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Investment In Gold Now Not A Safe Investment

The end of 2013 has consistently shown southward trend in gold prices. A further steep fall cannot be ruled out. A correction had already begun at the fag end of 2012, but prices really crashed in 2013, triggered by fears that the US Federal Reserve would scale down and do away with the economic stimulus.

However, Indian investors in gold were cushioned against the crash due to the fall in the rupee. As the dollar became costlier, gold continued to fetch a higher price in India. Besides, the government introduced certain measures that pushed up the domestic price of the metal. Import duty on gold was hiked from 2% to 10%, increasing the landed cost of gold. Quantitative restrictions were also imposed on gold imports, such as the RBI's 20:80 scheme, which mandates that 20% of imports need to be re-exported. As a result of these measures, domestic prices of gold have receded by only 3.5%, compared to the 28% drop in global gold prices during 2013. 

This gap in the price of gold has created an opportunity for 'legal smuggling' of the metal. NRIs returning to India after spending more than six months abroad are allowed to carry up to 1 kg of gold. Jewellers are using NRIs as carriers, even offering to pay for their air fare if they bring in gold for them. Even if they pay the import duty of 10% on bars and coins or 15% on jewellery, the arrangement works out to be profitable. The wide difference in the domestic and international prices of gold have led to another anamoly in the capital market. The market price of gold ETFs, which is based on the domestic price of the metal, is far higher than their NAVs, which is based on the landed cost of gold. The difference is as high as 10%.

Since gold has rallied for more than a decade now, most investors had begun to believe that gold prices can only go up. However, the crash in gold prices has shattered this myth, at least for the global investors. This explains why they are now dumping gold. The gold holdings in SPDR Gold Shares, the largest gold ETF in the world, have came down from 1,351 tonne at the end of 2012 to just 814 tonne now, a fall of around 40%. 

The pain is far from over. International gold prices may continue to correct in 2014. Domestic gold prices have been cushioned from the global crash but this could change in the New Year as the government rolls back some of the harsh measures introduced in 2013. A reduction in the import duty and other restrictions can bring down the domestic gold prices. Investors will have to monitor global developments and government policy measures more closely in 2014.

Financial advisers have long advocated the benefits of buying paper gold. This conventional wisdom has been turned on its head by the differential in the market price of gold ETFs and their NAVs. It's better to stay away than get caught on the wrong foot. Getting gold from abroad for a jeweller may seem a great way to earn easy money, but there are several glitches in this arrangement. The tax department may want to know where you got the money to buy the gold. Since this involves profit, you would also have to pay tax on the gains. However, it makes sense for NRIs to bring in small quantities of gold jewellery for their own use or as gifts for relatives.

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Slow Growth Derails Government’s Fiscal Calculations


December 25th, 2013- The sluggish Indian economy has not only taken a toll on tax collections but also created a mathematical problem for the Finance Minister as he looks to stay within the fiscal deficit target.

In his last budget, FM had pegged the fiscal deficit at Rs 5.42 lakh crore, or 4.8% of gross domestic product, and said that this is a "red line" that will not be breached. That deficit number assumes nominal GDP of Rs 113.7 lakh crore in 2013-14, a rise of 13.4% from Rs 100.3 lakh crore last year, something that looks too optimistic given the half-year numbers.

If the economy grows at the same rate as in the first half, other things being equal, FM will have to cut spending by an extra Rs 11,000 crore just to neutralise the slower pace of economic expansion.

Nominal GDP growth, which refers to national income at current prices as derived from market prices, was 10.6% in the first half of the year, according to data released by India's statistics office recently. If the country is to grow at the budgeted rate of 13.4% for the entire year, then second-half nominal growth would need to accelerate dramatically to nearly 16%, which looks difficult as of now. Meanwhile, the governments own fiscal consolidation effort will take a big chunk out of the economy as government  cuts spending to stay within the budgeted fiscal deficit.

In the second quarter, the community, social and personal services segment, which is largely government spending, rose only 12.4% in terms of current prices.

FM was able to bring the fiscal deficit under control last year after it threatened to slip. He slashed nearly Rs 82,000 crore from total government spending to deliver a fiscal deficit of 4.9% of GDP against a budgeted 5.1%, after at one point looking like it would to rise to 6%. But as a consequence, nominal GDP growth in the last financial year remained at 11.7% against the 14% budget estimate.

A similar expenditure control now could again effect national GDP to less than the budgeted 13.4%, which in turn will increase the spending cuts needed to achieve the fiscal deficit target of 4.8%. Instead of a fiscal deficit of Rs 5.42 lakh crore, the absolute amount would need to be closer to Rs 5.31 lakh crore under the new calculations. 

In a report released Crisil said it expects government to end the year with a fiscal deficit of 5.2% of GDP. Most other Private forecasts are also in the same range.



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HK Passes Trust Law And Exchange Of Information Reforms


February 13th, 2013 The Trust Law (Amendment) Bill 2013, gazetted on February 8, is aimed at modernizing trust law in Hong Kong by enhancing trustees' default powers while providing for appropriate checks and balances, thereby making trusts administration more effective.Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury, Prof KC Chan, said Hong Kong must modernize its trust laws to enhance its status as an international asset-management center. "The bill, if passed, will bolster the competitiveness of Hong Kong's trust services industry and attract settlors to set up trusts in Hong Kong," he said.At the end of 2011, Hong Kong’s trust industry held assets of an estimated HKD2.6 trillion (USD335bn), and more than 60% of the city’s asset management business originated from funds from non-Hong Kong investors.
Hong Kong trust law is based mainly on common law, supplemented by the Trustee Ordinance and the Perpetuities & Accumulations Ordinance, which have not been substantially reviewed or modified since they were enacted in 1934 and 1970. Some of their provisions are outdated and cannot meet present-day trusts' needs.Following a review of the Trustee Ordinance and the Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance, and in response to the various modernization proposals put forward by the trust industry and recent trust law reform in the United Kingdom and Singapore, the Government conducted public consultations in 2009 and 2012, respectively, on the reform proposals.The reform package seeks to clarify trustees' duties and powers and better protect beneficiaries' interests. The major proposals would therefore introduce a statutory duty of care on trustees; provide trustees with general powers to appoint agents, nominees and custodians, as well as to insure trust property against risks of loss; allow professional trustees to receive remuneration; provide for a court-free process for the retirement of trustees on beneficiaries' directions; and impose statutory control on exemption clauses that seek to relieve professional trustees from liabilities.
In addition, the bill would also allow settlors to reserve to themselves some limited power; abolish outdated rules against perpetuities and excessive accumulations of income; and relax the market capitalization and dividend requirements for investment in the equity market.Respondents were generally in support of the legislative proposals, considering that the reformed regime would provide a more robust legal framework facilitating the effective operation of present-day trusts, which is important for enhancing Hong Kong's status as an international asset management center.The Government has taken into account feedback from the industry and other stakeholders when drawing up the legislative proposals. The bill will be presented to the Legislative Council for first reading on February 20, 2013.

