Month: August 2013

Archive for August, 2013


ACIT vs. Infosys BPO (ITAT Bangalore)

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DATE: August 30, 2013 (Date of publication)
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Law on s. 192 TDS obligation on medical reimbursement & LTC explained

Though TDS has to be effected at the time of payment of salary, s. 192(3) permits the employer to increase or reduce the amount of TDS for any excess or deficiency. Even assuming that the case of the AO that at the time of payment the assessee ought to have deducted tax at source is sustainable, the assessee, on a review of the taxes deducted during the earlier months of the previous year, is entitled to give effect to the deductions permissible under proviso (iv) to s.17(2) or exemption u/s10(5) of the Act in the later months of the previous year. What has to be seen is the taxes to be deducted on income under the head ‘salaries’ as on the last date of the previous year. The case of the AO that LTC and Medical reimbursement should be paid at the time the expenditure is incurred or after the expenditure is incurred by way of reimbursement and not at an earlier point of time and that if it is so paid, then, even though the payment would not form part of taxable salary of an employee, the employer has to deduct tax at source treating it as part of salary, is contrary to s.192(3) and cannot be sustained. The reliance placed by the AO on the expression “actually incurred” in s.10(5) & Proviso (iv) to s.17(2) cannot be sustained. In any event, the interpretation of the word “actually paid” is not relevant while ascertaining the quantum of tax that has to be deducted at source u/s192. As far as the assessee is concerned, his obligation is only to make an ”estimate” of the income under the head “salaries” and such estimate has to be a bona fide estimate. The primary liability of the payee to pay tax remains. In a situation of honest difference of opinion, it is not the deductor that is to be proceeded against but the payees of the sums. On facts, as the assessee had granted exemption towards medical expenditure and leave travel after verifying the details and evidence furnished by the employees, it could not be treated as an assessee-in-default.

Posted in All Judgements, Tribunal

Hathway Investments Pvt. Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 29, 2013 (Date of publication)
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S. 32: A finance lease designed as a sale-and-lease back has to be treated as a sham transaction

A distinction between an ‘operating lease’ and a ‘finance lease’ has been made by the Special Bench in IndusInd Bank 135 ITD 165 (Mum) (SB) on the basis of which it can be said that a ‘finance lease’ is a ‘sale’ which is given the colour of a ‘lease’ by the parties for their mutual benefit and to avoid tax. In such transactions, it has to be seen whether the sale transaction is a real transaction or a sham transaction with the object of enabling the alleged purchaser to claim himself as the owner of the goods, which are further claimed to be leased back to the original owner of the goods. In a sham transaction of sale and lease back the ownership of the goods is not transferred to the alleged lessor, but is shown to be done, so as to enable the purchaser to claim ownership for the goods for the purpose of tax relief. On facts, the ‘sale and lease back’ transaction is a sham transaction done with the object to facilitate the benefits of depreciation to a person who otherwise is not eligible to claim the same. The intention of the parties was not that of sale or lease but was a loan transaction. The rates of interest/ rental have been fixed taking into consideration that the equipments are eligible for 100% depreciation and it is provided that if the claim of depreciation is changed, the rental in the shape of interest will accordingly change. Such clauses cannot be a part of any lease agreement but finance agreement only because in a normal lease agreement, the lessee is not concerned as to what benefits are available to the owner/ lessor under the Income-tax Act. The contention that as the transaction is with a State Government undertaking, it would be highly improper to impute any collusiveness or colourable nature of the transaction is misconceived. The argument that there is no bar for the assessee for making tax planning so as to reduce its taxes, provided it is within the framework of the law, is also not acceptable as u/s 23 of the Indian Contract Act, even if the consideration or object of an agreement may not be expressly forbidden by law, but if it is of such a nature that, if permitted, it would defeat the provisions of law, the same will not be lawful. Engaging in sham transactions with the object of reducing tax liability cannot be said to be a case of tax avoidance but is one of tax evasion (ICDS 350 ITR 527 (SC), IndusInd Bank 135 ITD 165 (Mum)(SB) & Development Credit Bank referred)

Posted in All Judgements, Tribunal

Arvind Footwear Pvt Ltd vs. DCIT (ITAT Lucknow)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 28, 2013 (Date of publication)
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S. 80-IB: Though Duty Drawback & DEPB were held not eligible for deduction in Liberty India 317 ITR 218 (SC), answer could be different if business model shows dependence on Duty Drawback & DEPB for survival

