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Mehsana District Co-operative vs. DCIT (Gujarat High Court)

COURT:
CORAM: ,
SECTION(S): , ,
GENRE:
CATCH WORDS: ,
COUNSEL:
DATE: March 6, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 3, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 92CB Transfer Pricing Safe Harbour Rules: If the assessee has exercised the safe harbour option under Rule 10THD(1) & the AO has not passed any order under rule 10THD(4) declaring the exercising of option to be invalid, the option is treated as valid. Thereafter, the Transfer Pricing regime does not apply & the AO has no authority to make any reference to the TPO to ascertain the arm's length price of the assessee's specified domestic transactions. CBDT's circular dated 10.3.2006 could not have and does not lay down anything to the contrary

In the present case, admittedly, after the petitioner exercised such an option, the Assessing Officer passed no order under subrule (4) of rule 10THD declaring that the exercising of option was invalid. In terms of subrule (7) and subrule (8) of the said rule, therefore, the option exercised by the assessee would be treated as valid. Once this conclusion is reached, it follows as a natural and necessary corollary that the Transfer Pricing regime would not apply. That being the case, the Assessing Officer had no authority to make any reference to the TPO to ascertain the arm’s length price of the petitioner’s specified domestic transactions. Reference itself was therefore, invalid. CBDT’s circular dated 10.3.2006 could not have and does not lay down anything to the contrary. The circular merely prescribes the circumstances under which the Assessing Officer would make reference to the TPO. Nowhere does the circular provide that as soon as such circumstances exist, the Assessing Officer would make a reference to the TPO, irrespective of the fact that the assessee had opted for safe harbour and such option was treated or deemed to be treated as validly exercised. Legally speaking, CBDT could not have given any such directive. Eventually no such directive can be discerned from the circular.

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