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Singapore Strengthens International Cooperation Framework


The Ministry of Finance, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore jointly issued a press release on 14 May 2013 on the strengthening of its framework for international cooperation to combat cross-border tax offence .This follows a comprehensive review of the current Exchange of Information (EOI) framework, and represents a further step to enhance cooperation following the changes made in 2009, when Singapore endorsed the internationally agreed Standard for EOI for tax purposes, and since amended the laws to implement the Standard and started renegotiating tax agreements to incorporate the Standard.The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes recently affirmed that Singapore’s practice of EOI has been in line with the Standard.

Singapore will take four key steps that will further strengthen its EOI framework:-
Extend EOI assistance in accordance with the Standard to all existing tax agreement partners, without having to update each bilateral tax agreement individually. The current approach of updating individual agreements is no longer necessary, as most countries have adopted the Standard and have similar EOI requirements. This extension of EOI assistance will be subject to reciprocity.

Sign the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Based on the current signatories, the Convention will expand Singapore’s network of EOI partners by 11 jurisdictions, including Brazil and the United States taken together, these two changes will more than double the number of jurisdictions – from 41 to 83 – with which Singapore will be able to exchange information under the Standard.

 Allow IRAS to obtain bank and trust information from financial institutions without having to seek a court order, and without undermining the basic safeguards for taxpayers. IRAS will continue to assess whether the requests are in line with the Standard, and taxpayers will continue to have the right of appeal.

 Conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with the United States that will facilitate financial institutions in Singapore to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires all financial institutions outside of the US to pass information about financial accounts held by US persons to the US Inland Revenue Service on a regular basis.

The IGA will be in the form of Model 1, under which information is exchanged between Singapore and US agencies. The legislative amendments necessary to effect the above changes will be made before the end of 2013.It was also reiterated that Singapore is fully committed to working with international partners to combat cross-border tax offenses, including assistance in connection with the recent disclosure that the tax authorities of Australia, UK and US are investigating complex offshore structures that may be involved in wrong doing .

It was noted that, from 1 July 2013, Singapore will criminalize the laundering of proceeds from serious tax offences.

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Malta Introduces  Global Residence Programme




In the wake of the recent announcement of property prices increasing in Malta by 4% , the Government launched the much awaited Global Residence Programme that will replace the HNWI Schemes. The new programmes have been created to incentivize those individuals outside the European Union and outside the European Economic Area who want to invest in Malta.The Government intends to introduce the relative subsidiary legislation by no later than the end of June 2013. This new Malta residence programme will also be incentivising those who seek to invest in the South of Malta and in Gozo.The new programme effectively reduces the thresholds that were imposed in the previous HNWI schemes. Now, one may buy a property a property for EUR 275, 000 compared to the EUR 400, 000 or rent a property for EUR 9, 600 compared to the previous EUR 20, 000. The bond of EUR 500, 000 has been completely removed and the minimum tax threshold has been reduced to EUR 15, 000.

The Global Residence Programme will provide a strong boost to various economic sectors leading to Economic Growth. It will be revitalizing the property sector by increase property purchase in Malta, especially that of a certain value. Allowing the country to get more money in taxes. Increasing work, even to professionals in this sector such as lawyers and tax consultants. It will also help the Financial Services industry, the leisure, construction and hospitality industry.As an initiative to the South of Malta and Gozo, the fee being applied will be reduced as well. This position taken by the Government reflects the fact that prices of property in the South of Malta and in Gozo are lower. It is also intended to boost these areas and create the Economic Growth needed to move forward.The Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth said that this programme is a direct result of effective consultation, where those involved forwarded their suggestions and ideas to set up this programme to increase our country’s competitiveness.

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European Union Plans To Remove Banking Secrecy For Tax Evasion Crackdown


May 23rd, 2013 European Union leaders have agreed to crack down on tax evasion more effectively by abolishing their banking secrecy and by improving the exchange of information on account holders among themselves and with non-EU countries.The heads of State and Government of the 27-nation EU, at a one-day summit in Brussels yesterday, decided to curb corporate tax avoidance by plugging the legal loopholes, which made it easier for multinational companies to evade taxes legally and to narrow down the sharp differences in the corporate tax levels among the member nations.The breakthrough after several years of negotiations on a common strategy in the fight against tax evasion and avoidance came after Austria and Luxembourg, two remaining tax havens in the EU, gave up their stiff opposition to an automatic exchange of bank data.However, they made it clear that their nod for a final deal, expected by the end of this year, would depend on the outcome of negotiations with countries such as Switzerland and Lichtenstein on their participation.They also agreed to complete as soon as possible negotiations with five non-EU nations, including Switzerland, on their participation, he said in a statement. The EU is estimated to lose around 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) annually through tax evasion and avoidance.

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DTAA Between India & Latvia
(*Also see legal updates at the end of this article)


DOUBLE TAXATION AVOIDANCE AGREEMENT WITH LATVIA
(Notification No.12/2014 [ F.NO.503/02/1997-FTD-I ], DATED 5-3-2014)

Whereas, an Agreement was entered into between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Latvia for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income which was signed at New Delhi on the 18th day of September, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the said Agreement);

2. And whereas, the date of entry into force of the said Agreement is the 28th day of December, 2013, being the date of later of the notifications of the completion of the procedures required by the respective laws for entry into force of the said Agreement, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 30 of the said Agreement;

3. And whereas, sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph 3 of Article 30 of the said Agreement provides that the provisions of the said Agreement shall have effect in India in respect of income derived in any fiscal year beginning on or after the first day of April next following the calendar year in which the said Agreement enters into force;

4. Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 90 of the Income- tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), the Central Government hereby notifies that all the provisions of said Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Latvia for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, as set out in the Annexure hereto, shall be given effect to in the Union of India with effect from the lst day of April, 2014.

ANNEXURE

The Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Latvia, desiring to conclude an Agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and with a view to promoting economic cooperation between the two countries, have agreed as follows:


ARTICLE 1 : PERSONS COVERED

This Agreement shall apply to persons who are residents of one or both of the Contracting States.

ARTICLE 2 : TAXES COVERED

1. This Agreement shall apply to taxes on income imposed on behalf of a Contracting State or of its political subdivisions or local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.

