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The assessee who earned from employment abroad was declined exemption under article 15(1) of the India-Austria DTAA in (2020] 79 ITR (Trib) 465 (ITAT[Hyd]) only for want of tax residency certificate (TRC) from Austria. The submission of the assessee was that despite the best possible efforts he was not able to procure the tax residency certificate from the country of residence and the situation may be treated as “impossibility of performance”.
Following certain decisions, the bench held a prima facie view that the provisions of section 90(4) cannot be construed as a limitation to the superiority of treaty over the domestic law.
It further held that if the assessee provides sufficient circumstantial evidence in such cases, the requirement of section 90(4) ought to be relaxed.
TRC is thus no bar against treaty reliefs.

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