India vs Gulbrandsen Chemicals Ltd., February 2020, High Court, Case No 751 of 2019

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Gulbrandsen Chemicals manufactures chemicals for industrial customers in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industry. The Indian Subsidiary, Gulbrandsen India also sold these products to its affiliated enterprises, namely Gulbrandsen Chemicals Inc, USA, and Gulbrandsen EU Limited.

In regards of the controlled transactions, the tax authorities noticed that Gulbrandsen India had shifted from use of the internal CUP method to pricing based on the Transactional Net Margin Method (TNMM). The tax authorities were of the view that, given the facts of the case, the internal CUP was the most appropriate method. It was noted that Gulbrandsen India had sold 40% of its products to the associated enterprises, and earned a margin of PBIT/Cost at 2.07%, as against the sale of 70% of its products in the prior year and earning margin of PBIT/Cost at 3.26%.

Following a decision of the Tax Tribunal, where the assessment of the tax authorities was set aside, the tax authorities filed an appeal with the High Court,

Judgement of the Court

The High Court dismissed the appeal of the tax authorities and upheld the decision of the Tax Tribunal.

“The Tribunal has taken into consideration the voluminous documentary evidence on record for the purpose of coming to the conclusion of adoption of TNMM by the assessee as the Most Appropriate Method of arriving at ALP.”

“In the overall view of the matter, we are convinced that the decision of the Tribunal is correct and requires no interference and no question of law much less any substantial question of law can be said to have arisen from the impugned order of the Tribunal. In the result, these appeals fail and are hereby dismissed, with no order as to costs.”


India vs Gulbrandsen 2020

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