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DCIT vs. Ace Multi Axes Systems Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: December 5, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 7, 2017 (Date of publication)
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S. 80-IB: The incentive meant for small scale industrial undertakings cannot be availed by undertakings which do not continue as small scale industrial undertakings during the relevant period. Each assessment year is a different assessment year. The fact that the object of legislature is to encourage industrial expansion does not mean that the incentive should remain applicable even where on account of industrial expansion, the small scale industrial undertakings ceases to be small scale industrial undertakings. The fact that in the initial year eligibility was satisfied is irrelevant

The observations in the impugned order are that the object of legislature is to encourage industrial expansion which implies that incentive should remain applicable even where on account of industrial expansion small scale industrial undertakings ceases to be small scale industrial undertakings. We are unable to appreciate the logic for these observations. Incentive is given to a particular category of industry for a specified purpose. An incentive meant for small scale industrial undertaking cannot be availed by an assessee which is not such an undertaking. It does not, in any manner, mean that the object of permitting industrial expansion is defeated, if benefit is not allowed to other undertakings. On this logic, incentive must be given irrespective of any condition as the incentive certainly helps further expansion by reducing the tax burden. The concept of vertical equity is well known under which all the assessees need not be uniformally taxed. Progressive taxation is a well known element of tax policy. Higher slabs of tax or higher tax burden on an assessee having higher income or higher capacity cannot in any manner, be considered unreasonable

CIT vs. Goodwill Theatres Pvt Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: November 29, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 7, 2017 (Date of publication)
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Taxability of mesne profits: High Court's approach of dismissing the Dept's appeal only because the Tribunal relied on Narang Overseas 111 ITD 1 (Mum) (SB) and the appeal against which had been dismissed for non-removal of defects is not correct. The High Court ought to decide the question on merits

High Court has dismissed the appeal preferred by the appellant herein only on the ground that the decision relied upon by the Tribunal i.e. in the case of Narang Overseas Pvt. Ltd. v. ACIT, Mumbai – (2008) 111 ITD 1 (Mum) (SB)], the appeal was preferred before the High Court and for non-removal of the defects the appeal has been dismissed. We are of the considered opinion that this was not a correct approach of the High Court for the simple reason that merely because one authority has followed its own decision in another case and that matter in appeal has been dismissed on technical grounds still the High Court has to decide the question on merits

Daniel Merchants Private Limited vs. ITO (Supreme Court)

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DATE: November 29, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 5, 2017 (Date of publication)
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S. 68 Bogus share capital: Law laid down in Subhlakshmi Vanijya Pvt. Ltd vs. CIT 155 ITD 171 (Kol), Rajmandir Estates 386 ITR 162 (Cal) etc that the CIT is entitled to revise the assessment order u/s 263 on the ground that the AO did not make any proper inquiry while accepting the explanation of the assessee insofar as receipt of share application money is concerned cannot be interfered with

The Commissioner of Income Tax had passed an order under Section 263 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 with the observations that the Assessing Officer did not make any proper inquiry while making the assessment and accepting the explanation of the assessee(s) insofar as receipt of share application money is concerned. On that basis the Commissioner of Income Tax had, after setting aside the order of the Assessing Officer, simply directed the Assessing Officer to carry thorough and detailed inquiry. It is this order which is upheld by the High Court. We see no reason to interfere with the order of the High Court

DIT vs. S. R. M. B. Dairy Farming (P) Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: November 23, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 28, 2017 (Date of publication)
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Low Tax Effect Circular: The view of the two-judge bench in Suman Dhamija & Gemini Distilleries that CBDT's low tax Circular dated 09.02.2011 cannot be given retrospective effect cannot be followed as it is contrary to the three-judge bench verdict in Surya Herbal. A beneficial circular has to be applied retrospectively while an oppressive circular has to be applied prospectively. Circular dated 9.2.2011 has retrospective operation except for two caveats: (i) The Circular should not be applied ipso facto when the matter has cascading effect and/or (ii) where common principles are involved in subsequent group of matters or a large number of matters

We are of the view that the matter needs to be put to rest and a clarity be obtained in view of the impact of this issue on pending cases before the High Courts as well as the cases which have been disposed of by various High Courts by applying the Circular of 2011 to pending litigations. In our view the matter has been squarely put to rest taking further care of the interest of the Revenue by the order passed by the three Judges Bench of this Court in Surya Herbal Ltd. case (supra), which had put two caveats even to the retrospective application of the Circular. The subsequent orders have been passed by the two Judges Bench without those orders being brought to the notice of the Court, a duty which was cast on the Department to have done so to avoid the ambiguity which has arisen. Thus, the said view of the three Judges Bench would hold water and the Circular would apply even to pending matters but subject to the two caveats provided in Surya Herbal Ltd. case (supra).

