Atulesh Jindal takes over as new CBDT chairman

Senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Atulesh Jindal has assumed charge as the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in place of AK Jain who ended his term as CBDT chairman on Sunday.

The appointments committee of the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, on 22 January, approved the appointment of Jindal as the next chairman of the direct tax administrator.

He will have a tenure of six months till July.

Jindal, a 1978 batch IRS officer, has been working as member (income tax) in the CBDT. He will have a tenure of six months till July.

CBDT, which frames policy matters related to direct taxes in the country, has six other members besides the chairman.

Meanwhile, CBDT has entered into two bilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs) with the United Kingdom. With this, CBDT has concluded three bilateral APAs, including the first one signed with Japan in December 2014.

The two bilateral APAs were signed with two Indian group entities of a UK-based Multi-National Company (MNC). The APAs have been entered into soon after the Competent Authorities of India and United Kingdom finalised the terms of the bilateral arrangement under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) process contained in the India-UK DTAA.

The APAs cover the period 2013-14 to 2017-18 and also have a ''rollback'' provision for two years (2011-12 and 2012-13). Transfer pricing disputes on the same transaction were recently resolved under MAP for each of these two companies for the years 2006-07 to 2010-11.

With the signing of the bilateral APAs, the two Indian companies have been provided with tax certainty for 12 years each (5 years under MAP and 7 years under APA). This is a significant step towards providing a stable and predictable tax regime.

The two APAs are also significant because they address the issues of payment of management and service charges and payment of royalty. These transactions generally face prolonged and multi-layered transfer pricing disputes.

With this signing, CBDT has so far signed 41 APAs out of which 38 are unilateral and three are bilateral.