ALP of interest on funds advanced to AEs has to computed on LIBOR and not as per domestic Prime Lending Rate (PLR)

Jan 8, 2015

Varroc Engineering Pvt. Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Pune)

While benchmarking the international transactions what has to be seen is the comparison between related transactions i.e. where the assessee has advanced money to its associated enterprises and charged interest then the said transaction is to be compared with a transaction as to what rate the assessee would have charged, if it had extended the loan to the third party in foreign country. Once there is a transaction between the assessee and its associated enterprises in foreign currency, then the transaction would have to be looked upon by applying the commercial principles with regard to the international transactions. In that case, the international rates fixed being LIBOR+ rates would have an application and the domestic prime lending rates would not be applicable.

The assessee has further explained that it had raised the loan from Citi Bank on international rates for the purpose of investment in the share application money of its associated enterprises, which in turn was partly converted from capital into loan. Where the assessee had a comparable of borrowing loan on international rates and advancing to its associated enterprises, then the said comparable was to be applied for benchmarking the transaction of advancing the loan on interest to its associated enterprises. The assessee had charged interest rate of 4.75% on the loan advanced to the associated enterprises. The assessee on the other hand, claims that it had borrowed the money on LIBOR+ rates i.e. international rates, which were Japanese based LIBOR+ rates which were lower than the US based LIBOR+ rates. The plea of the assessee before us was that it had advanced the loan to its associated enterprises on LIBOR+ rates i.e. 4.75%. Where the assessee has the internal CUP of operating at international rates available and since the said loan raised by the assessee at international rates was advanced to its associated enterprises, we find no merit in the order of the TPO in applying the domestic loan rates i.e. BPLR rates for benchmarking transaction of charging of interest on the loans advanced to the associated enterprises by the assessee. Where the assessee had made the borrowings on LIBOR+ rates and advanced the same at LIBOR+ rates, then the said transaction is at arm’s length price and there is no merit in any adjustment to be made on this account (Siva Industries & Holdings Limited vs. ACIT (2012) 26 taxmann.com 96, DCIT vs. Tech Mahindra Ltd. (2011) 12 taxmann.com 132 (Mum) & Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd. vs. ACIT (2013) 35 taxmann.com 348 (Mumbai – Trib) followed).

 

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