SRD Nutrients Private Limited vs. CCE (Supreme Court)

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DATE: November 10, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 15, 2017 (Date of publication)
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It is trite that when two views are possible, one which favours the assessees has to be adopted. Circulars are binding on the Department. The Government itself has taken the position that where whole of excise duty or service tax is exempted, even the Education Cess as well as Secondary and Higher Education Cess would not be payable. This is the rational view

One aspect that clearly emerges from the reading of these two circulars is that the Government itself has taken the position that where whole of excise duty or service tax is exempted, even the Education Cess as well as Secondary and Higher Education Cess would not be payable. These circulars are binding on the Department. It is also trite that when two views are possible, one which favours the assessees has to be adopted

CIT vs. Gemini Distilleries (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 12, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 1, 2017 (Date of publication)
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Low Tax Effect Circular: The CBDT cannot issue any circular having retrospective operation. Consequently, instruction/circular issued on 9.2.2011 directing withdrawal of low tax effect appeals applies only to appeals filed after that date and not to pending appeals. The fact that the CBDT itself vide Circular dated 10.12.2015 directed that the instruction to withdraw low tax effect appeals will apply retrospectively to pending appeals has no bearing

The question raised in this batch of Appeals is as to whether the instructions/circular issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes on 9.2.2011 will have retrospective operation or not. This Court in Commissioner of Income Tax-VIII, New Delhi v. Suman Dhamija (Civil Appeal Nos.4919-4920/2015) has held that instructions/circular dated 9.2.11 is not retrospective in nature and they shall not govern cases which have been filed before 2011, and that, the same will govern only such cases which are filed after the issuance of the aforesaid instructions dated 9.2.2011. Learned counsel for the respondents relied upon circular dated 10th December, 2015 and specifically relied upon paragraph 10. We are of the considered opinion that the central board of direct taxes cannot issue any circular having retrospective operation. Respectfully following the above decision, we allow the instant Appeals

Sedco Forex International Inc vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 30, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 1, 2017 (Date of publication)
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S. 44BB: Amounts received as “mobilisation fee” on account of provision of services and facilities in connection with the extraction etc. of mineral oil in India attracts s. 44BB and have to be assessed as business profits. S. 44BB has to be read in conjunction with ss. 5 and 9 of the Act. Ss. 5 and 9 cannot be read in isolation. The argument that the mobilisation fee is “reimbursement of expenses” and so not assessable as income is not acceptable because it is a fixed amount paid which may be less or more than the expenses incurred. Incurring of expenses, therefore, would be immaterial. Also, the contract was indivisible

Section 44BB starts with non-obstante clause, and the formula contained therein for computation of income is to be applied irrespective of the provisions of Sections 28 to 41 and Sections 43 and 43A of the Act. It is not in dispute that assessees were assessed under the said provision which is applicable in the instant case. For assessment under this provision, a sum equal to 10% of the aggregate of the amounts specified in sub-section (2) shall be deemed to be the profits and gains of such business chargeable to tax under the head ‘profits and gains of the business or profession’. Sub-section (2) mentions two kinds of amounts which shall be deemed as profits and gains of the business chargeable to tax in India. Sub-clause (a) thereof relates to amount paid or payable to the assessee or any person on his behalf on account of provision of services and facilities in connection with, or supply of plant and machinery on hire used, or to be used in the prospecting for, or extraction or production of, mineral oils in India. Thus, all amounts pertaining to the aforesaid activity which are received on account of provisions of services and facilities in connection with the said facility are treated as profits and gains of the business.

ADIT vs. E-Funds IT Solution Inc (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 24, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 25, 2017 (Date of publication)
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Permanent Establishment (PE) under Article 5 of DTAA: Entire law on concept of “fixed place of business”, “service PE” and “agency PE” explained. The fact that there is close association and dependence between the US company and the Indian companies is irrelevant. The functions performed, assets used and risk assumed, is not a proper and appropriate test to determine whether there is a location PE

The Income Tax Act, in particular Section 90 thereof, does not speak of the concept of a PE. This is a creation only of the DTAA. By virtue of Article 7(1) of the DTAA, the business income of companies which are incorporated in the US will be taxable only in the US, unless it is found that they were PEs in India, in which event their business income, to the extent to which it is attributable to such PEs, would be taxable in India. Article 5 of the DTAA set out hereinabove provides for three distinct types of PEs with which we are concerned in the present case: fixed place of business PE under Articles 5(1) and 5(2)(a) to 5(2)(k); service PE under Article 5(2)(l) and agency PE under Article 5(4). Specific and detailed criteria are set out in the aforesaid provisions in order to fulfill the conditions of these PEs existing in India. The burden of proving the fact that a foreign assessee has a PE in India and must, therefore, suffer tax from the business generated from such PE is initially on the Revenue

CIT vs. Madhur Housing And Development Co (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 5, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 20, 2017 (Date of publication)
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S. 2(22)(e): Any payment by a closely-held company by way of advance or loan to a concern in which a substantial shareholder is a member holding a substantial interest is deemed to be “dividend” on the presumption that the loans or advances would ultimately be made available to the shareholders of the company giving the loan or advance. However, the legal fiction in s. 2(22)(e) does not extend to, or broaden the concept of, a “shareholder”

U/s 2(22)(e), any payment by a closely-held company by way of advance or loan to a concern in which a substantial shareholder is a member holding a substantial interest is deemed to be “dividend” on the presumption that the loans or advances would ultimately be made available to the shareholders of the company giving the loan or advance. The legal fiction in s. 2(22)(e) enlarges the definition of dividend but does not extend to, or broaden the concept of, a “shareholder”. As the assessee was not a shareholder of the paying company, the “dividend” was not assessable in its hands

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