Section 197 of the Act relates to grant of a certificate of tax deduction at lower or nil rate. It provides for assessee to apply to the Assessing Officer for TDS at zero rate or lower rate, if the tax is required to be deducted under sections 192, 193, 194, 194A, 194C, 194D, 194G, 194H, 194-I, 194J, 194K, 194LA, 194LBB, 194LBC, 194M, 194-O and 195 of the Act. If the Assessing Officer is satisfied that the total income of the recipient justifies the deduction of income-tax at any lower rates or zero rate, he is required to give an appropriate certificate to the assessee.
2. Section 194LBA of the Act, inter-alia, provides that business trust shall deduct and deposit tax at the rate of 5% on interest income of non-resident unit holders. Representations have been received that in some cases rate of deduction may be required to be reduced due to some exemption, for example exemption under section 10(23FE) of the Act allowed to notified Sovereign Wealth Funds and Pension Funds. However, since certificate for lower deduction under section 194LBA of the Act cannot be obtained under section 197 of the Act, benefit of exemption is not available at the time of tax deduction.
3. To remove this difficulty, it is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of section 197 of the Act to provide that the sums on which tax is required to be deducted under section 194LBA of the Act shall also be eligible for certificate for deduction at lower rate. 4. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2023.