customs duties are levied under the Customs Act, 1962, read with the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (“CTA”).
Types of Customs Duties
Valuation of Goods [Sec 14, Customs Tariff Act, 1975]
Week 14 Objects and structure of Central Excise Excise is a duty on goods indigenously manufactured. The taxable event for Central Excise is ‘manufacture’. It is an indirect tax because even though it is levied on the manufacturer, the manufacturer passes the burden of taxation on to the consumer of the goods by including the tax in
the price of the goods. Central Excise is levied in India through the Central Excise Act, 1944 (“the CE Act”). Central Excise is levied by the Union under Entry 84 of List I of the Seventh Schedule.
Taxable event, Read Empire Industries v. Union of India, 20 ELT 179
Concept of Manufacture, Read Union of India v. Delhi Cloth and General Mills, 1 ELT 199
Concept of manufacturer
Central Excise Tariff
Valuation of excisable goods
Week 15 Objects and structure of VAT, the advent of GST in India: Introduction, key concepts Value-added Tax is a system of taxation that seeks to avoid the cascading effect of taxation. For instance, excise is imposed on the manufacture of goods, and such goods are used as raw materials in another industry, and excise is imposed again on the finished goods. In the second stage, excise duty is not only being imposed on the goods, but also on the excise duty used in manufacture of raw materials. In a value-added tax system, a manufacturer is given credit for the tax paid on the inputs for her industry, and avoids a tax on tax. To conclude the unit of Indirect taxes, Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be discussed. This is a system of indirect taxes to be implemented in India, the decision on which is pending. It will replace all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the Indian Central and State governments. It is aimed at being comprehensive for most goods and services, thus avoiding multiple layers of taxation that currently exist in India.
Modified Value Added Tax
Varieties of VAT
Methods of computation of VAT (Addition, Subtraction, Tax Credit or Invoice)
Principles of VAT
Advantages of VAT system
Problems in introducing VAT in federal countries like India
The position in other federal countries
Positive and Negative aspects of the present MODVAT scheme