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2011 (8) TMI 952 - AT - Income Tax
Transfer Pricing adjustments - Arms length price (ALP) - u/s 92CA - software development and IT enabled services - selection of comparable - products are generally sold on license basis wherein the right to use the software is transferred without giving the source code. - arithmetic mean of these comparables - held that:- TPO himself has rejected the companies which are making losses as comparables. This shows that there is a limit for the lower end for identifying the comparables. In such a situation, we are unable to understand as to why there should not be an upper limit also. What should be upper limit is another factor to be considered.
Size matters in business - A big company would be in a position to bargain the price and also attract more customers. It would also have a broad base of skilled employees who are able to give better output. A small company may not have these benefits and therefore, the turnover also would come down reducing profit margin. Thus, as held by the various benches of the Tribunal, when companies which are loss making are excluded from comparables, then the super profit making companies should also be excluded. - companies having a turnover of ₹ 1.00 core to 200 crores have to be taken as a particular range and the assessee being in that range having turnover of 8.15 crores, the companies which also have turnover of 1.00 to 200.00 crores only should be taken into consideration for the purpose of making TP study.
What is the data to be considered by the TPO at the time of determining ALP? - Whether the assessee should be given an opportunity to rebut the material sought to be used by the TPO? - held that:- it is clear that the Act has not provided for any cut off date upto which only the information available in public domain has to be taken into consideration by the TPO, while making the TP adjustments and arriving at arm's length price. The assessee as well as the revenue are both bound by the Act and the Rules there under and therefore, as provided under the Act and Rules they are supposed to be taking into consideration, the contemporaneous data relevant to the previous year in which the transaction has taken place.
When he is making the search for a relevant comparable, the TPO can issue notices to the parties whom he considers as relevant to gather requisite information and on being satisfied with regard to relevancy of the material which can be used against the assessee only then the assessee has to be given an opportunity of presenting its objections. Thus, the TPO need not inform the assessee about the process used by him for issuing the notices u/s 133(6) nor is he under any obligation to furnish the entire information to the assessee.
All the comparables have to be compared on similar standards and the assessee cannot be put in a dis-advantageous position, when in the case of other companies adjustments for under utilization of manpower is given. The assessee should also be given adjustment for under utilization of its infrastructure. The AO shall consider this fact also while determining the ALP and make the TP adjustments.