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Fomento Resorts & Hotels Ltd vs. ACIT (Bombay High Court) (Goa Bench)

COURT:
CORAM: ,
SECTION(S): ,
GENRE:
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COUNSEL: , ,
DATE: August 30, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 14, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 1997-98
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CITATION:
S. 147/148: It is mandatory for the AO to follow the procedure laid down in GKN Driveshafts 259 ITR 19 (SC) and to pass a separate order to deal with the objections. The disposal of the objections in the assessment order is not sufficient compliance with the procedure. The failure to follow the procedure renders the assumption of jurisdiction by the Assessing Officer ultra vires (Bayer Material Science 382 ITR 333 (Bom) & KSS Petron (Bom) followed)

The moot question is, therefore, the disposal of the objections by the Assessing Officer in his assessment order dated 26th March, 2004 constitutes sufficient compliance with the procedure prescribed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of GKN Driveshafts (India) Ltd. (supra) or, whether it was necessary for the Assessing Officer to have first disposed of the Appellant’s objections by passing a speaking order and only upon communication of the same to the Appellants, proceeded to reopen the assessment

Asha Gandhi vs. ITO (ITAT Chandigarh)

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DATE: August 29, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 14, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2014-15
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CITATION:
ITAT offers suggestions on how to remove hindrances to India's goal to become a $5 Trillion economy. Violations of tax laws by new assessees occur because of lack of proper advice. Instead of letting these sparks of economic change stifle and die due to fear of compliances, they should be assisted by the State. (i) Set up a Tax Advisory Cell consisting of public spirited Revenue officers with strong ethics, full awareness of tax laws and people skills (ii) Identify new successful businesses as the agents of economic change (e.g. Haldiram, Lijjat Papad) and assist them, (iii) Create a Tax Compliance Scheme specially for the benefits of these new ventures so as to address their past lack of compliance

In my experience as a dispenser of Justice, I have noticed that generally the violations of tax laws by new assessees do not occur because they are so desired but because of sheer lack of proper advice. Instead of letting these sparks of economic change stifle and die due to fear of compliances, I firmly believe for the detailed reasons set out hereinabove that they be urgent ly assisted in the interests of the State. Such sparks may be reflected at times in part time enterprising housewives, illiterate, semi-skilled men/women or teenagers. I would seriously exhort and urge the State through the tax administration to provide a platform specially created to assist these ventures to remain relevant and tax compliant

Safeflex International Ltd vs. ITO (ITAT Jaipur)

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DATE: August 22, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 14, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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CITATION:
S. 10AA/ 115JB: Even income arising from the business of a SEZ Unit, which is exempt u/s 10AA, is subject to MAT from AY 2012-13 onwards owing to the insertion of the proviso to s. 115JB(6). The earlier judgements holding that the exemption provisions would prevail over s. 115JB are not good law after the insertion of the proviso to s. 115JB(6) (CBDT Circular No. 2/2012 dated 22.5.2012 referred)

It is thus seen that the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 had initially inserted sub-section (6) in section 115JB of the Act to provide that the provisions of section 115JB shall not apply to income accrued or arising on or after 1-4-2005 from any business carried on, or services rendered, by an entrepreneur in a unit of SEZ or a developer of SEZ. Thus, a company carrying on the specified business in a unit in SEZ or as a developer of SEZ was not liable to pay MAT on the profits derived from the said business. However, the Finance Act, 2011 brought-in a sunset clause and inserts a proviso to sub- section (6) to provide that, with effect from 1-4-2012, the provisions of sub- section shall cease to have effect. Accordingly, a SEZ developer or any entrepreneur carrying on business in an SEZ unit (being a company) would be liable to pay MAT on the profits arising from the development of SEZ or the business carried on in an SEZ unit with assessment year 2012-13 and onwards

