Export sales are not a source of income outside India

Export sales are not a source of income outside IndiaCIT vs. Havells India Ltd (Delhi High Court)

As per ITAT.ORG: The assessee, an Indian company, paid Rs. 14.71 lakhs to a US company for ‘KEMA’ certification which was necessary to enable it to sell its products in the European markets. The assessee claimed that though the said amount was ‘fees for technical services’ u/s 9(1)(vii), it was paid “for the purpose of earning income from a source outside India” (i.e. the exports) and so it was not taxable in India u/s 9(1)(vii)(b). The AO & CIT (A) rejected the claim though the Tribunal upheld it. On appeal by the department, HELD reversing the Tribunal:

 (i) S. 9(1)(vii)(b) provides that fees for technical services payable by a resident in respect of services utilised in a business or profession carried on by such person outside India or for the purposes of making or earning any income from any source outside India shall not be taxable in India. The term “source” means not a legal concept but one which a practical man would regard as a real source of income. It is a spring or fount from which a clearly defined channel of income flows. The assessee manufactured goods in India and concluded the export contracts in India. The source of income is created the moment the export contracts are concluded in India. The customer located outside India is not the source of the income though he is the source of the monies received. There is a distinction between the source of income and the source of receipt of monies. In order to fall u/s 9(1)(vii)(b), the source of the income, and not the receipt, should be situated outside India. Further, though the profits arise both from the manufacturing activity and from the sale, bifurcation of the fees is not permissible (Aktiengesellschaft 262 ITR 513 (Mad) not followed);

 (ii) Also held that expenditure on fully convertible debentures could not be treated as expenditure on equity and was deductible even though the time and conversion price was fixed (Secure Meters Ltd 321 ITR 611 (Raj) (SLP dismissed) followed).

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