In a development that will usher in relief to multinational companies and reduce litigation, the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) on Monday notified rules for implementation of roll back provisions of advance pricing agreements (APAs).
The provisions for roll back of APAs were announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget 2014-15. However, it could not be implemented because of the absence of rules.
Amit Maheshwari, partner, Ashok Maheshwary and Associates, said that it will help the MNCs go back to their income tax assessments and reduce their litigation with the tax department. “It will bring in predictability in the taxation for the companies and will bring in administrative ease for the department,” he said.
An APA is an agreement between a taxpayer and the tax department on a transfer-pricing procedure for a certain set of transactions. It elaborates on the transfer-pricing procedure agreed by the two parties, the transactions on which it will be applicable, the arm’s length price among other things.
According to the rules, the companies which have entered into an APA for future transaction will be able to apply the same agreement for the previous four years as well, subject to certain conditions.
The rules will, however, not apply if the matter is the subject of appeal before the income tax appellate tribunal (ITAT) or if any other tribunal has passed an order disposing off such an appeal.
Rohan Phatarphekar, head of transfer pricing, KPMG India, said that it is an encouraging move as the government is giving an option to roll back APA terms to all taxpayers, even those “who have already filed for APAs in the past or the handful of taxpayers who have already signed APAs with the government.”
“These taxpayers along with those who intend to file fresh APA applications effective from 2015-16 have been given about 15 days to file roll-back applications till March 31. The deadline seems to be stringent and it would have been helpful if tax payers would have at least been given time till June 30, 2015,” he said.