Microchip Technology (India) Private Limited , Bangalore v. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax Circle-4(1)(2), Bangalore

ITA 1498/BANG/2017 | 2013-2014
Pronouncement Date: 09-03-2021 | Result: Partly Allowed

Appeal Details

RSA Number 149821114 RSA 2017
Assessee PAN AABCM9868J
Bench Bangalore
Appeal Number ITA 1498/BANG/2017
Duration Of Justice 3 year(s) 8 month(s) 11 day(s)
Appellant Microchip Technology (India) Private Limited , Bangalore
Respondent Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax Circle-4(1)(2), Bangalore
Appeal Type Income Tax Appeal
Pronouncement Date 09-03-2021
Appeal Filed By Assessee
Order Result Partly Allowed
Bench Allotted C
Tribunal Order Date 09-03-2021
Last Hearing Date 10-09-2018
First Hearing Date 08-03-2021
Assessment Year 2013-2014
Appeal Filed On 27-06-2017
Judgment Text
IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL C BENCH : BANGALORE BEFORE SHRI N.V. VASUDEVAN VICE PRESIDENT AND SHRI B R BASKARAN ACCOUNTANT MEMBER IT (TP) A NO. 1498 /BANG/201 7 ASSESSMENT YEAR: 20 13 - 1 4 M/S. MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY (INDIA) PVT. LTD. NO.149-B EPIP 1 ST PHASE INDUSTRIAL AREA WHITEFIELD BANGALORE 560 066. PAN: AA B C M 9868 J VS. THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX CIRCLE 4(1)(2) BANGALORE. APPELLANT RESPONDENT ASSESSEE BY : SHRI . DARPAN KIRPALANI ADVOCATE RE VENUE B Y : SHRI. PRADEEP KUMAR CIT(DR) (ITAT) BENGALURU. DATE OF HEARING : 08 . 03 .202 1 DATE OF PRONOUNCEMENT : 09 . 03 .202 1 O R D E R PER N.V. VASUDEVAN VICE PRESIDENT THIS APPEAL BY THE ASSESSEE IS DIRECTED AGAINST THE ORDER DATED 21.04.2017 OF DCIT CIRCLE 4(1)(2) BANGALORE (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS THE ASSESSING OFFICER AO IN SHORT) PASSED U/S.143(3) READ WITH SECTION 144C(13) OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961 (ACT) IN RELATION TO AY 2013-14. 2. THERE IS A DELAY OF 2 DAYS IN FILING THIS APPEAL WHICH HAS BEEN EXPLAINED BY THE ASSESSEE AS DUE TO THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE ASSESSEE NOT BEING AVAILABLE IN BANGALORE DUE TO OFFICIAL WORK. THE DELAY BEING A IT(TP)A NO. 1498/BANG/2017 PAGE 2 OF 9 NOMINAL DELAY THE SAME IS CONDONED ACCEPTING THE REASONS GIVEN FOR CONDONATION OF DELAY. 3. THE ASSESSEE IN ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF PROVISION OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES (SWD SERVICES) TO ITS WHOLLY OWNED HOLDING COMPANY. IN TERMS OF THE PROVISIONS OF SEC.92-A OF THE ACT THE ASSESSEE AND ITS WHOLLY OWNED HOLDING COMPANY WERE ASSOCIATED ENTERPRISES ('AES'). IN TERMS OF SEC.92B(1) OF THE ACT THE TRANSACTION OF PROVIDING SWD SERVICES AND MSS WERE INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION I.E. A TRANSACTION BETWEEN TWO OR MORE ASSOCIATED ENTERPRISES EITHER OR BOTH OF WHOM ARE NON- RESIDENTS IN THE NATURE OF PURCHASE SALE OR LEASE OF TANGIBLE OR INTANGIBLE PROPERTY OR PROVISION OF SERVICES OR LENDING OR BORROWING MONEY OR ANY OTHER TRANSACTION HAVING A BEARING ON