Though in Liberty India it was held that duty drawback and DEPB arises from an independent source and is not “derived” from the industrial undertaking, in Dharam Pal Premchand 317 ITR 353 (Del) (SLP dismissed) it was held that refund of excise duty had a direct nexus with the manufacturing activity & was eligible for s. 80-IB deduction. Accordingly, though duty drawback & DEPB was held in Liberty India to be an independent source of income and to not have a “first degree” nexus with the undertaking, this was in the context of a fact-situation where the duty drawback & DEPB did not arise from core activities of the undertaking and was an additional, ancillary or supplemental profit. There can be situations in which duty drawback itself could be more than the overall profits and in such situations, the duty drawback may not be seen on standalone basis or as an independent source of income because the overall profit is only a part of the duty drawback receipt, and the commercial motivation of running the industrial undertaking is earning only that part of duty drawback receipts. On the present facts, the duty drawback was more than the entire operational profit and so it cannot be an open and shut inference that the duty drawback receipts are an independent source of income and have no first degree nexus with the business activity of the industrial undertaking. There is still room for consideration of the plea that but for the duty drawback the assessee would not have carried out the business activity in the industrial undertaking, because, that would have meant carrying out business for incurring losses. If that be so, the duty drawback receipts can be said to derived from the undertaking and to be eligible for s. 80-IB deduction. The question whether the duty drawback is an incidental profit or a profit of the first degree depends on the business model followed by the assessee

Posted in All Judgements, Tribunal

ITO vs. Bhagwan Agarwal (ITAT Agra)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 27, 2013 (Date of publication)
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ICAI directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings against CA for suppressing information and obtaining order by fraud

In the last 40 years, a new creed of litigants has cropped up. Those who belong to this creed do not have any respect for truth. They shamelessly resort to falsehood and unethical means for achieving their goals. In order to meet the challenge posed by this new creed of litigants, the courts have, from time to time, evolved new rules and it is now well established that a litigant, who attempts to pollute the stream of justice or who touches the pure fountain of justice with tainted hands, is not entitled to any relief, interim or final. On facts, it was the duty of the assessee to disclose the decision of the High Court to the Tribunal while moving the MA and by not doing so, they did not come to the ITAT with clean hands. The assessee and his CA are guilty of fraud for deliberately suppressing the fact that the High Court had dismissed the assessee’s appeal and that the MA was not maintainable. The MA order is thus a nullity and non est in the eyes of law. The CA’s conduct amounts to professional misconduct and requires disciplinary action by the ICAI

Posted in All Judgements, Tribunal

CIT vs. Intezar Ali (Allahabad High Court)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 21, 2013 (Date of publication)
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CBDT directed to inquire into conduct of AO in framing assessment with ill-will/ ulterior motive

The assessee is an honest citizen who deposited the entire amount in the bank and voluntarily filed return. He also made a complaint to the registering authority that the sale deed has been registered at a value much below the amount actually received. The other evidence produced by the assessee was more than sufficient to discharge the burden which the AO had unreasonably placed on the assessee. The ITO did not act in a bonafide manner. He discarded the overwhelming evidence led by the assessee without giving any reasons at all. The assessment was framed only on the ipse dixit of the AO which gives us reason to believe that he had exceeded his authority with some ill will or with ulterior motive. The CBDT should cause an enquiry into the conduct and motives of the ITO in framing the assessment and raising demand of income tax against the assessee

Posted in All Judgements, High Court

CIT vs. Chhabil Dass Agarwal (Supreme Court)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 19, 2013 (Date of publication)
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The Income-tax Act provides a complete machinery for the assessment/re-assessment of tax, imposition of penalty and for obtaining relief in respect of any improper orders passed by the Revenue Authorities. The assessee cannot be permitted to abandon that machinery and to invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution when he has adequate remedy open to him by an appeal to the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals). As the said statutory remedy is an effectual and efficacious one, the Writ Court ought not to have entertained the Writ Petition filed by the assessee

Posted in All Judgements, Supreme Court

Vaghjibhai S. Bishnoi vs. ITO (Gujarat High Court)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 10, 2013 (Date of publication)
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Department’s practice of not giving prompt & full credit for TDS condemned

