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Pr CIT vs. Bharti Overseas Pvt. Ltd (Delhi High Court)

COURT:
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SECTION(S): ,
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COUNSEL:
DATE: December 17, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 26, 2015 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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CITATION:
S. 14A & Rule 8D(2)(ii): Interest incurred on taxable income has also to be excluded while computing the disallowance to avoid incongruity & in view of Department’s stand before High Court

Rule 8D (2) states that the expenditure in relation to income which is exempt shall be the aggregate of (i) the expenditure attributable to tax exempt income, (ii) and where there is common expenditure which cannot be attributed to either tax exempt income or taxable income then a sum arrived at by applying the formula set out thereunder. What the formula does is basically to “allocate” some part of the common expenditure for disallowance by the proportion that average value of the investment from which the tax exempt income is earned bears to the average of the total assets. It acknowledges that funds are fungible and therefore it would otherwise be difficult to allocate the sum constituting borrowed funds used for making tax-free investments. Given that Rule 8 D (2) (ii) is concerned with only ‘common interest expenditure’ i.e. expenditure which cannot be attributable to earning either tax exempt income or taxable income, it is indeed incongruous that variable A in the formula will not also exclude interest relatable to taxable income. This is precisely what the ITAT has pointed out in Champion Commercial (supra). There the ITAT said that by not excluding expenditure directly relatable to taxable income, Rule 8D (2) (ii) ends up allocating “expenditure by way of interest, which is not directly attributable to any particular income or receipt, plus interest which is directly attributable to taxable income.” This is contrary to the intention behind Rule 8D (2) (ii) read with Section 14A of (1) and (2) of the Act

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