THE PROFITS INCOME LOSSES OR ASSETS OF SUCH ENTERPRISES AND SHALL INCLUDE A MUTUAL AGREEMENT OR ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN TWO OR MORE ASSOCIATED ENTERPRISES FOR THE ALLOCATION OR APPORTIONMENT OF OR ANY CONTRIBUTION TO ANY COST OR EXPENSE INCURRED OR TO BE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH A BENEFIT SERVICE OR FACILITY PROVIDED OR TO BE PROVIDED TO ANY ONE OR MORE OF SUCH ENTERPRISES. IN TERMS OF SEC.92(1) OF THE ACT THE ANY INCOME ARISING FROM AN INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION SHALL BE COMPUTED HAVING REGARD TO THE ARMS LENGTH PRICE. IN THIS APPEAL BY THE ASSESSEE THE DISPUTE IS WITH REGARD TO DETERMINATION OF ARMS LENGTH PRICE (ALP) IN RESPECT OF THE AFORESAID TWO INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION OF (I) RENDERING SWD SERVICES TO THE AE AND (II) RENDERING OF MSS TO THE AE. WE SHALL DEAL EACH OF THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS SEPARATELY. 4. AS FAR AS THE PROVISION OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES ARE CONCERNED THE ASSESSEE FILED A TRANSFER PRICING STUDY (TP STUDY) TO JUSTIFY IT(TP)A NO. 1498/BANG/2017 PAGE 3 OF 9 THE PRICE PAID IN THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION AS AT ALP BY ADOPTING THE TRANSACTION NET MARGIN METHOD (TNMM) AS THE MOST APPROPRIATE METHOD (MAM) OF DETERMINING ALP. THE ASSESSEE SELECTED OPERATING PROFIT/OPERATING COST (OP/OC) AS THE PROFIT LEVEL INDICATOR (PLI) FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPARISON. THE OP/OC OF THE ASSESSEE WAS ARRIVED AT 16.59% BY THE ASSESSEE IN ITS TP STUDY. THE OPERATING INCOME WAS RS.119 38 25 958/- AND THE OPERATING COST WAS RS.102 40 13 273/-. THE OPERATING PROFIT (OPERATING INCOME OPERATING COST WAS RS.16 98 12 685/-. THUS THE OP/TC WAS ARRIVED AT 16.58%. THE ASSESSEE CHOSE COMPANIES WHO ARE ENGAGED IN PROVIDING SIMILAR SERVICES SUCH AS THE ASSESSEE. THE ASSESSEE IDENTIFIED COMPARABLE COMPANIES WHOSE AVERAGE ARITHMETIC MEAN OF PROFIT MARGIN WAS COMPARABLE WITH THE OPERATING MARGIN OF THE ASSESSEE. THE ASSESSEE THEREFORE CLAIMED THAT THE PRICE IT CHARGED IN THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS AT ARMS LENGTH. 5. THE TRANSFER PRICING OFFICER (TPO) TO WHOM THE DETERMINATION OF ALP WAS REFERRED TO BY THE AO ACCEPTED TNMM AS THE MAM AND ALSO USED THE SAME PLI FOR COMPARISON I.E. OP/TC. HE ALSO SELECTED COMPARABLE COMPANIES FROM DATABASE. THE TPO ON HIS OWN IDENTIFIED 7 COMPANIES AS COMPARABLE WITH THE ASSESSEE COMPANY AND WORKED OUT THE AVERAGE ARITHMETIC MEAN OF THEIR PROFIT MARGINS AS FOLLOWS: SI. NO. NAME OF THE TAXPAYER OP/OC I CG - VAK SOFTWARE EXPORTS LTD 20.54% 2 I C R A TECHNO ANALYTICS LTD. 17.10% 3 LARSEN & TOUBRO INFOTECH LTD. 26.06% 4 MINDTREE LTD. (SEG) 18.19% 5 PERSISTENT SYSTEMS LTD. 28.27% IT(TP)A NO. 1498/BANG/2017 PAGE 4 OF 9 6 R S SOFTWARE (INDIA) PVT LTD 17.41% 7 TECH MAHINDRA LTD (SEG) 18.72% UNADJUSTED AVERAGE MARGIN 20.90% 6. THE TPO COMPUTED THE ADDITION TO TOTAL INCOME ON ACCOUNT OF ADJUSTMENT TO