2. There shall be regarded as taxes on income all taxes imposed on total income, or on elements of income, including taxes on gains from the alienation of movable or immovable property.

3. The existing taxes to which the Agreement shall apply are in particular:

(a) in India, the income-tax, including any surcharge thereon; (hereinafter referred to as  "Indian tax");
(b) in Latvia:
(i) the enterprise income-tax (uznemumu ienakuma nodoklis);
(ii) the personal income-tax (iedzivotaju ienakuma nodoklis); (hereinafter referred to as "Latvian tax").

4. The Agreement shall apply also to any identical or substantially similar taxes that are imposed after the date of signature of the Agreement in addition to, or in place of, the existing taxes. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall notify each other of any significant changes that have been made in their respective taxation laws.

ARTICLE 3 : GENERAL DEFINITIONS

1. For the purposes of this Agreement, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) the term "India" means the territory of India and includes the territorial sea and airspace above it, as well as any other maritime zone in which India has sovereign rights, other rights and jurisdiction, according to the Indian law and in accordance with international law, including U.N. Convention on the Law of  the Sea;

(b) the term "Latvia" means the Republic of Latvia and, when used in the geographical sense, means the territory of the Republic of Latvia and any other area adjacent to the territorial waters of the Republic of Latvia within which under the laws of Latvia and in accordance with international law, the rights of Latvia may be exercised with respect to the sea bed and its sub-soil and their natural resources;


(c) the terms "a Contracting State" and "the other Contracting State" mean the Republic of India or the Republic of Latvia, as the context requires;

(d) the term "person" includes an individual, a company, a body of persons and any other entity which is treated as a taxable unit under the taxation laws in force in the respective Contracting State;

(e) the term "company" means any body corporate or any entity that is treated as a body corporate for tax purposes;

(f) the terms "enterprise of a Contracting State" and "enterprise of the other Contracting State" mean respectively an enterprise carried on by a resident of a Contracting State and an enterprise carried on by a resident of the other Contracting State;

(g) the term "international traffic" means any transport by a ship or aircraft operated by an enterprise of a Contracting State, except when the ship or aircraft is operated solely between places in the other Contracting State;

(h) the term "competent authority" means:

(i) in India, the Finance Minister, Government of India, or his authorised representative;

(ii) in Latvia, the Ministry of Finance or its authorised representative;

(i)  the term "national" means:

(i)  any individual possessing the nationality of a Contracting State;

(ii) any legal person, partnership or association deriving its status as such from the laws in force in a Contracting State;

(j) the term "tax" means Indian or Latvian tax, as the context requires, but shall not include any amount which is payable in respect of any default or omission in relation to the taxes to which this Agreement applies or which represents a penalty or fine imposed relating to those taxes;

(k) The term "fiscal year" means:

(i) in India, the financial year beginning on the first day of April;

(ii) in Latvia, the taxation period beginning on or after the first day of January.

2. As regards the application of the Agreement at any time by a Contracting State, any term not defined therein shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the meaning that it has at that time under the law of that State for the purposes of the taxes to which the Agreement applies, any meaning under the applicable tax laws of that State prevailing over a meaning given to the term under other laws of that State.


ARTICLE 4 : RESIDENT

1.  For the purposes of this Agreement, the term "resident of a Contracting State" means any person who, under the laws of that State, is liable to tax therein by reason of his domicile, residence, place of management, place of incorporation or any other criterion of a similar nature, and also includes that State and any political subdivision or local authority thereof. This term, however, does not include any person who is liable to tax in that State in respect only of income from sources in that State or capital situated therein.

2.  Where by reason of the provisions of paragraph 1 an individual is a resident of both Contracting States, then his status shall be determined as follows:

(a) he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the State in which he has a permanent home available to him; if he has a permanent home available to him in both States, he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the State with which his personal and economic relations are closer (centre of vital interests);

(b) if the State in which he has his centre of vital interests cannot be determined, or if he has not a permanent home available to him in either State, he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the State in which he has an habitual abode;

(c) if he has an habitual abode in both States or in neither of them, he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the State of which he is a national;

(d)  if he is a national of both States or of neither of them, the competent authorities of the Contracting States shall endeavour to settle the question by mutual agreement.

3.  Where by reason of the provisions of paragraph 1 a person other than an individual is a resident of both Contracting States, the competent authorities of the Contracting States shall endeavour to settle the question by mutual agreement having regard to the person's place of effective management, the place where it is incorporated and any other relevant factors. In the absence of such agreement, such person shall not be considered to be a resident of either Contracting State for the purposes of enjoying benefits under the Agreement.

ARTICLE 5 : PERMANENT ESTABLISHMENT

1.  For the purposes of this Agreement, the term "permanent establishment" means a fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on.

2. The term "permanent establishment" includes especially:
(a)   a place of management;
(b)   a branch;
(c)   an office;
(d)   a factory;
(e)   a workshop;
(f)   a sales outlet;
(g)  a warehouse in relation to a person providing storage facilities for others;
(h)  a farm, plantation or other place where agricultural, forestry, plantation or related activities are carried on; and
(i)   a mine, an oil or gas well, a quarry or any other place of extraction of natural resources.

3.  The term "permanent establishment" shall also include:
(a) a building site or construction, installation or assembly project, or supervisory activity connected therewith, but only if such site, project or activity lasts more than nine months;

(b)  the furnishing of services, including consultancy services, by an enterprise of a Contracting State through its employees or other personnel engaged by the enterprise for such purpose, but only where such activities continue (for the same or a connected project) in the other Contracting State for a period or periods exceeding in the aggregate six months in any twelve month period;


(c)  activities carried on offshore in a Contracting State in connection with the exploration or exploitation of the sea bed and sub-soil and their natural resources, but only if such activities are carried on for a period or periods exceeding in the aggregate 30 days in any twelve month period.

4. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article, the term "permanent establishment" shall be deemed not to include:

(a) the use of facilities solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise;.

(b)  the maintenance of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery;

(c)  the maintenance of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise solely for the purpose of processing by another enterprise;

(d)  the maintenance of a fixed place of business solely for the purpose of purchasing goods or merchandise or of collecting information, for the enterprise;

(e)  the maintenance of a fixed place of business solely for the purpose of carrying on, for the enterprise, any other activity of a preparatory or auxiliary character;

(f)  the maintenance of a fixed place of business solely for any combination of activities mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) to (e), provided that the overall activity of the fixed place of business resulting from this combination is of a preparatory or auxiliary character.

5. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2, where a person - other than an agent of an independent status to whom paragraph 6 applies - is acting in a Contracting State on behalf of an enterprise of the other Contracting State, that enterprise shall be deemed to have a permanent establishment in the first - mentioned Contracting State in respect of any activities which that person undertakes for the enterprise, if such a person:

(a) has and habitually exercises in that State an authority to conclude contracts in the name of the enterprise, unless the activities of such person are limited to those mentioned in paragraph 4 which, if exercised through a fixed place of business, would not make this fixed place of business a permanent establishment under the provisions of that paragraph; or

(b) has no such authority, but habitually maintains in the first-mentioned State a stock of goods or merchandise from which he regularly delivers goods or merchandise on behalf of the enterprise; or

(c) habitually secures orders in the first-mentioned State, wholly or almost wholly for the enterprise itself.

6. An enterprise shall not be deemed to have a permanent establishment in a Contracting State merely because it carries on business in that State through a broker, general commission agent or any other agent of an independent status, provided that such persons are acting in the ordinary course of their business. However, where the activities of such an agent are devoted wholly or almost wholly on behalf of that enterprise, and where the conditions between the agent and the enterprise differ from those which would be made between independent persons, such agent shall not be considered an agent of an independent status within the meaning of this paragraph. In such case, provisions of paragraph 5 shall apply.

7. The fact that a company which is a resident of a Contracting State controls or is controlled by a company which is a resident of the other Contracting State, or which carries on business in that other State (whether through a permanent establishment or otherwise), shall not of itself constitute either company a permanent establishment of the other.


ARTICLE 6 : INCOME FROM IMMOVABLE PROPERTY

1. Income derived by a resident of a Contracting State from immovable property (including income from agriculture or forestry) situated in the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

2. The term "immovable property" shall have the meaning which it has under the law of the Contracting State in which the property in question is situated. The term shall in any case include rights in connection with immovable property, property accessory to immovable property, livestock and equipment used in agriculture and forestry, rights to which the provisions of general law respecting landed property apply, usufruct of immovable property and rights to variable or fixed payments as consideration for the working of, or the right to work, mineral deposits, sources and other natural resources, rights to assets to be produced by the exploration or exploitation of the sea bed and sub-soil and their natural resources, including rights to interests in or to the benefit of such assets; ships, boats and aircraft shall not be regarded as immovable property.

3. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall apply to income derived from the direct use, letting, or use in any other form of immovable property.

4. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 3 shall also apply to the income from immovable property of an enterprise and to income from immovable property used for the performance of independent personal services.

ARTICLE 7 : BUSINESS PROFITS

1. The profits of an enterprise of a Contracting State shall be taxable only in that State unless the enterprise carries on business in the other Contracting State through a permanent establishment situated therein. If the enterprise carries on business as aforesaid, the profits of the enterprise may be taxed in the other State but only so much of them as is attributable to that permanent establishment.

2.  Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3, where an enterprise of a Contracting State carries on business in the other Contracting State through a permanent establishment situated therein, there shall in each Contracting State be attributed to that permanent establishment the profits which it might be expected to make if it were a distinct and separate enterprise engaged in the same or similar activities under the same or similar conditions and dealing wholly independently with the enterprise of which it is a permanent establishment.

3.  In determining the profits of a permanent establishment, there shall be allowed as deductions expenses which are incurred for the purposes of the permanent establishment, including executive and general administrative expenses so incurred, whether in the State in which the permanent establishment is situated or elsewhere, in accordance with the provisions of and subject to the limitations of the tax laws of that State. However, no such deduction shall be allowed in respect of amounts, if any, paid (otherwise than towards reimbursement of actual expenses) by the permanent establishment to the head office of the enterprise or any of its other offices, by way of royalties, fees or other similar payments in return for the use of patents, know-how or other rights, or by way of commission or other charges for specific services performed or for management, or, except in the case of a banking enterprise, by way of interest on moneys lent to the permanent establishment. Likewise, no account shall be taken, in the determination of the profits of a permanent establishment for amounts charged (otherwise than towards reimbursement of actual expenses), by the permanent establishment to the head office of the enterprise or any of its other offices, by way of royalties, fees or other similar payments in return for the use of patents, know-how or other rights, or by way of commission or other charges for specific services performed or for management, or, except in the case of a banking enterprise, by way of interest on moneys lent to the head office of the enterprise or any of its other offices.

4.  No profits shall be attributed to a permanent establishment by reason of the mere purchase by that permanent establishment of goods or merchandise for the enterprise..

5.  For the purposes of the preceding paragraphs, the profits to be attributed to the permanent establishment shall be determined by the same method year by year unless there is good and sufficient reason to the contrary.

6.   Where profits include items of income which are dealt with separately in other Articles of this Agreement, then the provisions of those Articles shall not be affected by the provisions of this Article.


ARTICLE 8 : SHIPPING AND AIR TRANSPORT

1. Profits derived by an enterprise of a Contracting State from the operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic shall be taxable only in that State.

2.  Profits of an enterprise of a Contracting State described in paragraph 1 from the use, maintenance, or rental of containers (including trailers, barges and related equipment for the transport of containers) used for the transport of goods or merchandise in international traffic shall be taxable only in that State.

3. For the purposes of this Article interest on investments which are made in a Contracting State as integral part of carrying on the business of \operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic shall be regarded as profits derived from the operation of such ships or aircraft, and the provisions of Article 11 shall not apply in relation to such interest.

4. The provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall also apply to profits from the participation in a pool, a joint business or an international operating agency.

ARTICLE 9 : ASSOCIATED ENTERPRISES

1.  Where

(a)  an enterprise of a Contracting State participates directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of the other Contracting State, or

(b)  the same persons participate directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of a Contracting State and an enterprise of the other Contracting State, and in either case conditions are made or imposed between the two enterprises in their commercial or financial relations which differ from those which would be made between independent enterprises, then any profits which would, but for those conditions, have accrued to one of the enterprises, but, by reason of those conditions, have not so accrued, may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly.

2.  Where a Contracting State includes in the profits of an enterprise of that State - and taxes accordingly - profits on which an enterprise of the other Contracting State has been charged to tax in that other State and the profits so included are profits which would have accrued to the enterprise of the first- mentioned State if the conditions made between the two enterprises had been those which would have been made between independent enterprises, then that other State shall make an appropriate adjustment to the amount of the tax charged therein on those profits. In determining such adjustment, due regard shall be had to the other provisions of this Agreement and the competent authorities of the Contracting States shall if necessary consult each other.

ARTICLE 10 : DIVIDENDS

1.  Dividends paid by a company which is a resident of a Contracting State to a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

2. However, such dividends may also be taxed in the Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident and according to the laws of that State, but if the beneficial owner of the dividends is a resident of the other Contracting State, the tax so charged shall not exceed 10 per cent of the gross amount of the dividends. This paragraph shall not affect the taxation of the company in respect of the profits out of which the dividends are paid.

