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Archive for the ‘Tribunal’ Category

Alkaben B. Patel vs. ITO (ITAT Ahmedabad) (Special Bench)


April 4th, 2014


The term “month” in s. 54E, 54EA, 54EB & 54EC does not mean “30 days” but the “calendar month”. So, the expression “within a month” means “before the end of the calendar month”

Sections 54E, 54EA & 54EB require the investment to be made “within a period of six months after the date of such transfer”. The subtle question is that whether the word “month” refers in this section a period of 30 days or it refers to the month only. The term ‘month’ is not defined in the Income-tax Act. Therefore, its meaning has to be understood as per the General Clauses Act, 1897 which defines the word “month” to mean a month reckoned according to the British calendar. In Munnalal Shri Kishan Mainpuri 167 ITR 415 (All) it was held in the context of limitation u/s 256(2) that the word ‘month’ refers to a period of 30 days and, therefore, the reference to “six months” in s. 256(2) is to “six calendar months” and not “180 days”. On some occasions, the Legislature had not used the term “Month” but has used the number of days to prescribe a specific period. For example, the First Proviso to s. 254(2A) provides that the Tribunal may pass an order granting stay but for a period not exceeding 180 days. This is an important distinction made in the statute while subscribing the limitation/ period. This distinction thus resolves the present controversy by itself


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Bharti Airtel Limited vs. ACIT (ITAT Delhi)


March 19th, 2014


Transfer Pricing: A transaction (such as a corporate guarantee) which has no bearing on profits, incomes, losses or assets of the enterprise is not an ‘international transaction’ u/s 92B(1) and not subject to transfer pricing

(iii) When an assessee extends assistance to the AE, which does not cost anything to the assessee and particularly for which the assessee could not have realized money by giving it to someone else during the course of its normal business, such an assistance or accommodation does not have any bearing on its profits, income, losses or assets, and, therefore, it is outside the ambit of international transaction u/s 92B (1)


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Whirlpool of India Ltd vs. DCIT (ITAT Delhi)


March 19th, 2014


Transfer Pricing: After TPO determines the AMP expenditure incurred for benefit of AE, balance is deemed to be incurred for assessee’s business & is automatically allowable u/s 37(1)

The avowed object of the TP adjustment on account of AMP expenses is to first find out and attribute the amount spent by the assessee towards promotion of its foreign AE’s brand/logo etc and then make addition for such amount with appropriate mark-up. By this exercise, the total AMP expenses get segregated into two classes, viz., one benefiting the assessee’s business and two, benefiting the foreign AE by way of promotion of the brand. Whereas the first amount is deductible in full subject to the regular provisions, the second amount is added to the total income with suitable mark-up by way of the TP adjustment. Once the total amount of AMP expenses is processed through the provisions of Chapter X of the Act with the aim of making TP adjustment towards AMP expenses incurred for the foreign AE, or in other words such expenses as are not incurred for the assessee’s business, there can be no scope for again reverting to s. 37(1) qua such amount to make addition by considering the same expenditure as having not been incurred `wholly and exclusively’ for the purposes of assessee’s business. If the amount of AMP expenses is disallowed by processing under both the sections, that is 37 and 92, it will result in double addition to the extent of the original amount incurred for the promotion of the brand of the foreign AE de hors the mark-up


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Bharti Airtel Limited vs. ACIT (ITAT Delhi)


March 19th, 2014


ITAT hauls up AO & DRP for “blatantly frivolous & unsustainable” additions. Suggests that accountability mechanism be set up to put a check on AO. Rationale for existence of ineffective DRP questioned

if an action of the AO is so blatantly unreasonable that such seasoned senior officers well versed with functioning of judicial forums, as the learned DRs are, cannot even go through the convincing motions of defending the same before us, such unreasonable conduct of the AO deserves to be scrutinized seriously. At a time when evolving societal pressures demand greater degree of accountability in the governance also, it does no good to the judicial institutions to watch such situations as helpless spectators. If it is indeed a case of frivolous addition, someone should be accountable for the resultant undue hardship to the taxpayer


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Sudhir Menon HUF vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)


March 17th, 2014


S. 56(2)(vii) does not apply to bonus & rights shares offered on a proportionate basis even if the offer price is less than the FMV of the shares

S. 56(2)(vii)(c) (ii) provides that where an individual or a HUF receives any property for a consideration which is less than the FMV of the property, the difference shall be assessed as income of the recipient. S. 56(2)(vii) does not apply to the issue of bonus shares because there is a mere capitalization of profit by the issuing-company and there is neither any increase nor decrease in the wealth of the shareholder as his percentage holding remains constant. The same argument applies pari material to the issue of additional shares to the extent it is proportional to the existing share-holding because to the extent the value of the property in the additional shares is derived from that of the existing shareholding, on the basis of which the same are allotted, no additional property can be said to have been received by the shareholder. The fall in the value of the existing holding has to be taken into account. As long as there is no disproportionate allotment, i.e., shares are allotted pro-rata to the shareholders, based on their existing holdings, there is no scope for any property being received by them on the said allotment of shares; there being only an apportionment of the value of their existing holding over a larger number of shares. There is, accordingly, no question of s. 56(2)(vii)(c) getting attracted in such a case. A higher than proportionate or a non-uniform allotment though would attract the rigor of the provision to the extent of the disproportionate allotment and by suitably factoring in the decline in the value of the existing holding


