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Dunnhumby IT Services India Pvt. Ltd. 4th Floor, Paras Twin Tower, Tower-B Golf Course Road, Sector-54 Gurgaon vs. DCIT Circle-10(1) New Delhi
April, 27th 2021

1 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
DELHI BENCH: ‘I-1’ NEW DELHI

BEFORE SHRI N. K. BILLAIYA, ACCOUNTANT MEMBER
AND

MS SUCHITRA KAMBLE, JUDICIAL MEMBER

I.T.A. No. 2423/DEL/2017 (A.Y 2010-11)

(THROUGH VIDEO CONFERENCING)

Dunnhumby IT Services India Pvt. Vs DCIT

Ltd. 4th Floor, Paras Twin Tower, Circle-10(1)

Tower-B New Delhi

Golf Course Road, Sector-54

Gurgaon

AACCD6863H

(APPELLANT) (RESPONDENT)

I.T.A. No. 2815/DEL/2017 (A.Y 2010-11)

JCIT Vs Dunnhumby IT Services
Special Range-3, India Pvt. Ltd. 4th Floor,
New Delhi Paras Twin Tower, S-22,
Great Kailash, Part-1
(APPELLANT) AACCD6863H
(RESPONDENT)

Appellant by Sh. Rajesh Sachdev, Adv &
Mr. Manish Bawa, CA

Respondent by Sh. Anurag Sharma, Sr. DR

Date of Hearing 22.02.2021

Date of Pronouncement 26.04.2021

ORDER


PER SUCHITRA KAMBLE, JM

These two appeals are filed by the assessee and the Revenue against the
order dated 17/11/2016 passed by the CIT(A)- 44, New Delhi for Assessment
Year 2010-11.
2 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

2. The grounds of appeal are as under:-

I.T.A. No. 2423/DEL/2017 (Assessee’s appeal)

In view of the facts of the case and relevant legal provisions under the
Income-tax Act, 1961 ('the Act'), the taxpayer-appellant believes that the
impugned order of the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) - 44, New Delhi
['Ld. CIT(A)'] dated November 17, 2016 is not sustainable in the eyes of law
since:

1. Ld. CIT(A) erred in misconstruing the functional and risk profile of the
Appellant;
2. Ld. CIT(A) erred in terms of approving the Transfer Pricing Officer's ('TPO')
approach of summarily rejecting the comparables selected by the Appellant,
selecting erroneous filters and functionally dissimilar companies while
applying Transactional Net Margin Method;
3. CIT(A) erred in arbitrarily rejecting the comparable company, viz. R
Systems international Limited on the ground that audited data on quarterly
basis from where profit-level indicator (PLI) can be re-casted on a financial
year (running April 01, 2009 to March 31, 2010) basis had not been provided;
4. Ld. CIT(A) erred in arbitrarily approving the TPO's approach of selecting the
companies, viz. TCS E-Serve International Limited and TCS E-Serve Limited
by misquoting assessee's functional profile;
5. Ld. CIT(A) erred in upholding the TPO's approach of computing net cost
plus margin ('NCPM') of selected companies and that of Appellant by
incorrectly classifying gain/ loss from foreign exchange variation and
provision for doubtful debts as a non-operating in nature;
6. Ld. CIT(A) erred in not granting appropriate risk adjustments as warranted
under Rule 10B of the Income-tax Rules, 1962 ('the Rules');
7. Ld. CIT(A) erred in upholding the Ld. TPO's approach of considering third-
party cost recoveries from associated enterprises ('AE') for the purpose of
applying the mark-up;
8. Ld. CIT(A) erred in upholding the Ld. TPO's approach of treating
outstanding receivables from the AE as an unsecured loan and charging
interest thereon.
The above grounds of appeal are without prejudice and notwithstanding each
other.”
3 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

I.T.A. No. 2815/DEL/2017 (Revenue’s appeal)
“i) “While directing to exclude M/s Accentia Technology Pvt. Ltd. from the
comparables, the CIT (A) failed to appreciate that the extra ordinary event of
amalgamation had not affected the profits of the company.
ii) While directing to exclude M/s Eclerx Services Ltd. from the comparables,
the CIT (A) failed to appreciate that there is no difference between KPO and
BPO for the purpose of computing ALP.
iii) While directing to exclude M/s I Gate Global Service Ltd. from the
comparables, the CIT (A) failed to appreciate that engagement of the company
in ITS and ITES does not affected the profits of the company.
iv) While directing the exclude M/s Infosys BPO Ltd. from the comparables,
the CIT (A) failed to appreciate that the comparable cannot be excluded only
because the company has substantial intangible in forms of goodwill and
different risk factors.”

