Advance Pricing Agreement Scheme In India

The services sector, which contributes the most to India`s GDP, is responsible for 72% of unilateral ABS requests. While 292 transactions were covered by 141 unilateral agreements in 20 sectors ranging from banking to chemicals to forestry, a large part of the transactions were carried out in the field of software development and IT services. The APA system was introduced into the Income Tax Act in 2012 and rollback provisions were introduced in 2014. The scheme aims to ensure the security of taxable persons in the field of transfer pricing by fixing in advance the methods of pricing and the setting of prices for international transactions. Since its introduction, the ABS system has attracted a great deal of interest from taxpayers, resulting in more than 700 applications (both unilateral and bilateral) being filed in about five years. The apas, completed last week, concern different sectors of the economy, such as telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, steel, retail trade, information technology, etc. International transactions covered by these agreements include royalty payments, trade in goods, IT services, software development services, marketing support services, clinical research services, non-binding investment advisory services, interest payments to the ECB, etc. Satya Poddar, Partner – Tax and Regulatory Services at EY, said the numbers were encouraging and even advanced nations are not able to achieve them. The number of agreements concluded each year has also increased sharply since the beginning of the programme.

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