3.  The term "dividends" as used in this Article means income from shares or other rights, not being debt-claims, participating in profits, as well as income which is subject to the same taxation treatment as income from shares by the laws of the State of which the company making the distribution is a resident.

4.  The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the dividends, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident, through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State independent personal services from a fixed base situated therein, and the holding in respect of which the dividends are paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such case the provisions of Article 7 or Article 14, as the case may be, shall apply.

5.   Where a company which is a resident of a Contracting State derives profits or income from the other Contracting State, that other State may not impose any tax on the dividends paid by the company, except insofar as such dividends are paid to a resident of that other State or insofar as the holding in respect of which the dividends are paid is effectively connected with a permanent establishment or a fixed base situated in that other State, nor subject \the company's undistributed profits to a tax on the company's undistributed profits, even if the dividends paid or the undistributed profits consist wholly or partly of profits or income arising in such other State.


ARTICLE 11 : INTEREST

1.  Interest arising in a Contracting State and paid to a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

2.  However, such interest may also be taxed in the Contracting State in which it arises, and according to the laws of that State, but if the beneficial owner of the interest is a resident of the other Contracting State, the tax so charged shall not exceed 10 per cent of the gross amount of the interest.

3.  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2, interest arising in a Contracting State shall be exempt from tax in that State provided it is derived and beneficially owned by:

(a)   the Government, a political subdivision or a local authority of the other Contracting State; or

(b) (i)   in the case of India, the Reserve Bank of India, the Export-Import Bank of India and the National Housing Bank; or

(ii)   in the case of Latvia, the Bank of Latvia, the Mortgage and Land Bank of Latvia and the Latvian Guarantee Agency; or

(c)   any other similar institution as may be agreed upon from time to time between the competent authorities of the Contracting States through exchange of letters; or

(d)  a resident of India, if the interest is paid in respect of a loan made, guaranteed or insured or a credit extended, guaranteed or insured by the Government, a political subdivision or a local authority of India or by any of the bodies mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) (i) or (c);or

(e)   a resident of Latvia, if the interest is paid in respect of a loan made, guaranteed or insured or a credit extended, guaranteed or insured by the Government or a local authority of Latvia or by any of the bodies mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) (ii) or (c).

4.   The term "interest" as used in this Article means income from debt-claims of every kind, whether or not secured by mortgage and whether or not carrying a right to participate in the debtor's profits, and in particular, income from government securities and income from bonds or debentures, including premiums and prizes attaching to such securities, bonds or debentures. The term "interest" shall not include any income which is treated as a dividend under the provisions of Article 10. Penalty charges for late payment shall not be regarded as interest for the purpose of this Article.

5.   The provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the interest, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State in which the interest arises, through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State independent personal services from a fixed base situated therein, and the debt-claim in respect of which the interest is paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such case the provisions of Article 7 or Article 14, as the case may be, shall apply.

6.   Interest shall be deemed to arise in a Contracting State when the payer is a resident of that State. Where, however, the person paying the interest, whether he is a resident of a Contracting State or not, has in a Contracting State a permanent establishment or a fixed base in connection with which the indebtedness on which the interest is paid was incurred, and such interest is borne by such permanent establishment or fixed base, then such interest shall be deemed to arise in the State in which the permanent establishment or fixed base is situated.

7.   Where, by reason of a special relationship between the payer and the beneficial owner or between both of them and some other person, the amount of the interest, having regard to the debt-claim for which it is paid, exceeds the amount which would have been agreed upon by the payer and the beneficial owner in the absence of such relationship, the provisions of this Article shall apply only to the last-mentioned amount. In such case, the excess part of the payments shall remain taxable according to the laws of each Contracting State, due regard being had to the other provisions of this Agreement.


ARTICLE 12 : ROYALTIES AND FEES FOR TECHNICAL SERVICES

1. Royalties or fees for technical services arising in a Contracting State and paid to a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

2.  However, such royalties or fees for technical services may also be taxed in the Contracting State in which they arise and according to the laws of that State, but if the beneficial owner of the royalties or fees for technical services is a resident of the other Contracting State, the tax so charged shall not exceed 10 per cent of the gross amount of the royalties or fees for technical services.

3. (a)  The term "royalties" as used in this Article means payments of any kind received as a consideration for the use of, or the right to use, any copyright of literary, artistic or scientific work including cinematograph films and films or tapes used for television or radio broadcasting, any patent, trade mark, design or model, plan, secret formula or process, or for the use of, or the right to use, industrial, commercial or scientific equipment, or for information concerning industrial, commercial or scientific experience.

(b)  The term "fees for technical services" as used in this Article means payments of any kind, other than those mentioned in Articles 14 and 15 of this Agreement as consideration for managerial or technical or consultancy services, including the provision of services of technical or other personnel.

4. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the royalties or fees for technical services, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State in which the royalties or fees for technical services arise, through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State independent personal services from a fixed base situated therein, and the right or property in respect of which the royalties or fees for technical services are paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such case the provisions of Article 7 or Article 14, as the case may be, shall apply.

5.   (a) Royalties or fees for technical services shall be deemed to arise in a Contracting State when the payer is a resident of that State, Where, however, the person paying the royalties or fees for technical services, whether he is a resident of a Contracting State or not, has in a Contracting State a permanent establishment or a fixed base in connection with which the liability to pay the royalties or fees or technical services was incurred, and such royalties or fees for technical services are borne by such permanent establishment or fixed base, then such royalties or fees for technical services shall be deemed to arise in the State in which the permanent  stablishment or fixed base is situated.

(b) Where under sub-paragraph (a) royalties or fees for technical services do not arise in one of the Contracting States, and the royalties relate to the use of, or the right to use, the right or property, or the fees for technical services relate to services performed, in one of the Contracting States, the royalties or fees for technical services shall be deemed to arise in that Contracting State.

6. Where, by reason of a special relationship between the payer and the beneficial owner or between both of them and some other person, the amount of the royalties or fees for technical services, having regard to the use, right or information for which they are paid, exceeds the amount which would have been agreed upon by the payer and the beneficial owner in the absence of such relationship, the provisions of this Article shall apply only to the last-mentioned amount. In such case, the excess part of the payments shall remain taxable according to the laws of each Contracting State, due regard being had to the other provisions of this Agreement.


