Shome, Senapaty, Pai and Bala set up tax think-tank
BENGALURU: Parthasarathi Shome, who is chairman of the Tax Administration Reforms Commission (TARC) of the Union finance ministry, together with and former Wipro CFO Suresh Senapaty, has formed a taxation think-tank that will be based in Bengaluru.
Called International Tax Research Foundation (ITRF), the think-tank will study and understand the best tax practices from across the globe in areas including e-commerce and transfer pricing, and seek to empower the Central and state governments in India.
The need for such a think-tank was felt because of the assessment that India’s reputation as an attractive investment destination had come under scrutiny on account of complex tax structures. Tax officials have raised huge demands on many MNCs which the companies have contested. “If you look at newer business models emerging in technology and e-commerce, laws haven’t kept pace with them. Issues around transfer pricing have become onerous. We are trying to make an attempt to help the government with inputs that they can use to make informed decisions,” Balakrishnan said.
Pai said the think-tank would deeply study and write research papers to document the best practices in international taxation. “Bengaluru is home to international taxation in India with many MNCs and research organizations setting up their outposts here,” he said.
ITRF is a not-for-profit organization that will be operational in May. It has received initial funding from Pai and Balakrishnan. It has also roped in other tax luminaries including Srinivasan PV, senior VP-corporate taxation in Wipro, former Infosys tax consultant Krishnan, K R Sekar, partner in Deloitte, and ace chartered accountant Padamchand Khincha.
Shome will be the chairman of ITRF. The think-tank will comprise of a governance board that will have a panel of international tax experts and a research council to initiate research work. Shome is regarded as a tax wizard. He was among the Global Tax 50 of the International Tax Review in 2012 and 2013 that acknowledges the contributions of individuals and organizations that make a substantial impact on tax practice and administration.