Must Know Facts About Minimum Alternate Tax For IAS Asprent
Post on 11,September 2016   2:00 AM
By - PolyEyes Staff
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What is MAT: MAT is the tax levied under IT Act 1961 that targets companies that show profits on their books i.e. Book Profit and declare dividends but do not pay any Tax/ pay minimal tax.

It Is basically an Indirect Tax introduced in 1996.

115JB of IT Act provides for the companies to simultaneously compute normal Tax and that under 115JB and makes them to pay the Higher of the two.

It makes companies pay an Alternative Amount of Tax in place of Zero Tax (as filed by many companies) and thus becomes DIRECT Tax.

It is same as Alternate Minimum Tax (AMT) for assesses other than companies, @18.5% on Book Profit.

MAT tax payers are eligible for Tax Credits. It can be carried forward for next 10 years and can be set-off against future tax liabilities.

History: It was introduced as Minimum Corporate Tax by Rajiv Gandhi Govt in 1987 but allowed with many deductions and exemptions to lower net Tax demands.

FIIs were exempted from MAT under FMs P Chidambaram and Yashwant Sinha leading to objections from IT Dept on account of issuance of notices for past settlements.

REITs and Infrastructure Investment Funds are exempted from MAT on gains/ losses arising out of exchange of shares.

Immediate issue :FIIs contended against MAT demands on the ground that MAT applies only to Indian companies as per provisions of IT Act. Further, it is applied on Book Profits, which FIIs do not maintain.

Government Initiatives: A high - level committee formed under Chairmanship of A P Shah to look into the issue of levy of MAT on FIIs in May 2015.

Consequently, Govt waived the levy of MAT on FIIs and FPIs not having permanent establishment in India and also those covered DTAAs.

Recent Developments: March 2016, Commerce Ministry raised objections on the imposition of Differential rate of MAT (9% instead of 18.5%) for IFSC Special Economic Zone in Gujarat citing the continuous slowdown in export - oriented SEZs across the country since 2012.

The govt. had imposed a MAT @ 18.5% on all SEZs across the country as well as Dividend Distribution Tax on developers of SEZs since FY 2012.


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