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The transfer of the files from one TP charge to the other cannot extend the time for assessment and can have no impact on the time lines. It is an inter- Department arrangement and it cannot defeat the rights of the assessee as held in [2022] 445 ITR 537 (Mad)


In this case the AO did not complete the TP remand assessment before the time lines u/s 153(2A)/153(3) only because of  inter departmental arrangement of files shifting from one TP charge -Chennai to the other TP charge – Bengaluru. The TP Bengaluru section further slept on the remand for 5 years.

This case involved downward TP adjustment on import of goods which when challenged before Tribunal lead to remand for reexamination by the DRP. The DRP did not act until when the taxpayer reminded the AO that the TP remand proceedings have become time barred under section 153 of the Act thereby further seeking refund of the tax paid.

The department side made following arguments, though unsuccessfully:


  1. the provisions of section 153 of the Act would not be applicable to the present case, inasmuch as the Dispute Resolution Panel is not an authority within the purview of section 153 of the Act.
  2. the Dispute Resolution Panel is not an Assessing Officer against whom the time limit does not apply.


In the finality the Court held that the provisions under section 144C and section 153 are not mutually exclusive and are inter-dependant and over- lapping in as much as the Dispute Resolution Panel proceedings is a continuation of assessment proceedings.

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