India Demands Cyprus Tax Details

NEW DELHI – India has given Cyprus two months to provide information on certain funds flowing from the island nation before deciding on whether to roll back suspension of tax benefits on investments made from there, according to a top Finance Ministry official.

“We have sought information on some investments made from Cyprus to India under the double taxation avoidance agreement and given them two months time,” the official said. Depending upon the information provided, the government “will take a decision on suspension of tax pact with Cyprus,” NDTV reported.

India and Cyprus had entered into a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) in 1994. But in November this year, India classified the island nation as a notified jurisdictional area and suspended the tax benefits.

Following the notification, all payments made to Cyprus attracted a 30 percent withholding tax and Indian entities receiving money from there were required to disclose the source of funds.

India took the decision to withdraw tax benefits on grounds that Cyprus was not providing information requested by tax authorities under the taxation treaty.

“Cyprus was not cooperating till we classified them as notified jurisdiction. They came running. Now we have given them the long end of the rope. Let us wait and watch,” the official added.

Recently, Cyprus said that the Indian government has agreed to withdraw a notification that suspended tax benefits for investments from the island nation.

The withdrawal is subject to Cyprus, one of the main sources of foreign direct investment into India, adopting the global convention on exchange of tax information.

The Finance Ministry had classified the island nation as a notified jurisdictional area on grounds that Cyprus was not providing information requested by tax authorities under the taxation treaty.