Slump sale regulations could trigger transfer pricing complications for companies – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/slump-sale-regulations-could-trigger-transfer-pricing-complications-for-companies/articleshow/83253966.cmsSynopsis

As per the rules, companies have to follow a particular methodology while valuing assets whenever they undertake a slump sale. However, many companies that have undertaken restructuring through slump sale followed the transfer pricing mechanisms to value assets.

The new valuation rules for slump sale could create transfer pricing complications for companies that have undertaken mergers, acquisitions and inter-group restructuring, tax experts have said.

As per the rules, companies have to follow a particular methodology while valuing assets whenever they undertake a slump sale. However, many companies that have undertaken restructuring through slump sale followed the transfer pricing mechanisms to value assets. These companies could now fall foul to slump sale valuation rules, experts said.

In a slump sale, companies, entities, or assets are sold lock, stock and barrel. The new rules want companies to value each asset separately to arrive at a “fair market value” of an asset or a company, even in a slump sale.

However, if it is an inter-company transaction, then companies follow transfer pricing regulations that mandate that valuation has to be done at ‘arm’s length’ pricing to ensure they are not overcharged or undercharged.

Now, two separate rules for valuation of the same company and same transaction are set to create complications for inter-group mergers or restructuring and could lead to litigation, experts said.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notified Rule 11 UAE for fair market value calculation of capital assets in slump sale u/s 50B on May 25.

“While the new rule provides clarity on FMV (fair market value) computation on slump sale/exchange of undertaking, the taxpayers may have to carefully assess its impact while evaluating for business reorganisation (more particularly in intra-group transactions) under alternative modes like demerger, itemised sale, or gift of undertaking,” said Pranav Sayta, partner and national leader, international tax and transaction services, at EY India.

“Its interplay with transfer pricing rules in transactions involving non-resident associated enterprises or accounting mandate of recognising intra-group business combinations under ‘pooling of interest’ method also requires careful consideration,” he said.

Going ahead, this could also create complications whenever companies are undertaking restructuring—the question would be which methodology should they follow—slump sale or transfer pricing, experts said.

The rules announced recently mention ways in which a seller can sell the assets or companies. The rules prescribe that if a company owns various assets such as shares, land, gold, or paintings, those can be valued individually and then sold.

The new slump sale rules may have created problems for certain listed companies that have already declared results. They may have to recalculate the tax paid or the amount they have provisioned for such transactions, requiring the firms to restate earnings, as ET reported on May 27.

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