ALP AS FOLLOWS: 13.4 COMPUTATION OF ARM'S LENGTH PRICE: 13.4.1 THE ARITHMETIC MEAN OF THE PROFIT LEVEL INDICATORS IS TAKEN AS THE ARM'S LENGTH MARGIN 13.4.2 BASED ON THIS THE ARM'S LENGTH PRICE OF THE SERVICES RENDERED BY THE TAXPAYER TO ITS AE(S) COMPUTED AS UNDER: ARM'S LENGTH MEAN MARGIN ON COST 20.90% LESS: WORKING CAPITAL ADJUSTMENT 0.69% (AS PER ANNEX. B) ADJUSTED MARGIN 20.21% OPERATING COST 10240 13 273 ARM'S LENGTH PRICE(ALP) 12309 76 131 120.21% OF OPERATING COST PRICE RECEIVED 11938 25 958 VARIATION IN PRICE 371 50 173 3% OF PRICE RECEIVED 358 14 779 SHORTFALL BEING ADJUSTMENT 371 50 173 13.4.3 THE ABOVE SHORTFALL OF RS.371 50 173/- IS TREATED AS TRANSFER PRICING ADJUSTMENT U/S 92CA IN RESPECT OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT SEGMENT OF THE TAXPAYERS INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS. THUS A SUM OF RS3 71 50 173/- WAS ADDED TO THE TOTAL INCOME OF THE ASSESSEE ON ACCOUNT OF DETERMINATION OF ALP FOR PROVISION OF SWD SERVICES BY THE ASSESSEE TO ITS AE. 7. THE ASSESSEE FILED OBJECTIONS BEFORE THE DISPUTES RESOLUTION PANEL (DRP) AGAINST THE DRAFT ASSESSMENT ORDER PASSED BY THE AO WHEREIN THE ADDITION SUGGESTED BY THE TPO AS ADJUSTMENT TO ALP WAS ADDED TO THE TOTAL IT(TP)A NO. 1498/BANG/2017 PAGE 5 OF 9 INCOME OF THE ASSESSEE BY THE AO. THE DRP GAVE CERTAIN DIRECTIONS. BASED ON THE DIRECTIONS OF THE DRP THE AO PASSED THE FINAL ORDER OF ASSESSMENT. TO THE EXTENT THE ASSESSEE DID NOT GET RELIEF FROM THE DRP THE ASSESSEE HAS PREFERRED APPEAL BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL. 8. AT THE TIME OF HEARING THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR ASSESSEE PRAYED THAT GROUND NO.5 WITH REGARD TO EXCLUDING 5 COMPARABLE COMPANIES CHOSEN BY THE TPO BY APPLICATION OF TURNOVER FILTER ALONE BE ADJUDICATED AND ALL OTHER GROUNDS WOULD BE ACADEMIC HENCE NEED NOT BE ADJUDICATED. 9. GROUND NO.5 OF THE REVISED GROUNDS OF APPEAL READS AS FOLLOWS: 5. ON THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE THE LEARNED AO ERRED IN ELIMINATING COMPANIES WITH A TURNOVER OF RS.I CRORE AND BELOW BUT INCLUDING MEDIUM LARGE AND VERY LARGE COMPANIES WITH HUGE SCALE & SIZE OF OPERATIONS WHILE CARRYING OUT COMPARABILITY ANALYSIS. A) LARSEN & TOURBO INFOTECH LTD B) PERSISTENT SYSTEMS LTD. C) TECH MAHINDRA LTD D) MINDTREE LTD E) RS SOFTWARE INDIA PVT LTD 10. WE HAVE HEARD THE RIVAL SUBMISSIONS. AS FAR AS GROUND NO.2 RAISED BY THE REVENUE IS CONCERNED THE QUESTION BOILS DOWN ON APPLICATION OF TURNOVER FILTER IN CHOOSING COMPARABLE COMPANIES. THE TURNOVER OF THE ASSESSEE IS RS.119.38 CRORES WHEREAS THE TURNOVER OF THE 5 COMPANIES MENTIONED IN GROUND NO.5 ARE ABOVE RS.2000 CRORES. THE TURNOVER OF THESE 5 COMPANIES ARE AS FOLLOWS: IT(TP)A NO. 1498/BANG/2017 PAGE 6 OF 9 SL. NO. COMPARABLES OPERATING TURNOVER FOR FY 2012-13 (INR CRORES) 1 LARSEN & TURBO INFOTECH LIMITED 3 609.32 2 PERSISTENT SYSTEM LIMITED 996.75 3 TECH MAHINDRA LTD 5 595.70 4 MINDTREE LTD 2 361.82 5 RS SOFTWARE INDIA PVT. LTD. 293.05 11. AS FAR AS EXCLUDING THE