Rajendra Shah s/o. Ambalal Shah vs. State of Maharashtra (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: February 20, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 7, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
Liability of professionals acting as Non-executive directors: Practicing professionals are prohibited from acting as full time directors. They can only act as non-executive directors not performing administrative duties. Such persons cannot be prosecuted for offenses committed by the company. it will be a travesty of justice to prosecute all Directors if the offense is committed without their knowledge. The accounts are signed by such directors in a routine manner and they are not subject to vicarious liability (Homi Phiroz Ranina & Ors. vs. State of Maharashtra 2003 (3) Mh.L.J. 34 followed)

In Homi Phiroz Ranina & Ors. vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors., the complaint was filed for delay in remitting the tax deducted. The applicant has taken stand that he was non- executive Director of the company and they are also practising advocates and, therefore, they are prohibited under the law to act as full time directors. They could only act as non-executive directors not exercising administrative powers or peforming administrative duties. It is held that unless the complaint discloses a prima facie case against the applicant/accused of their liability and obligation as principal officers in the day to day affairs of the company as Directors of the company, the applicants cannot be prosecuted for the offences committed by the company and held that it will be a travesty of justice to prosecute all the Directors if the offence is committed without their knowledge

Pankajbhai Jaysukhlal Shah vs. ACIT (Gujarat High Court)

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DATE: April 9, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 7, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2011-12
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CITATION:
S. 147/148/292B: The officer recording the reasons u/s 148(2) for reopening the assessment & the officer issuing notice u/s 148(1) has to be the same person. If the reasons are recorded by the DCIT but the notice is issued by the ITO, the reassessment proceedings are invalid. The s. 148 notice is a jurisdictional notice. Any inherent defect therein cannot be cured u/s 292B. The fact that the assessee participated in the proceedings is irrelevant

Since the notice under section 148 of the Act is a jurisdictional notice, any inherent defect therein cannot be cured under section 292B of the Act. A notice under section 148(1) of the Act would be a valid notice if the jurisdictional Assessing Officer records the reasons for reopening the assessment as contemplated under subsection (2) of section 148 and thereafter the same officer namely the jurisdictional Assessing Officer issues the notice under section 148(1) of the Act.

PCIT vs. M. J. Exports Pvt. Ltd (Bombay High Court)

COURT:
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DATE: August 27, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 7, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2007-08
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CITATION:
S. 254(1): The Tribunal should not make general observations that there are "contrary decisions". This statement led us to direct counsel to examine the law and bring to our attention any decision contrary to the view taken by the Supreme Court in Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills 123 ITR 429 etc. We are now informed by Counsel that there are no contrary decisions. All this effort and time would have been saved if the Tribunal had made specific reference to contrary decisions or not stated so in the absence of referring to the citations. We request the Tribunal to be specific about the decisions and make a mention of the citation in the order and not make general observations

All this effort and time would have been saved if the Tribunal had made specific reference to contrary decisions or not stated so in the absence of referring to the citations. Therefore, we would request the Tribunal to be specific about the decisions and make a mention of the citation in the order and not make general observations as in this case.

Atlas Copco (India) Limited vs. DCIT (ITAT Pune)

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DATE: August 29, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 7, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09, 2009-10
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CITATION:
S. 144C/ 254: (i) Condonation of delay of 1018 days: None should be deprived of an adjudication on merits unless it is found that the litigant deliberately delayed the filing of appeal. Delay due to improper legal advice should be condoned. A technical view of dismissing the appeal on the ground of delay should not be taken if the legal issue has to be decided for other years (ii) A draft assessment order u/s 144C issued with a notice of demand u/s 156 and a s/ 271(1)(c) penalty notice is null and void (Eaton Fluid Power 96 TM.com 512 followed, BS Ltd 94 TM.com 346 (Hyd) distinguished)

