Category: Supreme Court

Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category


ITO vs. TechSpan India Private Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 26, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 2001-02
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S. 147/ 148: In order to constitute "change in opinion", the assessment earlier made must either expressly or by necessary implication have expressed an opinion on the subject matter of reopening. If the assessment order is non-speaking, cryptic or perfunctory in nature, it may be difficult to attribute to the AO any opinion on the questions that are raised in the proposed re-assessment proceedings. The reassessment cannot be struck down as being based on "change of opinion" if the assessment order does not address itself to the aspect sought to be examined in the re-assessment proceedings.

Before interfering with the proposed re-opening of the assessment on the ground that the same is based only on a change in opinion, the court ought to verify whether the assessment earlier made has either expressly or by necessary implication expressed an opinion on a matter which is the basis of the alleged escapement of income that was taxable. If the assessment order is non-speaking, cryptic or perfunctory in nature, it may be difficult to attribute to the assessing officer any opinion on the questions that are raised in the proposed re-assessment proceedings. Every attempt to bring to tax, income that has escaped assessment, cannot be absorbed by judicial intervention on an assumed change of opinion even in cases where the order of assessment does not address itself to a given aspect sought to be examined in the re-assessment proceedings.

CIT vs. Shree Rama Multi Tech Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 26, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 56: Interest accrued on account of deposit of share application money is not taxable income. Such interest is inextricably linked with the requirement to raise share capital and is thus adjustable towards the expenditures involved for the share issue. The fact that part of the share application money would normally have to be returned to unsuccessful applicants, and therefore, the entire share application money would not ultimately be appropriated by the Company, make no significant difference. The Interest earned from share application money has statutorily required to be kept in separate account and was being adjusted towards the cost of raising share capital

The common rationale that is followed in Bokaro Steel Ltd (1999) 236 ITR 315 (SC) and Karnal Cooperative Sugar Mills Ltd. (2000) 243 ITR 2 (SC) is that if there is any surplus money which is lying idle and it has been deposited in the bank for the purpose of earning interest then it is liable to be taxed as income from other sources but if the income accrued is merely incidental and not the prime purpose of doing the act in question which resulted into accrual of some additional income then the income is not liable to be assessed and is eligible to be claimed as deduction. Putting the above rationale in terms of the present case, if the share application money that is received is deposited in the bank in light of the statutory mandatory requirement then the accrued interest is not liable to be taxed and is eligible for deduction against the public issue expenses.

ACIT vs. Bharat V. Patel (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 26, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 1998-99
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CITATION:
Law on whether amount received by an employee from redemption of Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs) can be assessed as "perquisite" u/s 17(2) (iii) or as "profits of business" u/s 28 (iv) or as "capital gains" (despite no "cost of acquisition") u/s 45 explained. CBDT Circular No. 710 dated 24.07.1995 considered

The word “Perquisite” in common parlance may be defined as any perk or benefit attached to an employee or position besides salary or remuneration. Broadly speaking, these are usually noncash benefits given by an employer to an employee in addition to entitled salary or remuneration. It may be said that these benefits are generally provided by the employers in order to retain the talented employees in the organization. There are various instances of perquisite such as concessional rent accommodation provided by the employer, any sum paid by an employer in respect of an obligation which was actually payable by the employee etc. Section 17(2) of the IT Act was enacted by the legislature to give the broad view of term perquisite

DCIT vs. T. Jayachandran (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 26, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Diversion of income by overriding title: Only income that has actually accrued to the assessee is taxable. What income has really occurred to be decided, not by reference to physical receipt of income, but by the receipt of income in reality. The fact that there is no written agreement to show that the assessee was acting as a broker is not relevant. The relationship of the assessee vis-a-vis others can be inferred from the conduct of the parties

The income that has actually accrued to the Respondent is taxable. What income has really occurred to be decided, not by reference to physical receipt of income, but by the receipt of income in reality. Given the fact that the Respondent had acted only as a broker and could not claim any ownership on the sum of Rs. 14,73,91,000/- and that the receipt of money was only for the purpose of taking demand drafts for the payment of the differential interest payable by Indian Bank and that the Respondent had actually handed over the said money to the Bank itself, we have no hesitation in holding that the Respondent held the said amount in trust to be paid to the public sector units on behalf of the Indian Bank based on prior understanding reached with the bank at the time of sale of securities and, hence, the said sum of Rs. 14,73,91,000/- cannot be termed as the income of the Respondent

CIT vs. Virtual Soft Systems Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 26, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 1999-00
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CITATION:
Bifurcation of lease rentals into interest and loan recovery: An assessee can only be taxed on "real income". The bifurcation of lease rental is not an artificial calculation. Lease equalization is an essential step in the accounting process to ensure that real income from the transaction in the form of revenue receipts only is captured for the purposes of income tax. The Guidance Note issued by the ICAI carries great weight. The method of accounting prescribed in such a Guidance Note, in order to compute real income and offering the same for taxation, cannot be disregarded by the AO unless such action falls within the scope and ambit of S. 145(3) of the IT Act

