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Case Law Details

Case Name : ACIT Vs American Express Services India Ltd. (ITAT Mumbai)
Appeal Number : I.T.A No. 4106/ Mum/2007
Date of Judgement/Order : 03/02/2012
Related Assessment Year : 2002- 03
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ACIT Vs American Express Services India Ltd. (ITAT Mumbai)- We find that it is not in dispute that the transaction between the assessee and American Express Bank, inter alia, including for purchase of Acquired Business Database were subjected to transfer pricing scrutiny and, the Transfer Pricing Officer vide order dated 15.2.2005 has accepted the transaction without making any adjustment to the arms length price. In this view of the matter and as held by Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of CIT Vs. Oracle India Pvt. Ltd. (243 CTR 103), when the price fixed is acceptable as arms length price by Transfer Pricing Officer (TPO) under section 92 of the Act, it cannot be open to the Assessing Officer to disturb that price so paid as unreasonable.

We have also noted that the Assessing Officer has doubted the appropriateness of the consideration of Rs.12 crores without any cogent material to come to the conclusion that this is excessive or unreasonable, but then the TPO whose duty is it to examine whether or not the price paid in intra associate enterprises transactions are at arms length price or not has accepted the transaction without making any arms length price adjustment. There is no material whatsoever to establish or even indicate that the price of Rs.12 crores paid for the Acquired Business Database is excessive or unreasonable and only the basis of Assessing Officer’s coming to the conclusion about his subjective judgment. When the valuation of Acquired Business Database has been examined by TPO while concluding that the database price adjustment for the said year and no adverse inferences have been recorded in respect of the same, there could be no good reason for the AO to deviate from the stand of the TPO and substitute his own opinion as to what should be the correct price at which Acquired Business Database should have been purchased. In this view of the matter and in the light of the judgment of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Oracle India P. Ltd (supra), we are of the considered view that the CIT(A) was indeed in error in restricting the value of Acquired Business Database at Rs.3 crores as against Rs.12 crores paid by the assessee. To this extent, we vacate the order of the CIT(A). We further find that so far as the question about admissibility of depreciation of Acquired Business Database is concerned, this issue is covered in favour of the assessee by the judgment of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of CIT vs. Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (331 ITR 192), wherein, Their Lordships, inter alia, have observed that “It is worth noting, the scope of section 32 has been widened by the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1998 whereby depreciation is now allowed on intangible assets acquired on or after 1st April, 1998. As per section 32(1)(ii), depreciation is allowable in respect of know-how, patents, copyrights, trademarks, licences, franchises or any other business or commercial rights of similar nature.” In view of these discussions as also bearing in mind the entirety of the case, we are of the considered opinion that the CIT(A) ought to have allowed the depreciation on the entire payment of Rs.12 crores towards Acquired Business Database. We, therefore, reject the appeal filed by the Assessing Officer against partial relief granted by the CIT(A) and uphold the grievance of the assessee in this regard.


I.T.A No. 4106/ Mum/2007,

C.O.No. 202/Mum/2009 –

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