Vijay Electricals Limited vs. ACIT (ITAT Hyderabad)

DATE: October 15, 2014 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 20, 2014 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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Fraud in determination of LIBOR/ EURIBOR no reason to discard it as ALP

The department claimed that in determining the ALP of an international transaction of loan by the assessee to its AE, LIBOR could not be treated as the ALP as there was a “fraud” regarding fixation of ‘LIBOR’ as evidenced by the fact that Barclays Bank & UBS were fined by the United States Department of Justice for attempted manipulation of the LIBOR and Euribor rates and ultimately UBS agreed to pay to regulators. HELD by the Tribunal:

Even though Revenue has raised additional grounds on the reason that LIBOR cannot be considered as a basis as it was fraudulently fixed, we are not in a position to agree with the additional grounds. Whether that was fraudulently fixed or not is not a consideration now, as it was the basis for all international transactions at that point of time as far as borrowing of funds are concerned. In fact, assessee’s A.E. also obtained loan from a local branch at LIBOR plus basis only. Accordingly, assessee has justified the interest on the rate prevalent at that relevant point of time. Even though there may be same fraud involved in fixing the rate of international rates, as it became basis for subsequent international transactions at that point of time, We do not see any reason to differ from the LIBOR plus basis points for T.P. comparison. The Revenue cannot contend that rate of interest prevailing in India has to be adopted as the rates in India cannot be compared while loans are obtained abroad, even though funds are flown from India. What is required to be seen is whether the transaction is at arms length or not. Since, the international loan rates are based on LIBOR, we do not see any reason for differing from the Ld. CIT(A) order, which itself based on Coordinate Bench decisions that LIBOR plus basis points is at arm’s length.

Note: The entire story relating to the Libor Fraud/ scandal is given here

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