The method of accounting followed, as derived from the ICAI’s Guidance Note, is a valid method of capturing real income based on the substance of finance lease transaction. The rule of substance over form is a fundamental principle of accounting, and is in fact, incorporated in the ICAI’s Accounting Standards on Disclosure of Accounting Policies being accounting standards which is a kind of guidelines for accounting periods starting from 01.04.1991. It is a cardinal principle of law that the difference between capital recovery and interest or finance income is essential for accounting for such a transaction with reference to its substance. If the same was not carried out, the Respondent would be assessed for income tax not merely on revenue receipts but also on non-revenue items which is completely contrary to the principles of the IT Act and to its Scheme and spirit

Tapan Kumar Dutta vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 26, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 1989-90 to 1999-2000
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CITATION:
S. 158BD Block Assessment: Although s. 158BD does not speak of ‘recording of reasons’ as postulated in s. 148, but since proceedings u/s 158BD may have monetary implications, such satisfaction must reveal mental and dispassionate thought process of the AO in arriving at a conclusion and must contain reasons which should be the basis of initiating the proceedings u/s 158BD. Notice u/s 158BC issued on the same date to the searched person and the other person is not valid as no reasonable or prudent man can come to the satisfaction that any undisclosed income belongs to the other person unless the seized books of accounts etc are verified. The AO is empowered to issue a second notice u/s 158BD to the other person

The very object of the Section 158BD is to give jurisdiction to the Assessing Officer to proceed against any person other than the person against whom a search warrant is issued. Although Section 158BD does not speak of ‘recording of reasons’ as postulated in Section 148, but since proceedings under Section 158BD may have monetary implications, such satisfaction must reveal mental and dispassionate thought process of the Assessing Officer in arriving at a conclusion and must contain reasons which should be the basis of initiating the proceedings under Section 158BD

B. L. Passi vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 26, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 1997-98
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S. 80-O: Law on meaning of "technical assistance" and when services can be said to have made available "information concerning industrial, commercial or scientific knowledge, experience or skill" explained

The wider meaning of the word “technical” would defeat the object of Section 80-O by enabling the remuneration for management or running of a foreign company to be eligible for deduction under Section 80-O. On the other hand, the narrower meaning of the word “technical” seems to be more in keeping with the object of the section. It has to be remembered that the word “technology” which has affinity with the word “technical” is concerned with the control of material environment by man. This is done by two means

Mahaveer Kumar Jain vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 19, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 23, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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It is a fundamental rule of law of taxation that, unless otherwise expressly provided, income cannot be taxed twice. A taxing Statute should not be interpreted in such a manner that its effect will be to cast a burden twice over for the payment of tax on the taxpayer unless the language of the Statute is so compelling that the court has no alternative than to accept it. In a case of reasonable doubt, the construction most beneficial to the taxpayer is to be adopted

It is not disputed that there can be double taxation if the legislature has distinctly enacted it. It is only when there are general words of taxation and they have to be interpreted, they cannot be so interpreted as to tax the subject twice over to the same tax….. If any double taxation is involved, the Legislature itself has, in express words, sanctioned it. It is not open to any one thereafter to invoke the general principles that the subject cannot be taxed twice over

Skylight Hospitality LLP vs. ACIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 6, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 10, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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S. 292-B: A s. 148 notice issued in the name of a company which does not exist upon its conversion into a LLP is valid if there is material to show that the issue in the name of the company was a clerical mistake. The object and purpose behind s. 292-B is to ensure that technical pleas on the ground of mistake, defect or omission should not invalidate the assessment proceedings, when no confusion or prejudice is caused due to non-observance of technical formalities

Object and purpose behind Section 292-B is to ensure that technical pleas on the ground of mistake, defect or omission should not invalidate the assessment proceedings, when no confusion or prejudice is caused due to nonobservance of technical formalities. The object and purpose of this Section is to ensure that procedural irregularity(ies) do not vitiate assessments. Notice/summons may be defective or there may be omissions but this would not make the notice/summon a nullity. Validity of a summon/notice has to be examined from the stand point whether in substance or in effect it is in conformity and in accordance with the intent and purpose of the Act. This is the purport of Section 292B

The Director, Prasar Bharati vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 3, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 4, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 194-H/201 TDS Liability: Law on whether relationship is that of "principal and agent" and whether payment is of the nature of "commission" explained. Non-compliance of s. 194H attracts the rigor of s. 201 which provides for consequences of failure to deduct or pay the tax. Jagran Prakashan vs. DCIT 345 ITR 288 (All) distinguished on facts

The Explanation appended to Section 194H defines the expression “commission or brokerage”. It is an inclusive definition and includes therein any payment received or receivable, directly or indirectly by a person acting on behalf of another person for services rendered (not being professional services) or for any services in the course of buying or selling of goods or in relation to any transaction relating to assets, valuable article or thing not being securities. Clause (ii) defines professional services; clause (iii) defines securities; and clause (iv) provides a deeming fiction for treating any income so as to attract the rigor of the Section for ensuring its compliance

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