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CBDT Signs 125 Advance Pricing Agreements in FY 2023-24


The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has achieved a significant milestone by signing 125 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) during the fiscal year 2023-24.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is an Advance Pricing Agreement (APA)?
  2. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)

What is an Advance Pricing Agreement (APA)?


  • An APA is a formal agreement between a taxpayer and a tax authority that determines the transfer prices for transactions within multinational enterprises (MNEs).


  • APAs enable businesses to mitigate the risk of their transaction prices being disputed or challenged by tax authorities.

Contribution to Ease of Doing Business:

  • The APA programme has played a crucial role in India’s initiative to enhance the ease of doing business, particularly benefiting MNEs engaged in numerous cross-border transactions within their group entities.

Voluntary Process:

  • The APA process is voluntary and serves as a complementary mechanism to appeals and other Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) methods for resolving transfer pricing disputes.


  • The APA can be valid for up to 9 years, which includes five years prospectively and four years retrospectively if the taxpayer opts for the roll-back mechanism.

Data Protection:

  • The procedure ensures the safeguarding of sensitive business data. While statistical data and summary information are published, the names of entities with concluded arrangements or applicants are not disclosed.
Types of APAs:

Unilateral APAs:

  • Aimed at limiting risks for transactions between domestic entities.
  • No guarantee of avoiding double taxation for transactions involving foreign entities.
  • Typically have shorter proceedings compared to other APA types.

Bilateral APAs:

  • Aimed at limiting risks for transactions between a domestic entity and a foreign entity.
  • Ensure the elimination of the risk of double taxation.
  • Usually involve longer proceedings as agreement between two states is required.

Multilateral Arrangements:

  • Designed to mitigate risks for transactions between related entities in three or more states.
  • Serve as a protective instrument for complex transactions, ensuring safety for both parties.
  • Proceedings are typically longer due to the involvement of multiple states.
Benefits of APAs:
  • Tax Certainty:
    • Provides clarity on determining the arm’s length price of international transactions.
  • Risk Mitigation:
    • Reduces the risk of potential double taxation through bilateral or multilateral APAs.
  • Cost Efficiency:
    • Reduces compliance costs by eliminating transfer pricing audit risks and resolving disputes.
  • Simplified Record Keeping:
    • Alleviates the burden of record-keeping by specifying the required documentation in advance.
  • Tax Risk Management:
    • APAs serve as an effective tool for businesses to manage their tax risks and planning.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT):


  • CBDT is a statutory body established under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963, and operates as a part of the Department of Revenue within the Ministry of Finance.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • CBDT provides essential inputs for the policy and planning of direct taxes in India.
  • It is also responsible for the administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department

May 2024