What is MAT?
MAT is an indirect tax levied under the Income Tax Act of India, 1961. As per section 115JB, every foreign and domestic company is required to pay MAT, a rule set up to prevent highly profitable businesses from dodging their tax liabilities.
A large number of companies in India try to evade taxes. For instance, many “zero tax companies” generate substantial revenues but end up paying a nil tax by applying deductions, exemptions and other kinds of loopholes in the system. So, MAT was created so that no company is able to completely evade their tax liability.
Minimum Alternate Tax is only applicable to companies and not to individuals, HUFs, partnership firms, LLPs, societies, etc. Rules pertaining to Sec 115JA is applicable on the foreign companies that generate profits through their running business activities in India.
How to calculate the MAT?
Minimum Alternate Tax is equal to 18.5% (15% from AY 2020-21) of Book profits (Plus Surcharge and cess as applicable). Book profit means the net profit as shown in the profit & loss account for the year as addition and deletion by the following items:
The manner of computation of Book Profit is explained under section 115JB of the Act which specifies additions and deductions of specified items from the net profit of the company computed in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. Here is a list of the items which are allowed to be added and deducted from the net profit of the company:
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