Basic Principles of International Taxation

Rapid economic development happens to be one of the primary objectives of all developing economies and India is not an exception. This is possible mainly through the accumulation and proper use of capital. The developing economies lack adequate basic infrastructural facilities. In order to develop these, the government takes upon itself the responsibility for building up capital formation, through sound taxation policies.

There are two basic principles followed by different countries in International taxation

1) Residence Based Taxation

The principle of residence-based taxation asserts that natural persons or individuals are taxable in the country or tax jurisdiction in which they establish their residence or domicile, regardless of the source of income. In the case of non-natural persons such as companies or firms, the place of incorporation or the place where control or management is exercised is deemed to be the place of residence. In the context of income tax, the ability to pay the tax in a country is fully measured by their global income. Therefore, the principle of residence-based taxation of income envisages the taxation of global income. Accordingly, India follows residence based taxation in case of Residents.

2) Source Based Taxation

There are individuals/entities whose “residence” is in one country but their business is actually carried on in another country and their income is earned in the latter country. In such cases, the principle of residence-based taxation would be inappropriate. Therefore, there is a view that the country which provides the opportunity and facilities to generate income or profits should also have the right to tax the same. This forms the underlying basis of the principle of source-based taxation of income. India follows source based taxation in case of non-resident.