The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed three (3) Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) here today taking the total number of APAs signed [both- bilateral and unilateral] so far to 111. These Agreements are a result of the understanding reached with the Competent Authority of United Kingdom (UK) some time ago. The Competent Authorities of India and UK had earlier exchanged mutual agreements amongst them under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) Article of the India-UK Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC).
These three (3) Agreements cover international transactions in the nature of payment of intra-group service charges and pertain to the telecom industry. They also have a roll-back provision. With this, India and UK have concluded 5 bilateral APAs and some more would be concluded in the near future. The total number of bilateral APAs concluded so far by the CBDT is 7.
The Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) Programme was introduced by the Finance Act, 2012 with a view to provide a predictable and non-adversarial tax regime and to reduce the litigation in the Indian transfer pricing arena. An APA can be entered into for a maximum of 5 years at a time. Since the notification of the APA scheme on 30.08.2012, a total of about 700 APA applications have been received during the first 4 years of the Programme (Financial Years 2012-13 to 2015-16), which indicates the wide acceptance of the APA programme by the taxpayers. Rollback of APAs was announced in the Budget in July 2014 to provide certainty on the pricing of international transactions for 4 prior years (rollback years) preceding the first year from which APA is to be applicable.
The Indian APA programme has been appreciated nationally and internationally for being able to address complex transfer pricing issues in a fair and transparent manner.
Ministry of Finance