COMPANIES ON THE BASIS OF TURNOVER IS CONCERNED THE ISSUE HAS BEEN SETTLED IN SEVERAL DECISIONS OF THE TRIBUNAL AND HAS BEEN ELABORATELY DISCUSSED BY THIS TRIBUNAL IN THE CASE OF AUTODESK INDIA PVT. LTD. V. DCIT IN IT(TP)A NO.540 & 541/BANG/2013 ORDER DATED 06.07.2018. THE TRIBUNAL IN THIS DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF ENTIRE CASE LAWS ON THE SUBJECT CONSIDERED THE QUESTION WHETHER COMPANIES HAVING TURNOVER MORE THAN 200 CRORES UPTO 500 CRORES HAS TO BE REGARDED AS ONE CATEGORY AND THOSE COMPANIES CANNOT BE REGARDED AS COMPARABLES WITH COMPANIES HAVING TURNOVER OF LESS THAN 200 CRORES THE TRIBUNAL HELD AS FOLLOWS:- 17.7. WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE RIVAL SUBMISSIONS. THE SUBSTANTIAL QUESTION OF LAW (QUESTION NO.1 TO 3) WHICH WAS FRAMED BY THE HON'BLE DELHI HIGH COURT IN THE CASE OF CHRYSCAPITAL INVESTMENT ADVISORS (INDIA) PVT.LTD. (SUPRA) WAS AS TO WHETHER COMPARABLE CAN BE REJECTED ON THE GROUND THAT THEY HAVE EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH PROFIT MARGINS OR FLUCTUATION PROFIT MARGINS AS COMPARED TO THE ASSESSEE IN TRANSFER PRICING ANALYSIS. THEREFORE AS RIGHTLY SUBMITTED BY THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE THE OBSERVATIONS OF THE HON'BLE HIGH COURT IN SO FAR AS IT REFERS TO TURNOVER WERE IN THE NATURE OF OBITER DICTUM. JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE REQUIRES THAT THE TRIBUNAL SHOULD FOLLOW THE DECISION OF A NON- JURISDICTION HIGH COURT EVEN THOUGH THE SAID DECISION IS OF A NON-JURISDICTIONAL HIGH COURT. WE HOWEVER FIND THAT THE HON'BLE BOMBAY HIGH COURT IN THE CASE OF CIT VS. PENTAIR WATER INDIA IT(TP)A NO. 1498/BANG/2017 PAGE 7 OF 9 PVT.LTD. TAX APPEAL NO.18 OF 2015 JUDGMENT DATED 16.9.2015 HAS TAKEN THE VIEW THAT TURNOVER IS A RELEVANT CRITERION FOR CHOOSING COMPANIES AS COMPARABLE COMPANIES IN DETERMINATION OF ALP IN TRANSFER PRICING CASES. THERE IS NO DECISION OF THE JURISDICTIONAL HIGH COURT ON THIS ISSUE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES FOLLOWING THE PRINCIPLE THAT WHERE TWO VIEWS ARE AVAILABLE ON AN ISSUE THE VIEW FAVOURABLE TO THE ASSESSEE HAS TO BE ADOPTED WE RESPECTFULLY FOLLOW THE VIEW OF THE HON'BLE BOMBAY HIGH COURT ON THE ISSUE. RESPECTFULLY FOLLOWING THE AFORESAID DECISION WE UPHOLD THE ORDER OF THE DRP EXCLUDING 5 COMPANIES FROM THE LIST OF COMPARABLE COMPANIES CHOSEN BY THE TPO ON THE BASIS THAT THE 5 COMPANIES TURNOVER WAS MUCH HIGHER COMPARED TO THAT THE ASSESSEE. 17.8. IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE CONCLUSION THERE MAY NOT BE ANY NECESSITY TO EXAMINE AS TO WHETHER THE DECISION RENDERED IN THE CASE OF GENISYS INTEGRATING (SUPRA) BY THE ITAT BANGALORE BENCH SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE FOLLOWED. SINCE ARGUMENTS WERE ADVANCED ON THE CORRECTNESS OF THE DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE ITAT MUMBAI AND BANGALORE BENCHES TAKING A VIEW CONTRARY TO THAT TAKEN IN THE CASE OF GENISYS INTEGRATING (SUPRA) WE PROCEED TO EXAMINE THE SAID ISSUE