CIT vs. Pentair Water India Pvt. Ltd (Bombay High Court)

Transfer Pricing: Companies with large turnover like Infosys & Wipro are not comparable to companies with smaller turnover and should be excluded from the list of comparables      

Feb 13, 2016

(a) For transfer pricing purposes, the Tribunal did not accept three companies as comparable by stating as follows:

(i) HCL Comnet Systems & Services Ltd:- We find force in the submission of the ld. AR that this company cannot be a comparable as the turnover of this company is 260.18 crores while in the case of the Assessee, the turnover is around Rs.11 crores only. While making the selection of comparables, the turnover filter, in our opinion, has to be the basis for selection. A company having turnover of Rs.11 crores cannot be compared with a company which is having turnover of Rs.260 crores which is more than 23 times the turnover of the Assessee. This company cannot be regarded to be in equal size to the Asseessee. We, accordingly, direct the AO to exclude this company out of the comparables.

(ii) Infosys BPO Ltd:- In this case also we noted the turnover in respect of this Company is Rs.649.56 crores while the turnover of the Asseessee company is around Rs. 11 crores which is much more than 65 times of the Assessee’s turnover. We, therefore, do not find any illegality or infirmity in the order of CIT(A) in excluding this Company out of the comparables.

(iii) Wipro Ltd:- The turnover reported in the case of Wipro Ltd. Is Rs.939.78 crores while in the case of the Asseessee the turnover is around Rs. 11 crores. Therefore, on the basis of the turnover filter itself this company cannot be regarded to be comparable to the Asseessee.

(b) The said findings of the Tribunal in respect of the said three Companies are on the basis of appreciation of evidence on record. We find no infirmity in the said findings of the Tribunal on that count. In fact, the Tribunal has endorsed the views of the CIT Appeals whilst coming to such conclusions. The concurrent findings of facts arrived at by the Authorities below, cannot be reappreciated by this Court in the present Appeal as held by the Apex Court in the Judgment reported in 2011(1) SCC 673 in the case of Vijay Kumar Talwar vs. CIT.

(c) The said Companies are no doubt large and distinct companies where the area of development of subject services are different and as such the profit earned therefrom cannot be a bench-marked or equated with the assessee. The learned Counsel has rightly relied upon the Judgment of the Delhi High Court reported in (2013) 36 taxmann.com 289 (Delhi) in the case of Commissioner of Income-tax vs. Agnity India Technologies (P.) Ltd. Learned Counsel has also brought to our notice the Order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal whilst examining similar circumstances for the assessment year 2005-06. He has taken us through the findings therein to point out that the conclusions arrived at are based on a comparison that the condition in any uncontrolled transaction between an independent enterprises for the purpose of such comparison, economically relevant characteristics must be sufficiently comparable if two parties are to be placed in a similar situation. Learned Counsel as such submitted that it is not open for the appellant to now contend a different criteria to ascertain the comparability. In fact the Tribunal whilst passing the impugned Order has considered the said principles whilst coming to the conclusion that the said three Companies cannot be treated to be comparable to the Assessee Company. The turn over is obviously a relevant factor to consider the comparability.

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