Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd vs. DDIT (Delhi High Court)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 29, 2014 (Date of publication)

Click here to download the judgement (samsung_147_201.pdf)

If it is held by the dept that no income arose to the recipient then notices to payer for TDS default u/s 201 & s. 40(a)(i) disallowance are bad

(a) The key to the decision is the answer to the question whether any income arose or accrued to Samsung Electronics Ltd, Korea (“SEC”) through its PE in India in respect of the sales made in India. If the answer is in the affirmative, both the notices would be good notices; if the answer is in the negative, both the notices would be bad. The answer in our opinion should be in the negative, because even as per the revenue, as reflected in the order passed by the DRP in the reassessment proceedings of SEC, no income accrued to SEC in India. In this regard, the DRP rejected the specific request made by that assessing officer in his remand report that the petitioner be treated as the permanent establishment (PE) of SEC and the income of SEC be computed on that basis. The DRP however held that as regards attribution of income to the “fixed place PE”, a rough and ready basis would be to 10% of the salary paid to the expat-employees of the petitioner as the mark-up, as was done by the assessing officer in the draft assessment order. The remuneration cost in respect of such employees seconded to the petitioner amounted to Rs. 10,72,24,310; this was taken as the base and a mark-up of 10% had been applied by the assessing officer and the income was taken as Rs.1,07,22,431/-. This was approved by the DRP in its order dated 29-9-2012; the other claims made by the assessing officer in the remand report were rejected;

(b) Thus the basis of both the notices (section 148 and 201) has been knocked out of existence by the DRP’s order in the reassessment proceedings of SEC for the same assessment year. On the date on which notices were issued to the petitioner under Sections 148 and 201(1)/(1A), there was an uncontested finding by the revenue authorities (i.e., the DRP) in the case of SEC that SEC cannot be taxed in respect of the sales made in India through the petitioner on the footing that the petitioner is its PE. If no income arose to SEC on account of sales in India since the petitioner cannot be held to be its PE in India, two consequences follow: (i) the payments made by the petitioner to SEC for the goods are not tax deductible under section 195(2) and hence they were rightly allowed as deduction in the original assessment of the petitioner and (ii) the assessee cannot be treated as one in default under section 201(1) and no interest can be charged under section 201(1A). It needs mention here that the notice under section 201 is a verbatim reproduction of the remand report of the assessing officer in SEC’s case filed before the DRP.

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