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Archive for the ‘Tribunal’ Category

ACIT vs. M/s. Veena Developers (ITAT Mumbai)

September 12th, 2014

S. 253: Filing appeals in disregard & wilful disobedience to the law laid down constitutes gross abuse of power and deserves to be punished for contempt of court and by award of exemplary costs. Action not pursued in view of written apology of concerned officials

(i) This case is one of gross misuse of powers by the lower authorities. The AO in complete disregard and disobedience to the orders of the Tribunal as well as of the Hon’ble High Court again confirmed the disallowance while framing assessment u/s 153A without any incriminating material being found during the search. The act of negating the orders of the higher authorities in the very same case and thereby disallowing the claim of the assessee in the s. 153A proceedings without any new evidence or incriminating material being found amounts to the gross abuse of process of law in complete disregard and disobedience to the orders of the higher authorities and is an act which tends to lower down the authority of the higher courts. We may observe that if at all the issue will be decided by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in favour of the Revenue, then the orders of the lower authorities in that event would automatically merge in the order of the Supreme Court and implemented accordingly. However, the mere filing of appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court gives no authority to the AO to negate, disobey and disrespect to the orders of the higher authorities in the very same case. We may further notice that even after the decision of the CIT(A) in favour of assessee, the concerned CIT-Admin has given approval for filing the second round of appeal in the same case ignoring and in complete disregard and disobedience to the orders of the Tribunal as well as of the High Court vide which the issue in dispute has already been settled;

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DCIT vs. SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd (ITAT Bangalore)

September 10th, 2014

AO’s action of giving effect to a quashed s. 263 revision order termed “assault on rule of law” & “contempt of court

By the by, we are very much astonished to observe that the AO has passed a revised assessment order even after knowing that the revision order passed by the CIT has been set aside by the Tribunal. The action of the AO could be treated as assault on the rule of law. His action amounts to contempt of court as well. The Revenue could have preferred to file an appeal before the High Court against the order of the Tribunal setting aside the revision order passed by the CIT. If such an appeal has been already filed, well and good. Otherwise, Revenue has no remedy when the Tribunal has set aside the revision order of the CIT. The said order no more exists and the AO has no substratum to build a second round of revised assessment. We do not think that all these matters are unknown to the Assessing Authority. But giving due consideration to the explanations offered by the learned senior officers appearing for the Revenue and also for the reason that the AO might have prompted to act in haste, only in public interest, we do not proceed further in this matter. But we wish that before jumping into such controversial games, the AO ought to have taken advice from his seniors.

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Maruti Securities Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Hyderabad)

September 9th, 2014

S. 145: Even if assessee is following mercantile system, income cannot be assessed, on “real income” theory, if its collection/ receipt is not certain

(ii) The method of accounting, as followed by the assessee, does not create any income. The method of accounting only recognizes income. Income cannot be taxed on hypothetical basis, and it is only the real income that is to be brought to tax. When the principal itself is overdue and not collected, there is no basis for making out a case that interest income would be collectable with certainty. Even where an assessee is following the mercantile system of accounting, it is only accrual of real income which is chargeable to tax, that accrual is a matter to be decided on commercial belief having regard to the nature of business of the assessee and character of the transaction. Accordingly, for the purpose of determining whether there has been accrual of real income or not, recourse is to be made to ascertain the nature of business and character of the transaction and the realities and peculiarities of the situations (Godhra Electricity 225 ITR 746 (SC), Excel Industries Ltd 358 ITR 295 (SC) & UCO Bank 237 ITR 889 (SC) followed)

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U.P. State Industrial Development Corp (UPSIDC) vs. DCIT (ITAT Lucknow)

September 9th, 2014

S. 143(2)(ii): Fact that case is selected for scrutiny under CASS does not mean s. 143(2) notice & assessment order are void for non-application of mind by AO