ARTICLE 13 : INCOME OR GAINS ON ALIENATION OF PROPERTY

1. Income or gains derived by a resident of a Contracting State from the alienation of immovable property referred to in Article 6 and situated in the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

2. Gains from the alienation of movable property forming part of the business property of a permanent establishment which an enterprise of a Contracting State has in the other Contracting State or of movable property pertaining to a fixed base available to a resident of a Contracting State in the other Contracting State for the purpose of performing independent personal services, including such gains from the alienation of uch a permanent establishment alone or with the whole enterprise) or of such fixed base, may be taxed in that other State.

3. Gains derived by an enterprise of a Contracting State operating ships or aircraft in international traffic from the alienation of ships or aircraft operated in international traffic, or movable property pertaining to the operation of such ships or aircraft, shall be taxable only in that State.

4. Gains from the alienation of shares of a company the property of which consists directly or indirectly principally of immovable property situated in  a contracting State may be taxed in that State.

5. Gains from alienation of shares other than those mentioned in paragraph 4 in a company which is a resident of a Contracting State may be taxed in that State.

6. Gains from the alienation of any property other than that referred to in paragraphs 1,2,3,4 and 5, shall be taxable only in the Contracting State of which the alienator is a resident.

ARTICLE 14 : INDEPENDENT PERSONAL SERVICES

1. Income derived by an individual who is a resident of a Contracting State in respect of professional services or other activities of an independent character shall be taxable only in that State unless he has a fixed base regularly available to him in the other Contracting State for the purpose of performing his activities. If he has such a fixed base, the income may be taxed in the other State but only so much of it as is attributable to that fixed base. For this purpose, where an individual who is a resident of a Contracting State stays in the other Contracting State for a period or periods exceeding in the aggregate 183 days in any twelve month period commencing or ending in the fiscal year concerned, he shall be deemed to have a fixed base regularly available to him in that other State and the income that is derived from his activities referred to above that re performed in that other State shall be attributable to that fixed base.

2.  The term "professional services" includes especially independent scientific, literary, artistic, educational or teaching activities as well as the independent activities of physicians, lawyers, engineers, architects, dentists and accountants.

ARTICLE 15 : DEPENDENT PERSONAL SERVICES

1. Subject to the provisions of Articles 16, 18, 19, 20 and 21, salaries, wages and other similar remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting State in respect of an employment shall be taxable only in that State unless the employment is exercised in the other Contracting State. If the employment is so exercised, such remuneration as is derived there from may be taxed in that other State.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1, remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting State in respect of an employment exercised in the other Contracting State shall be taxable only in the first-mentioned State If:

(a)  the recipient is present in the other State for a period or periods not exceeding in the aggregate 183 days in any twelve month period commencing or  ending in the fiscal year concerned, and

(b)  the remuneration is paid by, or on behalf of, an employer who is not a resident of the other State, and

(c)  the remuneration is not borne by a permanent establishment or a fixed base which the employer has in the other State.

3. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article, remuneration derived in respect of an employment exercised aboard a ship or aircraft  operated in international traffic by an enterprise of a Contracting State may be taxed in that State.

ARTICLE 16 : DIRECTORS' FEES - Directors' fees and other similar payments derived by a resident of a Contracting State in his capacity as a member of the board of directors or any other similar organ of a company which is a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.


ARTICLE 17 : ARTISTES AND SPORTS PERSONS

1.  Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 14 and 15, income derived by a resident of a Contracting State as an entertainer, such as a theatre, motion picture, radio or television artiste, or a musician, or as a sportsperson, from his personal activities as such exercised in the other Contracting State, may be taxed in that other State.

2. Where income in respect of personal activities exercised by an entertainer or a sportsperson in his capacity as such accrues not to the entertainer or sportsperson himself but to another person, that income may, notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 7, 14 and 15, be taxed in the Contracting State in which the activities of the entertainer or sportsperson are exercised.

3. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply to income from activities performed in a Contracting State by entertainers or sportspersons if the activities are substantially supported by public funds of one or both of the Contracting States or of political subdivisions or local authorities thereof. In such case, the income shall be taxable only in the Contracting State of which the entertainer or sportsperson is a resident.

ARTICLE 18 : PENSIONS

1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 19, pensions and other similar remuneration paid to a resident of a Contracting State in consideration of past employment shall be taxable only in that State.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions OT paragraph 1 of this Article and paragraph 2 of Article 19, pensions and other similar remuneration paid under the social security legislation of a Contracting State shall be taxable only in that State.

ARTICLE 19 : GOVERNMENT SERVICE 

1. (a) Salaries, wages and other similar remuneration, other than a pension, paid by a Contracting State or a political sub-division or a local authority thereof to an individual in respect of services rendered to that State or sub-division or authority shall be taxable only in that State.

(b) However, such salaries, wages and other similar remuneration shall be taxable only in the other Contracting State if the services are rendered in that State and the individual is a resident of that State who:

(i) is a national of that State; or

(ii) did not become a resident of that State solely for the purpose of rendering the services.

2. (a) Any pension paid by, or out of funds created by, a Contracting State or a political sub-division or a local authority thereof to an individual in respect of services rendered to that State or sub-division or authority shall be taxable only in that State.

(b) However, such pension shall be taxable only in the other Contracting State if the individual is a resident of, and a national of, that State.

3. The provisions of Articles 15, 16, 17 and 18 shall apply to salaries, wages and other similar remuneration, and to pensions, in respect of services rendered in connection with a business carried on by a Contracting State or a political sub-division or a local authority thereof.


ARTICLE 20 : PROFESSORS, TEACHERS AND RESEARCH SCHOLARS

1. An individual who visits a Contracting State for the purpose of teaching or carrying out research at a university, college or other recognized educational institutions in that Contracting State and who is or was immediately before that visit a resident of the other Contracting State, shall be exempted from taxation in the first-mentioned Contracting State on remuneration for such teaching or research for a period not exceeding two years from the date of his first visit for that purpose.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply to income from research if such research is undertaken not in the public interest, but primarily for the private benefit of a specific person or persons. 

ARTICLE 21 : STUDENTS

1. Payments which a student, an apprentice or a trainee who is or was immediately before visiting a Contracting State a resident of the other Contracting State and who is present in the first-mentioned State solely for the purpose of his education or training, receives for the purpose of his maintenance, education or training shall not be taxed in that State, provided that such payments arise from sources outside that State.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 15, remuneration which a student, or an apprentice or trainee who is or was, immediately before visiting a Contracting State, a resident of the other Contracting State and who is present in the first-mentioned State solely for the purpose of his education or training, receives for dependent personal services rendered in that first-mentioned State shall not be taxable in that State, provided that such services are directly related, and incidental, to his education or training or the remuneration for those services is necessary to supplement the resources for his maintenance. However, in any case the benefits of this paragraph shall not be granted for a period of more than five consecutive years from the date of his first arrival in the first-mentioned State.

