India ratifies multilateral convention to curb abuse of tax treaties

The union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the ratification of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI).

The Convention will modify India's treaties in order 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 and where value is created, a finance ministry release stated.
India signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting in Pris, on 7 June 2017, when Arun Jaitley was the finance minister.
The Multilateral Convention is an outcome of the OECD / G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the `BEPS Project’), - a tax planning strategy 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 tax being paid. The BEPS Project identified 15 actions to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) in a comprehensive manner.
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 finalisation of the text of the Multilateral Convention, starting May 2015. The text of the Convention and the accompanying Explanatory Statement was adopted by the Ad hoc Group on 24 November 2016.
The Convention enables all signatories, inter alia, to meet treaty-related minimum standards that were agreed as part of the Final BEPS package, including the minimum standard for the prevention of treaty abuse under Action 6.
The Convention will operate to modify tax treaties between two or more Parties to the Convention. It will not function in the same way as an amending protocol to a single existing treaty, which would directly amend the text of the Covered Tax Agreement. Instead, it will be applied alongside existing tax treaties, modifying their application in order to implement the BEPS measures.
The Convention will modify India's treaties in order 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 and where value is created.