Payments to non-resident firms for software not taxable as royalty

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that payments made to non-residents for software purchase can’t be taxed as royalty, setting at rest a long-standing row. This means tax liability of foreign software seller without a permanent establishment in India would reduce to the 2% equalisation levy introduced via Finance Act 2020, from the 10% royalty tax, which the Indian buyer has hitherto been liable to withhold.

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