The entire jurisprudence in respect of tax administration such as principle of natural justice etc. are with the sole object of ensuring that the tax payer is not unduly harassed by the tax department having almighty power of state. In order to make tax administration and collection friendly to tax payer, some steps have been taken by the tax administration/Government although much work is still to be done in this regard. Some of these steps are that it is made a rule that tax returns can be filed in a paper less manner in order to improve voluntary compliance by the tax payer and also to reduce the burden of filing voluminous documents along with the tax return. This is a big relief to the tax payer but this has to be ensured that there are some deterring measures so that no undue advantage is taken by any tax payer of this liberal policy of the Government. Even these deterring measures are to be such that they cause minimum harassment to the tax payer. Therefore, scheme had been devised that only very small percentage of total tax returns will be scrutinized by the department and generally it is about 2% to 3% of the total tax returns filed in a year. When it is seen that the return is to be filed by the assessee in paperless manner and still there has to be some deterring measure to prohibit the taxpayer from adopting the habit of tax evasion/avoidance, it was decided that there should be scrutiny in a small number of cases.

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DCIT vs. Rajeev G. Kalathil (ITAT Mumbai)

September 9th, 2014

S. 68: Fact that alleged supplier is not traceable and has been termed a “hawala dealer” by the VAT authorities is not sufficient to treat the purchases as “bogus”

The fact that the supplier is declared as a “Hawala dealer” by the VAT department is a good starting point for making further investigation and taking it to its logical end. However, suspicion of highest degree cannot take place of evidence. The AO ought to have called for details of the bank accounts of the suppliers to find out as whether there was any immediate cash withdrawal from their account. No such exercise was done. There is nothing in the order of the AO about the cash trail. Transportation of good to the site is one of the deciding factor to be considered for resolving the issue. Proof of movement of goods is not in doubt. In the absence of sufficient evidence, the purchases cannot be treated as bogus

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Vijay V Meghani vs. DCIT (ITAT Mumbai)

September 5th, 2014

ITAT laments severe fall in standards of CA profession. Advices ICAI to take disciplinary proceedings against erring members & tackle issue on war footing

(i) The advice given by the CA firm shows signs of deteriorating standards with some of the Chartered Accountants in profession, which needs to be stopped on war footing by the ICAI. The assessee is having connection with many tax professionals and, in all probabilities, the assessee might have had consultation with any one or more of them on the impugned problem. It is inconceivable that all the Chartered Accountants, whom the assessee might have had consultation or availed services, would have concurred with the view expressed by the above said C.A firm. If it is presumed for a moment that all the C.A.s have concurred with the said view, then it only shows that the C.A profession is losing its grip over the Income tax matters, which is another cause of concern for ICAI. The self study model coupled with ‘on-site articled clerk training’ embedded in the Chartered Accountancy course aims to achieve high quality education and training through undergoing practical training, inculcating the habit of thinking, self introspection, application of mind, analytical ability etc. and they enable the C.A students to have strong grip over the subjects and also to attain expertise in them… In the recent past, the methodology of self study is given a go-by by some C.A students and they have started depending more and more on the Commercial Coaching Centers, who undertake coaching of various subjects in the class room model. We notice that the ICAI does not appear to have taken steps to contain mushrooming growth of such coaching institutes, which indulge in manufacturing of Chartered Accountants through class room model, which may ultimately have undesirable effect on the quality of Chartered Accountants, since the habit of thinking, introspection, application of mind is replaced by spoon-feeding, which kind of teaching discourages independent thinking. There should not be any controversy on the fact that the Chartered Accountants, till date, have occupied pioneer position vis-à-vis their counterparts in other parts of the World. They also contribute a lot to the building, sustenance and growth of our National economy. Any compromise on the quality of Chartered Accountants would not only affect our Country very badly, but is also expected to endanger the pioneer position enjoyed by the Indian C.A fraternity vis-à-vis their counter parts in other parts of the world. In our view, the ICAI should seriously take note of these alarming practices slowly emerging in our Country and should take appropriate corrective steps, lest the confidence reposed in C.A.s by the public should get diluted;

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Bellwether Microfinance Fund Pvt. Ltd vs. ITO (ITAT Hyderabad)

