Section 40A of the Act empowers the Assessing Officer to disallow unreasonable expenditure incurred between related parties. Further, under Chapter VI-A and section 10AA, the Assessing Officer is empowered to re-compute the income (based on fair market value) of the undertaking to which profit linked deduction is provided if there are transactions with the related parties or other undertakings of the same entity. However, no specific method to determine reasonableness of expenditure or fair market value to re-compute the income in such related transactions is provided under these sections.
The Supreme Court in the case of CIT Vs. Glaxo SmithKline Asia (P) Ltd., in its order has, after examining the complications which arise in cases where fair market value is to be assigned to transactions between domestic related parties, suggested that Ministry of Finance should consider appropriate provisions in law to make transfer pricing regulations applicable to such related party domestic transactions.
The application and extension of scope of transfer pricing regulations to domestic transactions would provide objectivity in determination of income from domestic related party transactions and determination of reasonableness of expenditure between related domestic parties. It will create legally enforceable obligation on assessees to maintain proper documentation. However, extending the transfer pricing requirements to all domestic transactions will lead to increase in compliance burden on all assessees which may not be desirable.
Therefore, the transfer pricing regulations need to be extended to the transactions entered into by domestic related parties or by an undertaking with other undertakings of the same entity for the purposes of section 40A, Chapter VI-A and section 10AA. The concerns of administrative and compliance burden are addressed by restricting its applicability to the transactions, which exceed a monetary threshold of Rs. 5 crores in aggregate during the year. In view of the circumstances which were present in the case before the Supreme Court, there is a need to expand the definition of related parties for purpose of section 40A to cover cases of companies which have the same parent company.
It is, therefore, proposed to amend the Act to provide applicability of transfer pricing regulations (including procedural and penalty provisions) to transactions between related resident parties for the purposes of computation of income, disallowance of expenses etc. as required under provisions of sections 40A, 80-IA, 10AA, 80A, sections where reference is made to section 80-IA, or to transactions as may be prescribed by the Board, if aggregate amount of all such domestic transactions exceeds Rupees 5 crore in a year. It is further proposed to amend the meaning of related persons as provided in section 40A to include companies having the same holding company.
This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the Assessment Year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.