3. The assessee company DH India is a subsidiary of Dunnhumby Ltd. UK.
The assessee company is engaged in the business of providing data analytics
and data solution development and applications services to its AE i.e. DH-UK.
The assessee is operating at cost plus 20% mark up for the provision of
services. During the year, the company was engaged in the business of
providing information technology enabled services, Web enabled Services, data
analytics business in which process outsourcing services and other services
relating to back of its operations and business support services to its holding
company, Dunnhumby Ltd., UK. During the year under consideration, the
assessee company made an international taxation with the Associate
Enterprises. A reference was made to Transfer Pricing Officer u/s 92CA(3) of
the Act in respect of international transaction entered into by the assessee
during the Financial Year 2009-10. The Transfer Pricing Officer passed order
dated 23/01/2014 directing the Assessing Officer to made an addition of Rs.
5,34,52,006/-. During the relevant Assessment Year, following international
transactions were entered by the assessee:
4 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

AE Nature of Amount (In INR) Method
TNMM
International

Transaction

Dunnhumby Ltd. Provision of data 355532164

U.K analytics Services

Reimbursement of 37330267

expenses

Recovery of 9416059

expenses

The Assessing Officer passed assessment order dated 24/04/2014
thereby assessing total income at Rs. 7,74,13,770/- making the adjustment as
suggested by the TPO amounting to Rs.5,34,52,006/-.

4. Being aggrieved by the assessment order, the assessee filed appeal before
the CIT(A). The CIT(A) partly allowed the appeal of the assessee.

5. In the present Assessment Year, the assessee as well as the Revenue are
contesting certain comparable and other issues. Therefore, we are taking first
assessee’s appeal.

6. The Ld. AR submitted that the assessee company is a domestic company
engaged in the business of providing routine back-office IT-enabled Services
(ITES) to its parent entity in the United Kingdom, namely Dunnhumby Ltd. UK
(Associated Enterprise/AE). The Ld. AR submitted that Ground No. 1 is general
ground and hence not pressed. As regards to Ground No. 2 relating to
erroneous exclusion of Microgenetics Systems Ltd., the Ld. AR submitted that
the turnover threshold is inconsequential in selection of potential comparables
qua entities engaged in providing BPO services. The Ld. AR relied upon the
decision of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in case of Chryscapital Investment
Advisors (India) Pvt. Ltd. vs. DCIT (2015) 376 STR 183. As regards to Ground
No. 3 relating to erroneous rejection of R-Systems International Ltd. from the
list of comparables, the Ld. AR submitted that the decision of the Tribunal in
5 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

case of M/s Midland Credit Management India Pvt. Ltd. (ITA No. 3892 &
3765/Del/2017 order dated 14.09.2020, has identical issue involved and the
Tribunal included the said comparable. As regards to Ground No. 4 relating to
erroneous inclusion of TCS E-serve International Ltd. and TCS E-Serve Ltd. in
the list of comparables, the Ld. AR relied upon the decision in case of M/s
Midland Credit Management India Pvt. Ltd. (supra) and submitted that the
Tribunal has directed to exclude the TCS entities. As regards to Ground No. 5
and 6, the Ld. AR submitted that the same are not pressed. As regards to
Ground No. 7, the Ld. AR submitted that no economic rationale was adopted
for charging mark-up on out of pocket expenses by the TPO. The Ld. AR
submitted that it is common industry practice not to charge any mark-up on
recovery of out of pocket expenses, such as, outstation travel,
boarding/lodging, etc. Such expenses are incurred on need basis and do not
add intrinsic value to services being delivered. An independent third party
would not have paid any mark-up on such reimbursements. The Ld. AR relied
upon the decision of the Tribunal in case of Cheil Communication India Pvt.
Ltd. vs. DCIT (ITA No. 712/Del/2010). As regards to Ground No. 8 relating to
working capital adjustment, the Ld. AR submitted that the same is jettisons a
separate overlapping adjustment on account of outstanding receivables. The
Ld. AR relied upon the decision of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in case of PCIT
vs. Kusum Health Care Ltd. (ITA No. 765/2016) wherein the SLP filed by the
Department before the Hon’ble Apex Court was also dismissed in limine.

