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Netherlands/ India – MFN Clauses - Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. DCIT.

A Dutch company, having received interest on a tax refund from the Indian government claimed that such interest was not taxable in India. In fact, the taxpayer argued by analogy that under the MFN clause of the India-Netherlands income tax treaty, the beneficial treatment in the subsequent income tax treaty with Netherlands for interest earned by a resident of Netherlands from the Indian government (i.e., not taxable in India) applied to the interest it received from the Indian government.

The tribunal agreed with the taxpayer and held that the taxpayer was not subject to tax on such interest income in India under the Dutch treaty. The ITAT in Kolkata ruled that interest on an income tax refund was not taxable under the “most favoured nation” (MFN) clause under the India-Netherlands income tax treaty.


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