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Maersk Global Centres (India) Pvt. Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai Special Bench)


March 8th, 2014


Transfer Pricing: Companies in ITES cannot be classified into low-end BPO services and high-end KPO services for comparability analysis but have to be classified based on the functions performed. Comparables with abnormal profit margins cannot be discarded per se but must be examined to determine whether the high margins are due to normal business conditions or not

(iv) As suggested in the OECD Guidelines on Transfer Pricing, determining a reliable estimate of arm’s length outcome requires flexibility and the exercise of good judgment. It is to be kept in mind that the TNMM may afford a practical solution to otherwise insoluble transfer pricing problems if it is used sensibly and with appropriate adjustments to account for differences. When the comparable uncontrolled transactions being used are those of an independent enterprise, a high degree of similarity is required in a number of aspects of the AE and the independent enterprise involved in the transactions in order for the controlled transactions to be comparable. Given that often the only data available for the third parties are company-wide data, the functions performed by the third party in its total operations must be closely aligned to those functions performed by the tested party with respect to its controlled transactions in order to allow the former to be used to determine an arm’s length outcome for the latter. The overall objective should be to determine a level of segmentation that provides reliable comparables for the controlled transaction, based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. The process followed to identify potential comparables is one of the most critical aspects of the comparability analysis and it should be transparent, systematic and verifiable. In particular, the choice of selection criteria has a significant influence on the outcome of the analysis and should reflect the most meaningful economic characteristics of the transactions compared. Complete elimination of subjective judgments from the selection of comparables would not be feasible but much can be done to increase objectivity and ensure transparency in the application of subjective judgments


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POSCO Engineering & Construction Co Ltd vs. ADIT (ITAT Delhi)


February 28th, 2014


Entire law on taxability of “composite” contracts for supply of offshore & onshore supply & services under Act & DTAA explained

(i) The first question which requires to be decided is whether it is a case of composite contract? In our considered opinion, the AO was initially not correct in holding that the contract was a composite one devoid of any bifurcation towards onshore and offshore supplies and services, which stand was subsequently altered to the correct position. We, therefore, hold that it is wide off the mark to categorize the present contract agreement as a composite one since all its major four components are distinctly identifiable with separate consideration for each. There is a separate mention of consideration for supply of equipments and for rendition of services. Simply because the supply of equipment and the rendition of services is to one party and for a common purpose, we are unable to find any logic in treating the entire amount as one composite payment attributable commonly both to the supply of equipment and rendering of services, more so when there is a specific identifiable amount relatable to these segments


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ITO vs. M/s Yash Developers (ITAT Mumbai)


February 26th, 2014


S. 80-IB(10): Limit on extent of commercial area imposed by clause (d) of s. 80IB (10) inserted w.e.f. 1.4.2005 does not apply to projects approved before that date

In the assessee’s own case for the same project relating to AYs 2005-06 and 2006-07, which falls after the insertion of clause (d) to s. 80IB(10), the Tribunal held that the assessee is eligible for deduction u/s 80IB(10) in respect of the housing project. Not only this, in Manan Corporation 214 Taxmann 373 (Guj) it was held that the condition of limiting commercial establishment/shops to 2000 sq.ft, which has come into force w.e.f. 1.4.2005 would be applicable for projects approved on or after 1.4.2005 and where the approval of the project was prior to 31.3.2005, the amended provision would have no application for those projects. The Gujarat High Court placed heavily reliance on the decision of the Bombay High Court in Brahma & Associates 333 ITR 289 (Bom)


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IJM (India) Infrastructure Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Hyderabad)


February 26th, 2014


Transfer Pricing provisions do not apply if the AE is assessed in India & there is no chance of shifting of profits outside India or erosion of tax base

(iv) The object behind enactment of transfer pricing regulations is to prevent shifting of profits outside India as is brought out by Morgan Stanley 292 ITR 416 (SC) & Circular No. 14 to the Finance Act 2001. In the present case, there is no possibility of shifting of profits outside India or erosion of country’s tax base because the PE profits of the AE are assessable to tax in India. Therefore, the transactions with the AEs are outside the purview of the transfer pricing regulations


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DCIT vs. Panasonic AVC Networks India Co Ltd (ITAT Delhi)


February 22nd, 2014


Transfer Pricing: Adjustment to profit margin for “capacity underutilization” can be made. In choosing comparables, there cannot be a cherry picking for deciding parameters of rejection. All comparables must face the same test

Under Rule 10B (1)(e)(ii), an adjustment to the net profit margin has to be made for “capacity underutilization”. Capacity underutilization by enterprises is an important factor affecting net profit margin in the open market because lower capacity utilization results in higher per unit costs, which, in turn, results in lower profits. Of course, the fundamental issue, so far as acceptability of such adjustments is concerned, is reasonable accuracy embedded in the mechanism for such adjustments, and as long as such an adjustment mechanism can be found, no objection can be taken to the adjustment. On facts, the CIT(A)’s approach is reasonable and the adjustments are on a conceptually sound basis


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