7. As regards to the Revenue’s appeal, the Ld. AR submitted that the
Revenue is challenging the exclusion of the following 4 companies from the list
of comparables.

Ground ‘ Revenue’s appeal Company’s name
Ground No. i) Accentia Technology Pvt. Ltd.
Ground No. ii) Eclerx Services Ltd.
Ground No. iii) 1 Gate Global Services
Ground No. iv) Infosys BPO Ltd.
6 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

In addition to the CIT(A)'s findings, the Ld. AR relied upon the decision of the
Tribunal in case of Midland Credit (supra) for exclusion of Accentia Technology
Pvt. Ltd. and Infosys BPO Ltd. which are contested by the Revenue in Ground
No. i) and (iv). As regard exclusion of Eclerx Services Ltd. and I Gate Global
Services which are contested in Ground No. ii) and iii) of Revenue’s appeal, the
Ld. AR in addition to the CIT(A)'s findings, relied upon the jurisdictional Delhi
High Court/ITAT decisions directing rejection of these companies from list of
potential comparables in a case where the assessee is a captive-entity
providing routine back-office ITES to group companies:

i) Rampgreen Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Vs. CIT(A) (ITA No. 102/2015) (Delhi
H.C.

ii) Ameriprise India Pvt. Ltd. Vs. DCIT 1(1) (ITA No.
7014/Del/2014)(Delhi Tribunal)

iii) Techbooks International Pvt. Ltd. Vs. DCIT (ITA No. 240/del/2015)
(Delhi Tribunal)

8. The Ld. DR submitted that in its appeal the assessee has raised 8
Ground of appeals (GOA). GOA 1 to 7 relates to the TP adjustment in ITES
segment and GOA 8 relates to the adjustment on account of delayed realization
of receivables from AE. On the issue of adjustment in ITES segment, the Ld.
DR submitted that a detail show-cause dt. 09.01.2014 was issued to the
assessee. The filters applied by the assessee in its TP documentation and the
comparables, selected by the assessee have been discussed in para 2.3 of SCN
at P/3-5 of the TP order, Para-4 at P/5-6 of the TP order. The TPO, after
considering the reply of the assessee, discussed the filters and the comparables
in para 3.5 of the TP order. The CIT(A) has upheld the action of the TPO and
his discussions are recorded at Page Nos. 12-14. The filters proposed by the
TPO have been discussed at para 2.4 & 3 of the SCN at Page no. 5 of the TP
order and the proposed comparables have been discussed in para 4.2 & 4.3 of
the SCN at page no. 6-7 of the TP order. The TPO after considering the reply of
the assessee have further discussed the use of current year data at para 3.7 at
7 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

page no. 12, filters & quantitative criteria at para-4 of the order at page no. 19-

46. The Ld. DR submitted that the CIT(A) has upheld the action of the TPO and

his discussions are recorded at page 14. As regards rejection of ‘R Systems

International Ltd’, the discussions are recorded at page 64 of the TP order. This

comparable has been rejected due to having different year ending and non-

availability of audited data on quarterly basis. As discussed, neither

contemporaneous data nor audited quarterly data was available which could

enable the TPO to compute PLI. The CIT(A) has discussed this issue at page 14

of his order. The Ld. DR also pointed out the discussion on use of

contemporaneous / current year data at page 22 of CIT(A) order. As regards

selection of TCS e-Serve International Ltd and TCS e-Serve Ltd as comparables

by the TPO, the discussions of the TPO are recorded at page no. 57-58 and

page no. 58-61 of the TP Order. The Ld. DR further submitted that the CIT(A)

has discussed these comparables at page no. 17-21 of his order and has

upheld the inclusion of these two comparables by the TPO. On the issue of

inclusion of these two comparables, the Ld. DR relied upon the decision of

Tribunal, Delhi in following two cases:

