India to start taxing Singapore investors’ capital gains

Although both India and Singapore are far away from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and this news might seem of no interest to some readers, it is quite the opposite. Like Cyprus for Russia, Singapore is one of the major investors to India. Apparently, Indian businessmen use Singapore to further invest in India, so the whole scheme looks pretty much like that with Russia and Cyprus. For over 16 years, the Singapore investment to India hit US$50bn, or 16% of the total direct investments to the country’s economy.

A common trend to introduce amendments to double taxation agreements seems rather noteworthy. Initially striving to boost international trade, the countries now take interest in collecting taxes and thus filling holes within its own budgets.

Another point about Singapore worth mentioning and taking into account for the sake of tax planning is the regulation introduced by Indian authorities, pursuant to which a company is considered a fully functioning company rather than a brass plate firm and can apply for tax benefits under the double taxation agreements only in case its operating expenses exceed S$100,000 annually - some sort of a substance test for Singapore companies.