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Rule 10TE of Income Tax Rules 1962: Procedure (Safe Harbour Rules for International Transactions)

Rule 10TE - Procedure
(Safe Harbour Rules for International Transactions)

(1) For the purposes of exercise of the option for safe harbour, the assessee shall furnish a Form 3CEFA, complete in all respects, to the Assessing Officer on or before the due date specified in Explanation 2 below sub-section (1) of section 139 for furnishing the return of income for—
(i)  the relevant assessment year, in case the option is exercised only for that assessment year; or
(ii)  the first of the assessment years, in case the option is exercised for more than one assessment year:
Provided that the return of income for the relevant assessment year or the first of the relevant assessment years, as the case may be, is furnished by the assessee on or before the date of furnishing of Form 3CEFA.

(2) The option for safe harbour validly exercised shall continue to remain in force for the period specified in Form 3CEFA or a period of five years whichever is less:

Provided that the assessee shall, in respect of the assessment year or years following the initial assessment year, furnish a statement to the Assessing Officer before furnishing return of income of that year, providing details of eligible transactions, their quantum and the profit margins or the rate of interest or commission shown:

Provided further that an option for safe harbour shall not remain in force in respect of any assessment year following the initial assessment year, if—
(i)  the option is held to be invalid for the relevant assessment year by the Transfer Pricing Officer under sub-rule (11) or by the Commissioner under sub-rule (8) in respect of an objection filed by the assessee against the order of the Transfer Pricing Officer under sub-rule (11), as the case may be; or
(ii)  the eligible assessee opts out of the safe harbour, for the relevant assessment year, by furnishing a declaration to that effect, to the Assessing Officer.
(3) On receipt of Form 3CEFA, the Assessing Officer shall verify whether—
(i)  the assessee exercising the option is an eligible assessee; and
(ii)  the transaction in respect of which the option is exercised is an eligible international transaction,
before the option for safe harbour by the assessee is treated to be validly exercised.
(4) Where the Assessing officer doubts the valid exercise of the option for the safe harbour by an assessee, he shall make a reference to the Transfer Pricing Officer for determination of the eligibility of the assessee or the international transaction or both for the purposes of the safe harbour.

(5) For the purposes of sub-rule (4) and sub-rule (10), the Transfer Pricing Officer may require the assessee, by notice in writing, to furnish such information or documents or other evidence as he may consider necessary, and the assessee shall furnish the same within the time specified in such notice.

(6) Where—
(a) the assessee does not furnish the information or documents or other evidence required by the Transfer Pricing Officer; or
(b) the Transfer Pricing Officer finds that the assessee is not an eligible assessee; or
(c) the Transfer Pricing Officer finds that the international transaction in respect of which the option referred to in sub-rule (1) has been exercised is not an eligible international transaction,
the Transfer Pricing Officer shall, by order in writing, declare the option exercised by the assessee under sub-rule (1) to be invalid and cause a copy of the said order to be served on the assessee and the Assessing Officer:

Provided that no order declaring the option exercised by the assessee to be invalid shall be passed without giving an opportunity of being heard to the assessee.

(7) If the assessee objects to the order of the Transfer Pricing Officer under sub-rule (6) or sub-rule (11) declaring the option to be invalid, he may file his objections with the Commissioner, to whom the Transfer Pricing Officer is subordinate, within fifteen days of receipt of the order of the Transfer Pricing Officer.

(8) On receipt of the objection referred to in sub-rule (7), the Commissioner shall after providing an opportunity of being heard to the assessee pass appropriate orders in respect of the validity or otherwise of the option exercised by the assessee and cause a copy of the said order to be served on the assessee and the Assessing Officer.

(9) In a case where option exercised by the assessee has been held to be valid, the Assessing officer shall proceed to verify whether the transfer price declared by the assessee in respect of the relevant eligible international transactions is in accordance with the circumstances specified in sub-rule (2) of rule 10 TD and, if it is not in accordance with the said circumstances, the Assessing Officer shall adopt the operating profit margin or rate of interest or commission specified in sub-rule (2) of rule 10TD.

(10) Where the facts and circumstances on the basis of which the option exercised by the assessee was held to be valid have changed and the Assessing Officer has reason to doubt the eligibility of an assessee or the international transaction for any assessment year other than the initial Assessment Year falling within the period for which the option was exercised by the assessee, he shall make a reference to the Transfer Pricing Officer for determination of eligibility of the assessee or the international transaction or both for the purpose of safe harbour.

Explanation.—For purposes of this sub-rule the facts and circumstances include:—
(a)  functional profile of the assessee in respect of the international transaction;
(b)  the risks being undertaken by the assessee;
(c)  the substantive contractual conditions governing the role of the assessee in respect of the international transaction;
(d)  the conduct of the assessee as referred to in sub-rule (2) or sub-rule (3) of rule 10TB; or
(e)  the substantive nature of the international transaction.
(11) The Transfer Pricing Officer on receipt of a reference under sub-rule (10) shall, by an order in writing, determine the validity or otherwise of the option exercised by the assessee for the relevant year after providing an opportunity of being heard to the assessee and cause a copy of the said order to be served on the assessee and the Assessing Officer.

(12) Nothing contained in this rule shall affect the power of the Assessing Officer to make a reference under section 92CA in respect of international transaction other than the eligible international transaction.

(13) Where no option for safe harbour has been exercised under sub-rule (1) by an eligible assessee in respect of an eligible international transaction entered into by the assessee or the option exercised by the assessee is held to be invalid, the arm's length price in relation to such international transaction shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of sections 92C and 92CA without having regard to the profit margin or the rate of interest or commission as specified in sub-rule (2) of rule 10TD.

(14) For the purposes of this rule,—
(i)  no reference under sub-rule(4) shall be made by an Assessing Officer after expiry of a period of two months from the end of the month in which Form 3CEFA is received by him;
(ii)  no order under sub-rule (6) or sub-rule (11) shall be passed by the Transfer Pricing Officer after expiry of a period of two months from the end of the month in which the reference from the Assessing officer under sub-rule(4) or sub-rule (10), as the case may be, is received by him;
(iii) the order under sub-rule (8) shall be passed by the Commissioner within a period of two months from the end of the month in which the objection filed by the assessee under sub-rule (7) is received by him.
(15) If the Assessing Officer or the Transfer Pricing Officer or the Commissioner, as the case may be, does not make a reference or pass an order, as the case may be, within the time specified in sub-rule (14), then the option for safe harbour exercised by the assessee shall be treated as valid.



Extra Notes for Readers:

- Rule 10TE was introduced by the Income Tax (16th Amendment) Rules, 2013, w.e.f. 18-Sep-2013



Reference/Source: Check at Income Tax site for latest version of the Rules - link

This page was last updated on 17th October 2016.
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