(i) Xchanging Technology Services India Pvt. Ltd, AY 2010-11, ITA

No.1222/Del/2015, order dt.08.09.2015. Relevant findings & decision of

Hon’ble ITAT, Delhi is recorded in para-23 to 26 at P/28-33 of the order

wherein both TCS e-Serve International Ltd and TCS e-Serve Ltd have

been retained as comparables.

(ii) Smart Cube India Pvt. Ltd, AY 2010-11, ITA No. 1103/Del/2015,

order V A dt.27.04.2018. Relevant findings & decision of Hon’ble ITAT,

Delhi is recorded in para-8 &9 at P/20-24 of the order wherein both TCS

e-Serve International Ltd and TCS e-Serve Ltd have been retained as

comparables.

The Ld. DR also pointed out the discussion on comparable with super normal

profit / abnormal profit in para 4.7 at page 34-39 of the order of TPO. For the

purpose of comparability under TNMM, the Ld. DR relied upon following case

laws:-
8 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

• ST Microelectronics Ltd, ITAT Del, 2011-TII-ITAT-DEL-TP
• CRM Services, ITAT Del, 2011-TII-86-ITAT-DEL-TP
• Deloitte Consulting India Pvt. Ltd., ITAT, Hyderabad, ITA No.
1082/Hyd/2010,
As regards treatment of gain/loss from foreign exchange fluctuations and
provision for doubtful debts as non-operating, the same has been examined
and discussed by the TPO in para 4.9, page no. 46-49 of the TP order. The Ld.
DR further submitted that the CIT(A) has upheld the action of the TPO as
discussed at page 23 of his order. The Ld. DR pointed out that the same are in
line with provisions contained in clause (j) & clause (k) of Rule 10TA of I.T.
Rules. Further, in the case of Avaya India Ltd., AY 2014-15, ITA No.
7290/Del/2018 , Tribunal, Delhi vide its order dt. 24.09.2019 [para 17.1 to
17.4, Page 25-27] has upheld the exclusion of foreign exchange gain/loss both
in the case of the comparable companies and in the case of the tested party.
Accordingly, the Ld. DR prayed that the order of the TPO and the CIT(A) may
be sustained. On the issue of allowing risk adjustment, the CIT(A) examined
the issue and has held that the same is not admissible as per discussions
recorded at P/23 of his order. However, the CIT(A) has allowed working capital
adjustment. As regards the issue of considering 3rd party cost recoveries from
AE for applying mark-up, the discussions of the TPO are recorded in para 4.14
at page 75-81 of the TP order. The CIT(A) has upheld the action of the TPO as
discussed at page 23. The CIT(A) has held that these recoveries from AE, being
expenses of boarding/lodging expenses of the employees, are part & parcel of
the business of the assessee and forms part of the total cost base. On the issue
of adjustment on account of delayed realization of receivables from AE, the Ld.
DR submitted that the TPO has noted on perusal of the Service Agreement dt.
27.02.2009 with the AE that a period of 30 days was allowed to the AE to
make the payment of receivables to the assessee and accordingly any delay
beyond the stipulated period was liable to be benchmarked. The Ld. DR
pointed out the said Service Agreement and the relevant terms which are
mentioned in clause 3.3 of the Agreement from the paper book. The TPO
9 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

