Power of the Central Board of Direct Taxes to prescribe the manner and procedure for computing the period of stay in India
Clause (1) of section 6 of the Income-tax Act provides the conditions under which an individual is held to be resident in India. The said clause, inter alia, provides that an individual is said to be resident in India in any previous year if he, having within the four years preceding that year been in India for a period or periods amounting in all to three hundred and sixty five days or more, is in India for a period or periods amounting in all to sixty days or more in that year.
However, in the case of an individual, being a citizen of India, who leaves India in any previous year as a member of the crew of an Indian ship, the above mentioned condition of sixty days is extended to one hundred and eighty-two days.
In the case of foreign bound ships where the destination of the voyage is outside India, there was uncertainty with regard to the manner and basis of determination of the period of stay in India for crew members of such ships who are Indian citizens.
In view of the above, the Income-tax Act has been amended to provide that in the case of an individual, being a citizen of India and a member of the crew of a foreign bound ship leaving India, the period or periods of stay in India shall, in respect of such voyage, be determined in the manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed in the Income-tax Rules, 1962. Rule 126 of Income-tax Rules, 1962 notified vide S.O. No. 2240(E) dated 17th August, 2015 (See Note Below) prescribes the manner for determination of the period of stay in India.
Applicability: – This amendment takes effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2015 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2015-16 and subsequent assessment years.
Rule 126 inserted by the Income-tax (Twelfth Amendment) Rules, 2015, w.r.e.f. 1-4-2015.
Computation of period of stay in India in certain cases.
Rule 126. (1) For the purposes of clause (1) of section 6, in case of an individual, being a citizen of India and a member of the crew of a ship, the period or periods of stay in India shall, in respect of an eligible voyage, not include the period computed in accordance with sub-rule (2).
(2) The period referred to in sub-rule (1) shall be the period beginning on the date entered into the Continuous Discharge Certificate in respect of joining the ship by the said individual for the eligible voyage and ending on the date entered into the Continuous Discharge Certificate in respect of signing off by that individual from the ship in respect of such voyage.
Explanation : For the purposes of this rule,—
|(a)||“Continuous Discharge Certificate” shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Merchant Shipping (Continuous Discharge Certificate-cum-Seafarer’s Identity Document) Rules, 2001 made under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958);|
|(b)||“eligible voyage” shall mean a voyage undertaken by a ship engaged in the carriage of passengers or freight in international traffic where—|
|(i)||for the voyage having originated from any port in India, has as its destination any port outside India; and|
|(ii)||for the voyage having originated from any port outside India, has as its destination any port in India.]|