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CIT vs. Stratex Net Works (India) Pvt. Ltd (Delhi High Court)
May, 14th 2013

Transfer Pricing: All related transactions cannot be considered for PLI determination

The assessee’s parent company, Digital Microwave Corporation USA, supplied equipment to Indian customers for which the assessee received commission. The said equipment was covered by warranty and the service relating thereto was provided by the assessee. The assessee also undertook installation of the said equipment and provided annual maintenance. The assessee claimed that while the receipt of commission and the provision of warranty service were “international transactions” with the AE and subject to transfer pricing regulations, the installation & maintenance service was an independent transaction and could not be considered while computing the PLI for determining the ALP. The TPO rejected the claim and held that in computing the profit level indicator of the international transactions involving warranty services and commission income, the operating revenue and operating costs of the installation/commissioning and maintenance services had to be taken. The CIT(A) & Tribunal upheld the assessee’s claim. On appeal by the department to the High Court, HELD dismissing the appeal:

The department’s argument that the installation, commissioning & maintenance services were intricately connected with the international transactions of warranty support services and commission income and that their operating cost and operating revenue had to be considered while computing the profit level indicator is not acceptable because the installation/ commissioning and maintenance agreements were independent agreements unconnected with the transactions of warranty support services and commission income. This is shown by the fact that while the equipment was supplied to 40 customers by the AE, only three of them availed of the installation services from the assessee. Also, a corroborative circumstance for construing the transactions of installation/commissioning and maintenance as domestic transactions was that the TPO had made no adjustment in respect of these transactions. The transactions pertaining to the installation/commissioning and maintenance services were also not deemed international transactions u/s 92B(2) because none of the conditions stipulated therein of a prior agreement existing between the customers of the assessee and the AE have been established as a fact. Moreover, there is no finding that the terms of the transaction of installation/commissioning as well as maintenance had been determined in substance between the customers and the assessee by the AE. In the absence of such finding, it cannot be deemed that the transaction of installation/commissioning as well as provision of maintenance services by the assessee to its domestic customers in India were international transactions falling within s. 92B(2).

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