issued a detail show-cause dt. 09.01.2014 & called for the requisite detail.
However the assessee did not provide the desired details to the TPO. The TPO
called for relevant information u/s 133(6) from CRISIL to logically arrive at the
interest rate for benchmarking and also considered the bank rate as per RBI
norms. The Ld. DR submitted that the TPO applied the interest rate of 14.88%
to work out the adjustment for delayed realization of outstanding from AE
considering various crucial factors such as the currency in which the loan has
originated, the assessee is an Indian entity, the opportunity cost, the expected
rate of return on investments made in India if the funds are realized in time.
Since the assessee did not provide the detail of invoice- wise delayed
realization of receivables from AE corresponding to the outstanding as on
01.04.2009, the TPO benchmarked in respect of the entire outstanding of
Rs.2,36,28,467 for the year at the aforesaid interest rate. On assessee's
appeal, the CIT(A) has upheld the action of the TPO and has given his findings
holding the outstanding receivables as international transactions. The
elaborate discussions of the CIT(A) are recorded at page 23-26 of his order. The
CIT(A) has upheld the findings of the TPO/AO except modifying the interest
rate. The CIT(A) has discussed the clause (c) to explanation (i) of Sec.92B and
has held that the explanation is clarificatory in nature & the amendment has
retrospective effect. The CIT(A) has concluded that outstanding trading
receivables are at par with unsecured loans & correctly treated the same in the
nature of unsecured loans. The CIT(A) has also held that benchmarking of
transactions under TNMM takes into account the transactions upto the date of
invoice whereas the profit corresponding to the loss of interest on such
outstanding receivables is a subsequent phenomena and accordingly have to
be benchmarked separately. However, the CIT(A) modified the rate of interest
to LIBOR plus 300 bps in accordance with the currency of receipt of such
outstanding receivables following the decision of Hon'ble Delhi HC in the case
of Cotton Naturals India Pvt. Ltd., ITA No.233/2014. The Ld. DR also relied
upon the following case-laws on the issue:
(i) Techbooks International Pvt. Ltd., ITA No. 6102/Del/2016, order dt.
10 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

06.07.2020 of ITAT, Delhi. The Ld. DR submitted that this case squarely
covers the issue involved in the case of the appellant viz. treatment of such
outstanding receivables as loans, denial to aggregated benchmarking of
principle transactions & outstanding receivables, plea of working capital
adjustment. The case-law of Kusum Healthcare Pvt. Ltd has also been
considered and the facts are distinguished in addition to other case-laws
considered/discussed by the Tribunal.
(ii) Techbooks International Pvt. Ltd., ITA No. 240/Del/2015, order dt.
06.07.2015 of ITAT, Delhi.
(iii) Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd, ITA No. 6813/Del/2012, order
dt.07.01.2020 of ITAT, Delhi.
(iv) Cheil India Pvt. Ltd vs. DCIT, ITA No.l230/Del/2014, order dt.15.05.2014
of ITAT, Delhi.

9. We have heard both the parties and perused all the relevant material
available on record. The Ld. AR at the time of hearing submitted that Ground
No. 1 is General, hence not pressed as well as Ground No. 4 and 5 were also
not pressed. Hence, Ground No. 1, 4 and 5 of the assessee’s appeal are
dismissed as not pressed. Now coming to Ground No. 2 of the assessee’s
appeal, it is pertinent to note that exclusion of Microgenetics Systems Ltd. by
the TPO was done after applying the turnover-filter of Rs. 5 crores. The Ld.
AR’s submissions that there is no linkage between the turnover and profit
margins though are not valid, but the TPO has also not given any concrete
findings as to why this particular comparable was earlier selected and was
only excluded following the turnover filter of Rs. 5 crores. This filter whether
strictly followed by the TPO or not in other comparables is also not emerging
from the order of the TPO. Thus, it will be appropriate to direct the TPO/AO for
taking cognizance of this comparable after applying all the filters as well as the
functional profile of the comparable into account and thereafter if all the para-
meters are proper, then select this comparable. Thus, Ground No. 2 of the
assessee’s appeal is partly allowed for statistical purpose. As regards to
11 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

