DCIT vs. EDAG Engineers & Design India Pvt Ltd (ITAT Delhi)

DATE: October 13, 2014 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 18, 2014 (Date of publication)
AY: 2005-06
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Adjustment for capacity underutilization has to be in the results of the comparables and not the tested party. A 100% captive unit has to show that underutilization was for reasons beyond its control

The CIT(A) granted impugned relief by making adjustments, on account of capacity underutilization, in the results shown by the tested party and thus computing hypothetical financial results which the tested party would have achieved in perfect conditions. Such an exercise is impermissible. As as is the undisputed legal position, such comparability adjustments can only be made in the comparables and not the tested party itself. It is specifically provided in Rule 10B (1)(e)(iii) that adjustments for variations, which could materially affect the amount of net profit margin in the open market in comparable uncontrolled transactions, are to be made in respect of net profits realized by the comparable transactions or enterprises. The CIT(A) was thus clearly in error in proceeding to make capacity underutilization adjustments in the profits earned by the assessee. That apart, in the case of a one hundred percent captive service unit, as is the assessee before us, the very concept of capacity underutilization may not really make any sense unless the assessee has not been able to offer, for reasons beyond its control, the underutilized capacity to its AE. There is no finding on this aspect of the matter. As the assessee does not have the liberty to work for any other customer, and is wholly dependent on its AE for productive use of its capacity to work, the AE should normally make good any losses to the captive unit caused by its not being able to make use of the available capacity. In the case before this, the AE has indeed given some financial support to the assessee which has been reduced from the ALP adjustment figure, and the business rationale of AE’s extending financial support to the assessee is thus not in doubt. However, there is nothing on record to show how this financial support has been computed and is on what ground, and on what basis, this financial support is given. The reason for underutilized capacity and the facts regarding financial support extended to the assessee are not clear from the material on record. The CIT(A) has granted the impugned relief merely by making capacity underutilization adjustments to the profits achieved by the tested party, but then such an approach, as we have noted earlier, is wholly unsustainable in law.

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