It is relevant to note the judgment of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court in Vijay Vishin Meghani Vs. DCIT & Anr (2017) 398 ITR 250 (Bom) holding that none should be deprived of an adjudication on merits unless it is found that the litigant deliberately delayed the filing of appeal. Similar to the cases under consideration, in that case too, delay of 2984 days crept in due to improper legal advice. Relying on Concord of India Ins. Co. Limited VS Nirmala Devi (1979) 118 ITR 507 (SC), the Hon’ble jurisdictional High Court condoned the delay. In yet another case in Anil Kumar Nehru and Another vs. ACIT (2017) 98 CCH 0469 BomHC, there was a delay of 1662 days in filing the appeal. Such a delay was not condoned by the Hon’ble High Court. In further appeal, condoning the delay, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Anil Kumar Nehru vs. ACIT (2018) 103 CCH 0231 ISCC, held that : `It is a matter of record that on the identical issue raised by the appellant in respect of earlier assessment, the appeal is pending before the High Court. In these circumstances, the High Court should not have taken such a technical view of dismissing the appeal in the instant case on the ground of delay, when it has to decide the question of law between the parties in any case in respect of earlier assessment year.

Anandkumar Jain vs. ITO (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: August 20, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 6, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2003-04
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CITATION:
S. 254(2): (i) Delay of 420 days in filing appeal due to subsequent decision of the Supreme Court is a valid ground for condonation of delay (ii) An order can be said to suffer from a "mistake apparent from the record" if it contrary to a subsequent judgement of the Supreme Court. Courts do not make any new law; they only clarify the legal position which was earlier not correctly understood. Such legal position clarified by Courts has retrospective effect as the law was always the same

It is also well – settled that a judicial decision acts retrospectively. According to Blackstonian theory, it is not the function of the Court to pronounce a ‘new rule’ but to maintain and expound the ‘old one’. In other words, the Judges do not make law; they only discover or find the correct law.The law has always been the same. If a subsequent decision alters the earlier one, it (the later decision) does not make a new law. It only discovers the correct principle of law which has to be applied retrospectively. To put it differently, even where an earlier decision of the Court operated for quite sometime, the decision rendered later on would have retrospective effect, clarifying the legal position which was earlier not correctly understood

Pratibha Pipes & Structurals Ltd vs. DCIT (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: April 10, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 6, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2007-08
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CITATION:
Bogus purchases in s. 153D search assessment: There is serious suspicion about the conduct of the assessee in taking additional ground challenging the issue of approval u/s 153D for the first time before the Tribunal. The assessee is making an attempt is derail the issue on merits and to escape on technical ground. The affidavits filed by the AOs coupled with circumstantial evidences available in the assessment folders clearly establish the fact of obtaining necessary approval u/s 153D though copy of approval letter is not available in the assessment record. Argument that only profit can be assessed is not correct. 100% addition u/s 69C towards bogus purchases confirmed (NK Proteins 292 CTR 354 (SC) followed)

When assessee goes to question the administrative procedure, rather contending its case on merits, that too, after a lapse of 4 to 5 years, then obviously, a doubt arises about intend of the assessee in taking this ground and such an attempt is derail the issue on merits and to escape on technical ground. Therefore, we are of the considered view that there is no merit in the additional ground taken by the assessee challenging validity of assessment order passed by the AO u/s 143(3) r.w.s. 153A of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

All India Federation of Tax Practitioners (AIFTP) vs. UOI (Bombay High Court)

COURT:
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DATE: August 27, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 31, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
FILE: Click here to view full post with file download link
CITATION:
The work of important Tribunal like Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) should not be allowed to suffer on account of shortage of administrative staff. There is no lethargy on the part of the Dept in filing up said posts. The Dept is expected to follow up the proposals to fill up the posts of Assistant Registrars in such quota as well as for issuing promotions for the posts of Deputy Registrars so that all these pots to the extent possible can be filled up at the earliest

The petitioner’s grievance that the work of important Tribunal like Income Tax Appellate Tribunal should not be allowed to suffer on account of shortage of administrative staff is perfectly legitimate, however, we do not find any lethargy on the part of the Department in not filing up said posts. Under these circumstances, we would expect the Department to follow up the proposals to fill up the posts of Assistant Registrars in such quota as well as for issuing promotions for the posts of Deputy Registrars so that all these pots to the extent possible can be filled up at the earliest.

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