ARTICLE 22 : OTHER INCOME

1. Items of income of a resident of a Contracting State, wherever arising, not dealt with in the foregoing Articles of this Agreement shall be taxable only in that State.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall not apply to income, other than income from immovable property as defined in paragraph 2 of Article 6, if the recipient of such income, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State independent personal services from a fixed base situated therein, and the right or property in respect of which the income is paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such case the provisions of Article 7 or Article 14, as the case may be, shall apply.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1, if a resident of a Contracting State derives income from sources within the other Contracting State in form of winnings from lotteries, crossword puzzles, races including horse races, card games and other games of any sort or gambling or betting of any nature whatsoever, such income may be taxed in the other Contracting State. 

ARTICLE 23 : METHODS FOR ELIMINATION OF DOUBLE TAXATION

Double taxation shall be eliminated as follows:

1. In India:

(a) Where a resident of India derives income which, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, may be taxed in Latvia, India shall allow as a deduction from the tax on the income of that resident, an amount equal to the tax paid in Latvia.Such deduction shall not, however, exceed that portion of the tax as computed before the deduction is given, which is attributable, as the case may be, to the income which may be taxed in Latvia.

(b) Where in accordance with any provision of the Agreement income derived by a resident of India is exempt from tax in India, India may nevertheless, in calculating the amount of tax on the remaining income of such resident, take into account the exempted income. 

2. In Latvia:

(a) Where a resident of Latvia derives income which, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, has been taxed in India, Latvia shall, subject to the provisions of sub-paragraphs (b) and (c), exempt such income from tax.

(b) Where a resident of Latvia derives income which in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2 of Articles 10, 11 and 12 may be taxed in India, Latvia shall allow as a deduction from the tax on the income of that resident an amount equal to the tax paid in India. Such deduction shall not, however, exceed the part of the tax, as computed before the deduction is given, which is attributable to the income which may be taxed in India.

(c) Where in accordance with any provision of the Agreement income derived by a resident of Latvia is exempt from tax in Latvia, Latvia may nevertheless, in calculating the amount of tax on the remaining income of such resident, take into account the exempted income.


ARTICLE 24: NON-DISCRIMINATION

1. Nationals of a Contracting State shall not be subjected in the other Contracting State to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith, which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which nationals of that other State in the same circumstances, in particular with respect to residence, are or may be subjected. This provision shall, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 1, also apply to persons who are not residents of one or both of the Contracting States.

2. Stateless persons who are residents of a Contracting State shall not be subjected in either Contracting State to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith, which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which nationals of the State concerned in the same circumstances, in particular with respect to residence, are or may be subjected.

3. The taxation on a permanent establishment which an enterprise of a Contracting State has in the other Contracting State shall not be less favourably levied in that other State than the taxation levied on enterprises of that other State carrying on the same activities. This provision shall not be construed as obliging a contracting State to grant to residents of the other Contracting State any personal allowances, reliefs and reductions for taxation purposes on account of civil status or family responsibilities which it grants to its own residents. This provision shall not be construed as preventing a Contracting State from charging the profits of a permanent establishment which a company of the other Contracting State has in the first mentioned State at a rate of tax which is higher than that imposed on the profits of a similar company of the first mentioned Contracting State, nor as being in conflict with the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 7. However, the difference in tax rate shall not exceed 1 percentage points.

4. Except where the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 9, paragraph 7 of Article 11, or paragraph 6 of Article 12, apply, interest, royalties, fees for technical services and other disbursements paid by an enterprise of a Contracting State to resident of the other Contracting State shall, for the purpose of determining the taxable profits of such enterprise, be deductible under the same conditions as if they had been paid to a resident of the first- mentioned State.

5. Enterprises of a Contracting State, the capital of which is wholly or partly owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by one or more residents of the other Contracting State, shall not be subjected in the first-mentioned State to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which other similar enterprises of the first-mentioned State are or may be subjected.

6. The provisions of this Article shall, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 2, apply to taxes of every kind and description.

ARTICLE 25 : MUTUAL AGREEMENT PROCEDURE

1. Where a person considers that the actions of one or both of the Contracting States result or will result for him in taxation not in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, he may, irrespective of the remedies provided by the domestic law of those States, present his case to the competent authority of the Contracting 
State of which he is a resident or, if his case comes under paragraph 1 of Article 24, to that of the Contracting State of which he is a national. The case must be presented within three years from the first notification of the action resulting in taxation not in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement.

2. The competent authority shall endeavour, if the objection appears to it to be justified and if it is not itself able to arrive at a satisfactory solution, to resolve the case by mutual agreement with the competent authority of the other Contracting State, with a view to the avoidance of taxation which is not in accordance with the 
Agreement. Any agreement reached shall be implemented notwithstanding any time limits in the domestic law of the Contracting States.

3. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall endeavour to resolve by mutual agreement any difficulties or doubts arising as to the interpretation or application of the Agreement. They may also consult together for the elimination of double taxation in cases not provided for in the Agreement.

4. The competent authorities of the Contracting States may communicate with each other directly for the purpose of reaching an agreement in the sense of the preceding paragraphs. When it seems advisable in order to reach agreement to have an oral exchange of opinions, such exchange may take place through a commission consisting of representatives of the competent authorities of the Contracting States.


ARTICLE 26 : EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION

1. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall exchange such information ("information" includes documents or certified copies of the documents) as is necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Agreement or of the domestic laws concerning taxes of every kind and description imposed on behalf of the Contracting States, or of their political sub-divisions or local authorities, insofar as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to the Agreement. The exchange of information is not restricted by Articles 1 and 2. Any information received by a Contracting State shall be treated as secret in the same manner as information obtained under the domestic laws of that State and shall be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies) concerned with the assessment or collection of, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of, or the determination of appeals in relation to the taxes referred to in the first sentence. Such persons or authorities shall use the information only for such purposes. They may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, information received by a Contracting State may be used for other purposes when such information may be used for such other purposes under the laws of both States and the competent authority of the supplying State authorises such use.

2. In no case shall the provisions of paragraph 1 be construed so as to impose on a Contracting State the obligation:

(a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practice of that or of the other Contracting State;

(b) to supply information which is not obtainable under the laws or in the normal course of the administration of that or of the other Contracting State;

(c) to supply information which would disclose any trade, business, industrial, commercial or professional secret or trade process, or information the disclosure of which would be contrary to public policy (ordre public).

