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ITRAF – Think tank for International Tax Research Launched

Bangalore, Aug 17, 2015 – International Tax Research and Analysis Foundation (ITRAF), led by Eminent Economists, Leaders from industry, and Experienced Tax Professionals was launched today to carry out research and analysis in international taxation to ensure superior tax policy and effective tax administration in India. ITRAF will act as a key enabler for Indian economy to attain its full potential globally as Indian business increases its share of global trade and commerce. ITRAF will conduct extensive research on the present international tax regulations, benchmark them with global standards, practices and experiences and make appropriate recommendations to policy makers.

ITRAF stands for 4 Is – Independent Thoughts, Insights based on Research, Impact and International orientation. ITRAF will provide a neutral forum for public debate on its research reports and impact–analysis to recommend technically sound and field–tested tax policies. ITRAF will also engage and socialize with all stakeholders for effective implementation.

ITRAF’s Chairperson is Dr. Parthasarathi Shome, the former Chairman of the Tax Administration Reforms Commission. The other founder members include Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education; Suresh Senapaty, former Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Board, Wipro Limited; V Balakrishnan, former Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Board, Infosys Limited, Mukesh Butani, Managing Partner, BMR Legal; K. R. Girish, Senior Partner, Leap Ridge Advisors LLP; Padamchand Khincha, Partner, M/s H. C. Khincha & Co, Chartered Accountants; S. Krishnan, Former Head of International Taxation, Infosys Limited; Indraneel Roy Chaudhury, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services; PricewaterhouseCoopers, K. R. Sekar, Partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells; and P.V. Srinivasan, Former Head of Taxation, Wipro Limited.

It is the firm belief of the founding team that India has the potential to be the most attractive destination for investments globally. For this to happen, India needs effective policy inputs based on research to develop a best–in–class tax system focused on certainty and stability for global investments to flow in and for Indian business to grow globally. This needs extensive economic research on the impact of international taxation on our economy and to participate in global forums on the architecture of international tax systems, as for instance with the OECD. ITRAF is set up with a strong view that an apolitical think tank, free from any corporate or sectoral bias can play a critical role in supplementing the Government’s effort in a very progressive framework based on fundamental research and analysis in the backdrop of increased globalization and changing business models due to technology disruption.

This forum is a conglomeration of the best of talent – both in Governance and Research and will leverage the extensive repository of research and global best practices available, to come out with an in–depth analysis and recommendations to the Central and various State Governments. 

Dr. Parthasarathi Shome, Chairman, ITRAF and Head of Research Committee said – “As India embarks on its exciting phase of growth, ease of doing business is going to be a huge differentiator to attract investments. Uncertainty in tax environment is a potential deterrent for global companies planning to invest in India. Good tax policies are backed by research & analysis and are equitable to all stakeholders. ITRAF is an independent Think Tank focused exclusively on tax policy analysis and support through extensive research and seeks to enhance the framing of tax regulations and administration.”

Suresh Senapaty, Board Member and Head of Finance Committee, ITRAF said – “Globalization is resulting in labour mobility, capital fungibility and seamless boundaries. Global competition for capital and location of economic activities is getting intense. A progressive and consistent tax environment in line with global standards is essential for the success of key Government initiatives like Make in India, Innovation India, Digital India and Skill India. ITRAF will engage with a broad range of international organizations to provide appropriate insights to policy makers on key taxation issues across the globe. ITRAF stands for 4 Is – Independent Thoughts, Insights based on Research, Impact and International orientation. ITRAF welcomes support and contributions for advancing a unique cause that would serve national interest.”

Mohandas Pai, Board Member, ITRAF said – “Technology is changing the manner of conducting business and is disrupting established business norms across the globe. We are seeing a proliferation of start–ups in India with global linkages.  ‘Start–up India, Stand–up India’ is the new thrust to push growth and employment. The Government is seeking to leverage technology as part of the Digital India initiative to improve governance standards. However, tax laws have not kept pace with the rise of digital economy and emerging business models. ITRAF aims to carry out in–depth analysis to provide inputs to policy makers to keep pace with the changing technology landscape having global ramifications.”

ITRAF will periodically conduct seminars and conferences to discuss and disseminate the various research findings. It will also provide structured training courses to students and professionals on international taxation.

ITRAF is a company registered under Sec 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. ITRAF will not act as a representative for any industry group to reduce tax rates, seek tax incentives or exemptions. ITRAF will provide an opportunity for corporates and professional firms to support this initiative by deputing their employees to provide research support, for various periods of time.

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