Ground No. 3 of the Assessee’s appeal relating to rejection of R-Systems
International Ltd., from the perusal of the annual reports, it can be seen that
audited financial data for the relevant previous year (April, 2009 to March,
2010) is available in the public domain relating to four quarters. Merely having
different financial year cannot discard this comparable from the list of
comparables. Thus, we direct the TPO/AO to consider this comparable after
applying all the filters as well as the functional profile of the comparable into
account and thereafter if all the para-meters are proper, then select this
comparable. Thus, Ground No. 3 of the assessee’s appeal is partly allowed for
statistical purpose. As regards to Ground No. 4 relating to inclusion of TCS E-
serve International and TCS E-Serve Limited in the list of comparables, it can
be seen that the functional profile of these comparables are different from that
of the assessee company. Both these entities are involved in software testing,
verification and validation of software which falls in the domain of “software
development” services. Besides this separate segmental details pertaining to
ITeS/BPO activities are also not available in their financial statements.
Therefore, we direct the TPO/AO to exclude both these comparables i.e. TCS E-
serve International and TCS E-Serve Limited from the final list of comparables.
Hence, Ground No. 4 of the assessee’s appeal is allowed. As regards to Ground
No. 7 relating to third party cost recoveries from AE for the purpose of applying
the mark-up, it can be seen that the third party expenses as claimed by the
assessee are that of expenses on travel, boarding and lodging etc. of its
employees during outstation visits. As per the terms of the service agreement
with the overseas AE, such expenses are recovered by the assessee on a cost-
to-cost basis, without charging any mark-up. The CIT(A) has rightly held that
the assessee should have marked up these expenses by a profit-margin before
making the recoveries as the said expenses are part and parcel of the business
of the assessee and forms part of the total cost based. Besides this the
decisions of Cheil Communication India Pvt. Ltd. (supra) is altogether on a
different footing and the factual aspects are totally different from that of the
assessee’s case herein. In Cheil Communications, the issue was that of
12 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

remunerated by its associated enterprises on the basis of a fixed
commission/charges based on expenses or cost incurred by the assessee for
release of a particular advertisement as well as on advisory services. Thus,
Ground No. 7 of the assessee’s appeal is dismissed. As regards to Ground No.
8 of the assessee’s appeal relating to working capital adjustments on account
of outstanding receivables, the submission of the Ld. AR was that the assessee
could not recover two invoices dated 31.03.2009 and 30.10.2009 within the
stipulated credit period of 30 days and there was delay of 11 and 6 days
respectively in collecting these invoices on an isolated basis. But the Ld. AR
claims that the weighted average period of realization with respect to all
invoices during the relevant year put together was only 20.52 days. This issue
needs to be verified properly by the TPO/AO, therefore, we are remanding back
this issue to the file of the TPO/AO for proper adjudication after taking
cognizance of the actual delay in collection of invoices. Needless to say, the
assessee be given proper hearing after following principles of natural justice.
Thus, Ground No. 8 of the assessee’s appeal is partly allowed for statistical
purpose.

10. Now coming to the Revenue’s appeal which contested the exclusion of
four comparables that are, Accentia Technology Pvt. Ltd., Eclerx Services Ltd.,
I Gate Global Services and Infosys BPO Ltd. From the perusal of these
companies profiles and the findings given by the CIT(A) is apt. As in case of
Accentia Technology Pvt. Ltd. there was extraordinary event that of merger
took place during the year. In case of Eclerx Services Ltd., the functional
profile is altogether different than the assessee company. In case of I Gate
Global Services separate segmental data relating to IT enabled Services and IT
Services were not available. In case of Infosys BPO Ltd., it is a giant in the
area of the software development, besides this it assumes all risk leading to
higher profits as well as there was an extra ordinary economic event during the
year as it acquired membership interest in Machenic Systems LLC. Thus, all
these comparables were rightly excluded by the CIT(A). Hence, all four grounds
13 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017
of Revenue’s appeal are dismissed.

11. In result, appeal of the assessee is partly allowed for statistical purpose
and appeal of the revenue is dismissed.
Order pronounced in the Open Court on this 26th Day of April, 2021

Sd/- Sd/-
(SUCHITRA KAMBLE)
(N. K. BILLAIYA)
JUDICIAL MEMBER
ACCOUNTANT MEMBER

Dated: 26/04/2021

R. Naheed *

Copy forwarded to:

1. Appellant

2. Respondent

3. CIT

4. CIT(Appeals)

5. DR: ITAT

ASSISTANT REGISTRAR
ITAT NEW DELHI
14 ITA No. 2423/Del/2017

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