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    Introduction: 

    Under the erstwhile service tax regime, the services by way of transportation of goods by vessel or aircraft from a place outside India up to the Customs Station of Clearance in India were originally covered under the Negative list as given under section 66D. With effect from 01.06.2016, these services are taken away from section 66D. While the transportation services by air remains exempted, services of vessel are made taxable. Doubts have been expressed by the industry and tax experts about the vires of taxing such services as the said services are subject to customs duty as part of the value of goods imported. These doubts continued even under GST regime also. 

    Governments have subjected these services to tax even under GST regime, without appreciating the reasons for levy under erstwhile Service tax regime and examining whether levy of GST on such services is really warranted in view of those reasons. 

    1. Background 

    In keeping with India’s commitment to implement the recommendations of Action Plan 13 of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), the Finance Act, 2016 introduced Section 286 of Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act) providing for furnishing of Country-by-Country Report (CbCR) in respect of an International Group. 

    Section 92D of the Act which contained provisions for preparing TP documentation was also amended to provide for keeping and maintaining of Master File. 

    In continuation with the amendment, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on 6 October 2017, released the draft rules and forms in relation to manner of preparation and furnishing of Master File and CbCR. It is commendable, on part of CBDT, to consistently follow an inclusive approach and seeking public comments when introducing a new and important regulation. 

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