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ACIT vs. Rupam Impex (ITAT Rajkot)

COURT:
CORAM: ,
SECTION(S): ,
GENRE:
CATCH WORDS: ,
COUNSEL:
DATE: January 21, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 23, 2016 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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CITATION:
S. 154: Pedantic stand of AO in refusing to rectify a mistake on the ground that the assessee is responsible for it is appalling and makes a mockery of the assessment proceedings. A sense of fair play by the field officers towards the taxpayers is not an act of benevolence by the field officers but it is call of duty in a socially accountable governance

A lot of emphasis is placed on the fact that the mistake was committed by the assessee himself which has resulted in the error creeping in the assessment order as well. Instead of being apologetic about the complete non application of mind to the facts and making a mockery of the scrutiny assessment proceeding itself, the Assessing Officer has justified the mistake on record on the ground that it is attributed to the assessee. The income tax proceedings are not adversarial proceedings. As to who is responsible for the mistake is not material for the purpose of proceedings under section 154; what is material is that there is a mistake- a mistake which is clear, glaring and which is incapable of two views being taken. The fact that mistake has occurred is beyond doubt. The fact that it is attributed to the error of the assessee does not obliterate the fact of mistake or legal remedies for a mistake having crept in. It is only elementary that the income liable to be taxed has to be worked out in accordance with the law as in force. In this process, it is not open to the Revenue authorities to take advantage of mistakes committed by the assessee. Tax cannot be levied on an assessee at a higher amount or at a higher rate merely because the assessee, under a mistaken belief or due to an error, offered the income for taxation at that amount or that rate. It can only be levied when it is authorised by the law, as is the mandate of Art. 265 of the Constitution of India. A sense of fairplay by the field officers towards the taxpayers is not an act of benevolence by the field officers but it is call of duty in a socially accountable governance

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