Form 26AS, available on the department’s website, clearly reflects the assessee’s entitlement to credit for TDS. Instead of giving credit for the TDS, the department has adamantly continued to take the stand that there is a failure on the part of the assessee to furnish details. We are not impressed with such a stand. Computerization is with the object to facilitate easy access to the assessee and make the system more viable and transparent. In the event of any shortcoming of software programme or any genuine mistake, the Department is expected to respond to such inadvertence spontaneously by rectifying the mistake and give corresponding relief to the assessee. Instead of that, even when it is being brought to the notice of the Department by the assessee, by a rectification application and subsequent communication, not only it has chosen not to rectify the mistake, but, the lack of inter departmental coordination has driven the assessee to this Court for getting his legitimate due. This attitude for sure does not find favour with the Court, as more responsive and litigant centric system is expected; particularly in the era of computerization. Tax payers friendly regime is promised in this electronic age. For want of necessary coordination between the two departments, the assessee cannot be expected to be sent from pillar to the post. If the Centralized Processing Center meant for return processing, accounts, refund, storage of data etc. adds to the difficulties of the Tax payers, due to lack of distribution of work between back office and front office, and that too, after having been pointed out the actual error, a serious re-look is expected

Posted in All Judgements, High Court

CIT vs. HCIL Kalindee ARSSPL (Delhi High Court)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 10, 2013 (Date of publication)
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S. 271(1)(c) penalty is valid even if claim is disclosed and as per CA certificate

While it is true that the Income-tax Act, 1961 is one of most vexed and complicated legislation and requires highest degree of interpretative skills and there are divergent views on interpretation of its provisions and while it is also true that penalty for concealment cannot be imposed merely because assessee’s interpretation or claim is rejected, such cases have to be distinguished from cases where the claim of the assessee is farcical or farfetched. Dubious and fanciful claims under the garb of interpretation, are a mere pretense and not bona fide. Absurd or illogical interpretations cannot be pleaded and become pretense and excuses to escape penalty. “Bona fides” have to be shown and cannot be assumed. The fact that the claim for deduction u/s 80IA was duly supported by the Chartered Accountant’s Certificate and prescribed forms signed by the CA cannot absolve and protect an assessee who furnishes in-accurate particulars because then in all cases where a form/certificate is furnished by the CA but a wrong claim of deduction is made, no penalty u/s 271(1)(c) can be imposed. Merely because the assessee complies with the statutory procedural requirement of filing the prescribed form and certificate of the Chartered Accountant cannot absolve the assessee of its liability if the act or attempt in claiming the deduction was not bona fide. On facts, the assessee’s claim was not tenable due to the Explanation to s. 80IA (13) which stipulates that benefit is not available to a contractor carrying on a works contract. The assessee has not shown any “tangible material” or basis as to why a clear statutory provision which excludes works contracts was ignored

Posted in All Judgements, High Court

Micro Inks Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Ahmedabad)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 7, 2013 (Date of publication)
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Transfer Pricing: Law on adjustment for notional interest on interest-free loan & excess credit period to AE explained

The question which really needs to be adjudicated is whether, in the context of s. 92A, but for the management, capital or control being in the same hands, the AE would have entered into the transaction on the same terms. In other words, whether there is such a commercial justification for the values at which transactions have been entered or not, so as not to attract the adjustment in the arm’s length price, has to essentially depend on factors other than the factors regarding management, capital or control. In still other words, merely because the entity receiving interest free funds is a subsidiary wholly owned by the assessee cannot be reason enough to justify such loans or advances being interest free and not warranting an arm’s length price adjustment, so far as transfer pricing provisions are concerned

Posted in All Judgements, Tribunal

Reebok India Co vs. ACIT (ITAT Delhi)

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DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 6, 2013 (Date of publication)
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Transfer Pricing: Scope in the context of expenditure (royalty payment) explained

The TPO’s argument that the assessee need not have paid for the technology as it did not derive any benefit therefrom is not acceptable. The assessee is free to conduct business in the manner it deems fit and the commercial and business expediency of incurring any expenditure has to be seen from the assessee’s point of view. The Revenue cannot step into the shoe of the assessee and decide what is prudent for the business. On facts, the very survival of the assessee in the industry depended upon the licence and technology & know how provided by the AE. There has been a considerable increase in the sales figures and the growth in revenue clearly demonstrates the benefits derived by the assessee from the use of technology

Posted in All Judgements, Tribunal
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