Section 115VP of the Income Tax Act: Method and time of opting for tonnage tax scheme

(1) A qualifying company may opt for the tonnage tax scheme by making an application to the Joint Commissioner having jurisdiction over the company in the form and manner as may be prescribed, for such scheme.

(2) The application under sub-section (1) may be made by any existing qualifying company at any time after the 30th day of September, 2004 but before the 1st day of January, 2005 (hereafter referred to as the “initial period”):

Provided that—

(i) a company incorporated after the initial period; or

(ii) a qualifying company incorporated before the initial period but which becomes a qualifying company for the first time after the initial period,

may make an application within three months of the date of its incorporation or the date on which it became a qualifying company, as the case may be.

(3) On receipt of an application for option for tonnage tax scheme under sub-section (1), the Joint Commissioner may call for such information or documents from the company as he thinks necessary in order to satisfy himself about the eligibility of the company and after satisfying himself about such eligibility of the company to make such option for tonnage tax scheme, he—

(i) shall pass an order in writing approving the option for tonnage tax scheme; or

(ii) shall, if he is not so satisfied, pass an order in writing refusing to approve the option for tonnage tax scheme,

and a copy of such order shall be sent to the applicant:

Provided that no order under clause (ii) shall be passed unless the applicant has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(4) Every order granting or refusing the approval of the option for tonnage tax scheme under clause (i) or clause (ii), as the case may be, of sub-section (3) shall be passed before the expiry of one month from the end of the month in which the application was received under sub-section (1).

(5) Where an order granting approval is passed under sub-section (3), the provisions of this Chapter shall apply from the assessment year relevant to the previous year in which the option for tonnage tax scheme is exercised.