Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. v. CIT (IT) (2023) 201 ITD 87 (Delhi) (Trib.)

S. 263 : Commissioner-Revision of orders prejudicial to revenue-Deemed to accrue or arise in India-Royalties/fees for technical services-Off-shore sales-Order is passed after detailed enquiry-Revision is quashed-DTAA-India-Singapore. [S. 9(1)(vii), 143(3) Art. 12]

Assessee, a tax resident of Singapore, engaged in business of wholesale distribution of electronic products. It provided after-sales support services through third-party channel partners in India and other parts of world. Assessee claimed that receipts from sales and services were not taxable in India and sought a refund of TDS deducted.  Assessing Officer accepted income returned by assessee after conducting an inquiry.  Commissioner under section 263 proceedings held that  the Assessing Officer had failed to conduct a proper inquiry into true nature of receipts from repairs and maintenance services, and off-shore sale of products. Commissioner held that receipts from repairs and maintenance services were in nature of fee for technical services (FTS) under section 9(1)(vii). On appeal the Tribunal held  in the course of  assessment  proceedings  the assessee furnished its reply explaining nature of activities in India and clearly stated that receipts from repair and support services were not taxable in India.  Assessee also enclosed a copy of TRC issued by Singapore Revenue Authorities. Further, in response to notice issued under section 142(1), assessee furnished its reply and enclosed final assessment order for assessment year 2016-17, wherein Assessing Officer had accepted assessee’s claim that receipts from rendition of repair and support services were not in nature of FTS and hence not taxable in India.   Tribunal held that only because view taken by Assessing Officer was not acceptable to revisionary authority or did not match with view of revisionary authority, it could not be said that it was not a possible view.  Revision order is quashed. (AY. 2016-17)