August 18th, 2014

S. 14A: For Rule 8D(2)(i) only expenditure relating to investments resulting in tax-free income can be considered. For Rule 8D(2)(iii) all investments, whether yielding tax-free income or not, have to be considered

Rule 8D(2)(i) speaks of expenditure directly relating to income which does not form part of “total income”. In the context of s. 2(45) & s. 5, the expression ‘total income’ in Rule 8D(2)(i) must relate to an income which is sought to be assessed. Therefore, only expenditure directly relating to income which is earned either on receipt basis or on accrual basis and which does not form part of total income of a particular assessment year can be disallowed under clause (i) of Rule 8D(2). However, while computing disallowance under Rule 8D(2)(iii), the average of the total investment of the assessee as appearing in the balance sheet on the first day and last day of the year irrespective of the fact whether it has yielded income or not can be considered for the purpose of disallowance.

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ACIT vs. Iqbal M. Chagala (ITAT Mumbai)

August 16th, 2014

S. 14A & Rule 8D cannot be applied in a mechanical manner. Disallowance cannot exceed expenditure claimed as a deduction

The assessee had debited direct expenses on account of dematerialization and STT in the capital account and not in the Profit and loss account. The AO had presumed that the assessee had must have incurred some expenditure under the heads salary, telephone and other administrative charges for earning the exempt income. It is further found that the total expenditure claimed by the assessee for the year is about 13 lakhs and the AO had made a disallowance of about Rs.16 lakhs. He has just adopted the formula of estimating expenditure on the basis of investments. But, the justification for calculating the disallowance is missing. The assessee had not claimed any expenditure in its P&L account and so the onus was on the AO to prove that out of the expenditure incurred under various heads were related to earning of exempt income. Not only this he had to give the basis of such calculation. In any manner disallowance of Rs.16.35 lakhs as against the total expenditure of Rs.13 lakhs claimed by the assessee in P&L account is not justified. Rule 8D cannot and should not be applied in a mechanical way. Facts of the case have to be analyzed before invoking them. Consequently the disallowance is deleted (Justice Sam P. Bharucha 53 SOT 192 (Mum) referred)

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ACIT vs. M. Baskaran (ITAT Chennai)

August 15th, 2014

S. 14A/ Rule 8D: No disallowance can be made if there is no exempt income. Cheminvest (SB) & CBDT Circular are not good law

No doubt in Cheminvest Ltd vs. ITO 121 ITD 318 (SB) the Special Bench of the Tribunal has held that disallowance u/s 14A can be made even in the year in which no exempt income has been earned or received by the assessee. This decision of Special Bench of the Tribunal has been impliedly overruled by the decisions of High Courts in Shivam Motors P Ltd (All HC), CIT vs. Corrtech Energy Pvt. Ltd (Guj HC), CIT vs. Delite Enterprises (Bom HC), CIT vs. Lakhani Marketing (P&H HC), CIT vs. Winsome Textiles Industries Ltd 319 ITR 204 (P&H) where it has been held that when there is no exempt income and no claim for exemption, s. 14A and Rule 8D have no application and no disallowance can be made.

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EIH Associated Hotels Ltd vs. DCIT (ITAT Chennai)

August 12th, 2014

S. 14A & Rule 8D: Investments in subsidiaries to be excluded while computing disallowance

The investments made by the assessee in the subsidiary company are not on account of investment for earning capital gains or dividend income. Such investments have been made by the assessee to promote subsidiary company into the hotel industry. A perusal of the order of the CIT(A) shows that out of total investment of Rs. 64.18 crore, Rs. 63.31 crore is invested in wholly owned subsidiary. This fact supports the case of the assessee that the assessee is not into the business of investment and the investments made by the assessee are on account of business expediency. Any dividend earned by the assessee from investment in subsidiary company is purely incidental. Therefore, the investment made by the assessee in its subsidiary are not to be reckoned for disallowance u/s 14A r.w.r. 8D. The AO is directed to re-compute the average value of investment under the provisions of Rule 8D after deleting investments made by the assessee in subsidiary company

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