Some countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand have introduced a statutory General Anti-Avoidance Rule (or General Anti-Abuse Rule, GAAR).
In the United Kingdom, there is no GAAR, but many provisions of the tax legislation (known as "anti-avoidance" provisions) apply to prevent tax avoidance where the main object (or purpose), or one of the main objects (or purposes), of a transaction is to enable tax advantages to be obtained.
In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service distinguishes some schemes as "abusive" and therefore illegal.
Pranab Mukherjee, finance minister, sought to formalise the provisions through an amendment to the income tax act of 1961.
The rules seek to arm the authorities with substantial powers to tax arrangements principally designed to secure tax benefits, but that otherwise lack commercial substance. This includes the power to override international tax treaties that India has negotiated with other countries.
GAAR legislation needs to strike a balance between the government’s objective to...