This year’s finance Act has expanded the scope of equalisation levy of two per cent to e-commerce players for supplying goods and service | Representative image
The Delhi High Court
has issued notices to the Union government and the income-tax department over the 2 per cent equalisation levy, the so-called Google tax, on Mastercard
Asia Pacific Pte, a Singaporean subsidiary of Mastercard.
The court has posted the matter for August 18.
The issue relates to the presence of permanent establishment (PE) of the company in India. The Authority of Advance Rulings (AAR), Delhi, had said in 2018 that the company has various kinds of PEs in India such as fixed place PE, service PE, etc. The matter is sub-judice at present. PE is a place of business, which generally increases the tax liability of a firm.
This year’s finance Act has expanded the scope of equalisation levy of 2 per cent to e-commerce players for supplying goods and services. The issue is if Mastercard
Asia Pacific does not have PE in India, it will have to pay an equalisation levy but if it has PE then it will pay the normal tax. The company went to court with a plea that the imposition of the levy on the company be stayed since the principal issue of PE is yet to be decided by the court.