ALSO. ON THIS ISSUE THE FIRST ASPECT WHICH WE NOTICE IS THAT THE DECISION RENDERED IN THE CASE OF GENISYS INTEGRATING (SUPRA) WAS THE EARLIEST DECISION RENDERED ON THE ISSUE OF COMPARABILITY OF COMPANIES ON THE BASIS OF TURNOVER IN TRANSFER PRICING CASES. THE DECISION WAS RENDERED AS EARLY AS 5.8.2011. THE DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE ITAT MUMBAI BENCHES CITED BY THE LEARNED DR BEFORE US IN THE CASE OF WILLIS PROCESSING SERVICES (SUPRA) AND CAPEGEMINI INDIA PVT.LTD. (SUPRA) ARE TO BE REGARDED AS PER INCURIUM AS THESE DECISIONS IGNORE A BINDING CO-ORDINATE BENCH DECISION. IN THIS REGARD THE DECISIONS REFERRED TO BY THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE SUPPORTS THE PLEA OF THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE. THE DECISIONS RENDERED IN THE CASE OF M/S.NTT DATA (SUPRA) SOCIETE GENERALE GLOBAL SOLUTIONS (SUPRA) AND LSI TECHNOLOGIES (SUPRA) WERE RENDERED LATER IN POINT OF TIME. THOSE DECISIONS FOLLOW THE RATIO LAID DOWN IN WILLIS PROCESSING SERVICES (SUPRA) AND HAVE TO BE REGARDED AS PER INCURIUM. THESE THREE DECISIONS ALSO PLACE RELIANCE ON THE DECISION OF THE HONBLE DELHI HIGH COURT IN THE CASE OF CHRISCAPITAL INVESTMENT (SUPRA). WE HAVE ALREADY HELD THAT THE DECISION RENDERED IN THE CASE OF CHRISCAPITAL INVESTMENT (SUPRA) IS OBITER DICTA AND THAT THE RATIO IT(TP)A NO. 1498/BANG/2017 PAGE 8 OF 9 DECIDENDI LAID DOWN BY THE HONBLE BOMBAY HIGH COURT IN THE CASE OF PENTAIR (SUPRA) WHICH IS FAVOURABLE TO THE ASSESSEE HAS TO BE FOLLOWED. THEREFORE THE DECISIONS CITED BY THE LEARNED DR BEFORE US CANNOT BE THE BASIS TO HOLD THAT HIGH TURNOVER IS NOT RELEVANT CRITERIA FOR DECIDING ON COMPARABILITY OF COMPANIES IN DETERMINATION OF ALP UNDER THE TRANSFER PRICING REGULATIONS UNDER THE ACT. FOR THE REASONS GIVEN ABOVE WE UPHOLD THE ORDER OF THE CIT(A) ON THE ISSUE OF APPLICATION OF TURNOVER FILTER AND HIS ACTION IN EXCLUDING COMPANIES BY FOLLOWING THE RATIO LAID DOWN IN THE CASE OF GENISYS INTEGRATING (SUPRA). 12. RESPECTFULLY FOLLOWING THE AFORESAID DECISION WE HOLD THAT THE AFORESAID FIVE MENTIONED IN GROUND NO.5 SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE LIST OF COMPARABLE COMPANIES. WE HOLD AND DIRECT ACCORDINGLY. NO OTHER GROUNDS RAISED IN THE GROUNDS OF APPEAL AS WELL AS THE ADDITIONAL GROUNDS WERE PRESSED FOR ADJUDICATION AS IN THE OPINION OF THE COUNSEL FOR THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE THOSE GROUNDS WOULD BECOME ACADEMIC. 13. WE DIRECT THE AO/TPO TO COMPUTE THE ALP IN THE LIGHT OF THE DIRECTIONS GIVEN IN THIS ORDER AFTER AFFORDING OPPORTUNITY OF HEARING TO THE ASSESSEE. 14. IN THE RESULT APPEAL OF THE ASSESSEE IS PARTLY ALLOWED. PRONOUNCED IN THE OPEN COURT ON THE DATE MENTIONED ON THE CAPTION PAGE. SD/- SD/- BANGALORE DATED: 09.03.2021. /NS/* ( B. R. BASKARAN ) ( N. V. VASUDEVAN) ACCOUNTANT MEMBER VICE PRESIDENT IT(TP)A NO. 1498/BANG/2017 PAGE 9 OF 9 COPY TO: 1. APPELLANT 2. RESPONDENT 3. CIT 4. CIT(A) 5. DR ITAT BANGALORE. 6. GUARD FILE BY ORDER ASSISTANT REGISTRAR ITAT BANGALORE.