3. If information is requested by a Contracting State in accordance with this Article, the other Contracting State shall use its information gathering measures to obtain the requested information, even though that other State may not need such information for its own tax purposes. The obligation contained in the preceding sentence is subject to the limitations of paragraph 2 but in no case shall such limitations be construed to permit a Contracting State to decline to supply information solely because it has no domestic interest in such information.

4. In no case shall the provisions of paragraph 2 be construed to permit a Contracting State to decline to supply information solely because the information is held by a bank, other financial institution, nominee or person acting in an agency or a fiduciary capacity or because it relates to ownership interests in a person.


ARTICLE 27 : ASSISTANCE IN COLLECTION

1. The Contracting States undertake to lend assistance to each other in the collection of the taxes owed by a taxpayer to the extent that the amount thereof has been finally determined according to the laws of the Contracting State making the request for assistance.

2. In the case of a request by a Contracting State for the collection of taxes which has been accepted for collection by the other Contracting State, such taxes shall be collected by that other State in accordance with the laws applicable to the collection of its own taxes and as if the taxes to be so collected were its own taxes.

3. Any request for collection by a Contracting State shall be accompanied by such certificate as is required by the laws of that State to establish that the taxes owed by the taxpayer have been finally determined.

4. Where the tax claim of a Contracting State has not been finally determined by reason of it being subject to appeal or other proceeding, that State may, in order to protect its revenues, request the other Contracting State to take such interim measures for conservancy on its behalf as are available to the other State under the laws of that other State. If such request is accepted by the other State, such interim measures shall be taken by it as if the taxes owed to the first-mentioned State were the own taxes of that other State.

5. A request under the preceding paragraphs of this Article shall only made by a Contracting State to the extent that sufficient property of the taxpayer owing the taxes is not available in that State for recovery of the taxes owed.

6. The Contracting State in which tax is recovered in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall forthwith remit to the Contracting State on behalf of which the tax was collected the amount so recovered minus, where appropriate, the amount of extraordinary costs referred to in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 7.

7. It is understood that unless otherwise agreed by the competent authorities of both Contracting States,
(a) ordinary costs incurred by a Contracting State in providing assistance shall be borne by that State; 

(b) extraordinary costs incurred by a Contracting State in providing assistance shall be borne by the other State and shall be payable regardless of the amount collected on behalf of the other State.

As soon as a Contracting State anticipates that extraordinary costs may be incurred, it shall so advise the other Contracting State and indicate the estimated amount of such costs.

8. In this Article, the term "taxes" means taxes to which the paragraph 1 of Article 26 applies and includes any interest and penalties relating thereto.

9. In no case shall the provisions of this Article be construed so as to impose on a Contracting State the obligation:

(a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practice of that or of the other Contracting State;

(b) to carry out measures which would be contrary to public policy (ordre public);

(c) to provide assistance if the other Contracting State has not pursued all reasonable measures of collection or conservancy, as the case may be, available under its laws or administrative practice;

(d) to provide assistance in those cases where the administrative burden for that State is clearly disproportionate to the benefit to be derived by the other Contracting State.

ARTICLE 28 : LIMITATION OF BENEFITS

1. The competent authorities upon their mutual agreement, may deny the benefits of this Agreement to a resident of a Contracting State, or with respect to any transaction undertaken by such a resident, if in their opinion the main purpose of the creation or existence of such a resident or of the transaction undertaken by him, was to obtain the benefits under this Agreement that would not otherwise be available.

2. The competent authorities of the Contracting States may consult together with a view to develop a commonly agreed application of the provisions of this Article.

ARTICLE 29 : MEMBERS OF DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS AND CONSULAR POSTS

Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the fiscal privileges of members of diplomatic missions or consular posts under the general rules of international law or under the provisions of special agreements.


ARTICLE 30 : ENTRY INTO FORCE

1. The Contracting States shall notify each other in writing, through diplomatic channels, of the completion of the procedures required by the respective laws for the entry into force of this Agreement.

2. This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of the later of the notifications referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.

3. The provisions of this Agreement shall have effect:

(a) in India, in respect of income derived in any fiscal year beginning on or after the first day of April next following the calendar year in which the Agreement enter into force;

(b) in Latvia:

(i) in respect of taxes withheld at source, on income derived on after the first day of January in the calendar year next following the year in which the notice has been given; 

(ii) in respect of other taxes on income for taxes chargeable for any fiscal year beginning on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following the year in which the notice has been given.

ARTICLE 31 : TERMINATION

This Agreement shall remain in force indefinitely until terminated by a Contracting State. Either Contracting State may terminate the Agreement, through diplomatic channels, by giving notice of termination at least six months before the end of any calendar year beginning after the expiration of five years from the date of entry into force of the Agreement. In such event, the Agreement shall cease to have effect:

(a) in India, in respect of income derived in any fiscal year on or after the first day of April next following the calendar year in which the notice is given;

(b) in Latvia:

(i) in respect of taxes withheld at source, on income derived on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following the year in which the notice has been given;

(ii) in respect of other taxes on income for taxes chargeable for any fiscal year beginning on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following the year in which the notice has been given.

In witness whereof, the undersigned, duly authorised thereto, have signed this Agreement.Done in duplicate at New Delhi this 18th day of September, 2013, each in the Hindi, Latvian and English languages, all texts being equally authentic. In the case of divergence of interpretation, the English text shall prevail.


AGREED NOTE

At the signing of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Latvia for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income (hereinafter referred to as "the Agreement") the undersigned have agreed upon the following provisions with purpose to clarify the application of the Agreement.

1. With reference to Article 5:

It is understood that on the date of signature of this Agreement none of the agreements for the avoidance of double taxation concluded by Latvia provide for special provision deeming an insurance enterprise of a Contracting State to have a permanent establishment in the other Contracting State if it collects premiums or insures risks in the territory of that other State through a dependent agent.However, if after that date, such special provision is included in any agreement for the avoidance of double taxation concluded by Latvia, then, after consultations between the competent authorities of the both States, such provision shall also be considered for this Agreement.

2. With reference to paragraph 4 of Article 5:

It is understood that the provisions of paragraph 4 of Article 5 are designed to prevent an enterprise of one Contracting State from being taxed in the other State, if it carries on in that other State, activities of a purely preparatory or auxiliary character.

3. With reference to paragraph 3 of Article 5:

It is understood that the supervisory activities or services referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 5 does not include activities or services covered under sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 3 of Article 12.

Done in duplicate at New Delhi this 18th day of September, 2013, each in the Hindi, Latvian and English languages, all texts being equally authentic. In the case of divergence of interpretation, the English text shall prevail.

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This blog is Created by CA Anil Kumar Jain.