The Central Board of Direct Taxes recently attempted to provide relief to individuals who are stranded in India due to the ongoing travel embargo and may be subject to double tax in India. The clarification sought by way of this circular was highly anticipated by individuals who have been stranded in India during financial year 2020-2021 and qualify as tax residents of India under the Income Tax Act. However, the circular offers no respite to individuals, unlike that issued in 2020.
The Supreme Court recently addressed two important points in relation to family settlements – primarily, whether a married woman's heirs from her father's side can be considered 'family' for the purpose of a family settlement. This judgment follows a line of recent judgments which are pro-women's rights in terms of inheriting and disposing of family property.
Although offshore discretionary trusts are an acceptable form of tax planning, they have been used as a means of money laundering. Thus, the Income Tax Department has unveiled various private offshore trusts and imposed tax liability on the beneficiary owners. However, the Mumbai Income Tax Appellate Tribunal recently held that a beneficiary of an offshore discretionary trust cannot be taxed on the entire corpus fund merely because they have the power to appoint or reappoint trustees.
Recognising the need for uniformity, consistency, procedural fairness and timeliness in the disposal of maintenance applications, the Supreme Court recently issued guidelines on the payment of maintenance in matrimonial disputes. The court also provided comprehensive templates of the affidavit of disclosure of assets and liabilities to be filed by parties to such matrimonial disputes.
A critical function that family offices can perform is to assist families in institutionalising a robust family governance structure as a means to enhance and guard the family's legacy on a multi-generational basis. This article explores the hypothesis that viewing family offices as mere wealth management vehicles is in fact impeding their progress and highlights the untapped potential of family offices as all-round growth drivers in India.