Treaty Benefits Denied for Capital Gains Where Shareholder Not “Real” Owner of Shares

This case note reviews the ruling issued by the Authority for Advance Rulings to AB Mauritius, which stated that, because AB Mauritius held shares in an Indian company in name only, the gain derived on an intra-group transfer of the shares did not escape tax in India under article 13(4) of the India-Mauritius income tax treaty. Instead, the Authority determined, on the basis of the share purchase agreement and board meeting minutes, that, in reality, the shares in the Indian company were owned by AB Mauritius’s United States owners and the gain on the transfer of the shares was taxable in India in accordance with the India-United States tax treaty.