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Oracle India moves HC challenging IT order for special audit
January, 14th 2010

Oracle India has approached Delhi High Court challenging the order of the government which had asked it to undertake a special audit of the tax returns filed by the IT firm.

In its petition, Oracle India, a subsidiary of global IT firm Oracle Inc, requested the court to stay the direction passed by the Income Tax Department which had on December 29, 2009, ordered it to do a special audit of the tax returns filed by the firm for financial year 2006-07.

The Income Tax department had directed SBG & Co, a Charted Accountant firm, to do a special audit of the IT firm. A division bench comprising Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridual has directed to list the petition for hearing on January 19.

"Quash the impugned order of Respondent no 2 (IT dept) directing the Oracle to have its account book of the accounts for the assessment year 2006-07 audited by the nominated auditors," said Oracle India in its petition.

Oracle had declared a total income of Rs 159.40 crores for financial year 2006-07. However, the IT department said there was some international transaction by Oracle which was also in the business of duplication and distribution of softwares developed by its US-basec parent company Oracle Inc.

The Transfer Pricing Officer (TPO) raied some queries regarding the royalty, interest and other facts.

On November 16, the IT department had sent a notice to Oracle having 17 questions and asked why it should not do a special audit under section 142 (2A) of the Income Tax Act.

Under section 142 (2A), if the IT department is of opinion that there is a need for an independent assessment of returns, then it may have them audited by an accountant.

According to Oracle, it submitted a detailed reply to the IT department's questionnaire and even produced its book of accounts. However, despite it, the IT department had on December 29, 2009, directed for a special audit and appointed a chartered accountant.

Requesting the court to quash the IT department's directive, Oracle contended that it was based on "wrong facts" and the IT department "ignored its submissions and misconstrued it".

Oracle further submitted that the chartered accountant appointed by the IT department is "pressing to immediately start the audit process".

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