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ACIT vs. Ajit Ramakant Phatarpekar (ITAT Panaji)

COURT:
CORAM: ,
SECTION(S):
GENRE:
CATCH WORDS:
COUNSEL:
DATE: March 16, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 23, 2015 (Date of publication)
AY: 2010-11
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CITATION:
S. 40(a)(ia): If an amount becomes taxable due to a retrospective amendment, payments prior to the amendment cannot be disallowed for want of TDS

It is an undisputed fact that the Finance Act, 2010 received the assent of the President on 8.5.2010 and all the payments have been made by the Assessee to the non-resident party prior to receiving of assent of the President making the retrospective amendment by adding explanation to Sec. 9(1). At the time when the Assessee made the payment there was no provision u/s 9(1) making the technical fees deemed to accrue or arise in India whether or not (a) the non-resident has residence or place of business or business connection in India or (b) the non-resident has rendered services in India. It is not disputed by the ld. DR that the non-resident did not have residence or place of business or business connection in India. The non-resident has also not rendered services in India. The source of the income in the hands of the non-resident was outside India. Even the place of business which earned the income was also outside India. Since the technical fees was not deemed to accrue or arise in India at the time when the Assessee made the payment as there was no provision under Sec. 9(1), the income received by the non-resident as per the existing law at the time when the Assessee made the payment, in our opinion, was not taxable in India under the Income Tax Act. Prior to the insertion of explanation to Sec. 9(1) by the Finance Act, 2010 with retrospective effect, the professional and consultancy services even though rendered outside India were not deemed to accrue or arise in India irrespective of the fact whether the party who rendered the services is having place of residence or place of business in India. It is only due to the retrospective amendment made by the Finance Act, 2010 that the position has become clear. If the income was not taxable in India it cannot be made taxable in view of the tax treaty. This is a fact that as argued by the ld. AR the retrospective amendment brought by the Finance Act, 2010 was not in existence at the time when the Assessee had made the payments. The Assessee cannot be penalized for performing an impossible task of deducting TDS in accordance with the law which was brought into the statute book much after the point of time when the tax deduction obligation was to be discharged (Channel Guide India Ltd. vs. ACIT, 139 ITD 49 (Mum.) followed)

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