We are in disagreement with the revenue’s argument that GMDAT should not be selected as a ‘tested party’ as the comparable as the comparable companies selected by the assessee doesn’t fall within the ambit of TPO’s jurisdiction and, thus, he can neither call for any additional information nor scrutinize their books of accounts. The Revenue can get all the relevant particulars around the globe by using the latest technology under its thumb or direct the assessee to furnish the same.
As rightly highlighted by the assessee, we find inconsistency in the approach of the TPO with regard to the issue of ‘tested party’. On the one hand, the TPO averred that there was no reliable data available for both GMDAT and comparables; however, on the other hand, he had conveniently taken GMDAT as the ‘tested party’ while making adjustment to transaction relating to payment of royalty by the assessee to GMDAT. This exposes the inconsistency approach of the TPO.
The financial statements of comparable companies have since been audited by the independent auditors and, thus, there can be no reservation in placing a reliance on the same. However, the learned Sr. Counsel submitted that segment financial data for benchmarking – a part of GMDAT’s business – was made available to the TPO and also on his request, the financial statements of GMDAT (at company level) was furnished to the TPO and the same is not disputed. Therefore, there should be no grievance on the part of the Revenue to say that no sufficient data was made available.
Taking all the above facts and circumstances of the issue as discussed in the foregoing paragraphs, in consonance with the case laws quoted (supra) and also the United Nation’s Practical Manual on transfer pricing, we direct the TPO to adopt GMDAT as the ‘tested party’ for analyzing the inter-company transactions of the assessee for both the AYs under consideration. To facilitate the TPO to analyze the inter-company transactions in the case of the assessee by selecting GMDAT as ‘tested party’ as directed above, this issue is restored on the files of the TPO. It is ordered accordingly.