Search Results For: 274


Indrani Sunil Pillai vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: January 19, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: January 23, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 2010-11
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c) penalty: If the AO has not recorded any satisfaction in absolute terms whether the assessee has concealed particulars of income or has furnished inaccurate particulars of income, the levy of penalty is invalid. The judgement of the Bombay High Court in Maharaj Garage cannot be read out of context or in a manner to mean that there is no need for mentioning the specific limb of section 271(1)(c) of the Act for which the penalty was intended to be imposed, as such issue never came up for consideration before the High Court

As far as the judgment of the Hon’ble Jurisdictional High Court in Maharaj Garage dated 22nd August 2017 in ITA no. 21 of 2008 relied upon by the learned Departmental Representative, on a careful reading of the said judgment, we are of the view that it will have no application to the facts of the case. As could be seen, the basic issue arising out of the reference application which fell for consideration of the Hon’ble Jurisdictional High Court was, while granting previous approval by Inspecting Assistant Commissioner of Income–tax as per provisions of section 271(1)(c)(iii) of the Act whether the assessee was required to be given an opportunity of being heard. While considering this issue, the Hon’ble Jurisdictional High Court observed that provisions of section 271(1)(c)(iii) does not attract rule of presumption of mens rea as the penalty imposable under the said provision is for the breach of civil obligation. The observations of the Hon’ble Court against issuance of show cause notice appears to be in the context of quantum of penalty proposed to be imposed and not with reference to the doing away with the issuance of show cause notice as contemplated under section 274 of the Act. Therefore, the judgment of the Hon’ble Court cannot be read out of context or in a manner to mean that there is no need for mentioning the specific limb of section 271(1)(c) of the Act for which the penalty was intended to be imposed, as such issue never came up for consideration before the Hon’ble High Court. That being the case, the aforesaid decision cannot be applied for rebutting the proposition that in the absence of recording of satisfaction regarding the exact nature of offence, no penalty under section 271(1)(c) can be imposed

Jeetmal Choraria vs. ACIT (ITAT Kolkata)

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DATE: December 1, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: January 20, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 2010-11
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c) Penalty: Conflict in law laid down by Bombay, Patna & Karnataka High Courts in Kaushalya 216 ITR 660 (Bom), Maharaj Garage (Bom), Samson Perinchery (Bom), Mithila Motors 149 ITR 751 (Pat) & Manjunatha Cotton & Ginning 359 ITR 565 (Kar) on whether the issuance of a s. 274 notice is merely an administrative device for informing the assessee about the proposal to levy penalty and mere mistake in the language used or mere non-striking of the inaccurate portion invalidates the notice or not explained. Impact of the conflicting law of the High Courts on Benches of the Tribunal in jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional States also explained

The line of reasoning of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court and the Hon’ble Patna High Court is that issuance of notice is an administrative device for informing the assessee about the proposal to levy penalty in order to enable him to explain as to why it should not be done. Mere mistake in the language used or mere non-striking of the inaccurate portion cannot by itself invalidate the notice. The Tribunal Benches at Mumbai and Patna being subordinate to the Hon’ble Bombay High Court and Patna High Court are bound to follow the aforesaid view. The Tribunal Benches at Bangalore have to follow the decision of the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court. As far as benches of Tribunal in other jurisdictions are concerned, there are two views on the issue, one in favour of the Assessee rendered by the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Manjunatha Cotton & Ginning (supra) and other of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court in the case of Smt. Kaushalya. It is settled legal position that where two views are available on an issue, the view favourable to the Assessee has to be followed

Aditya Chemicals Ltd vs. ITO (ITAT Delhi)

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DATE: November 21, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: January 11, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 1997-98
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c) Penalty: The law in Maharaj Garage (Bom) that it is not necessary for the penalty notice to frame a specific charge cannot be followed in the context of whether the notice should specify 'concealment' vs. 'inaccurate particulars' because the judgement does not consider SSA’s Emerald Meadows (SC) and is contrary to Samson Perinchery (Bom)

Judgment of Hon’ble Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) in the case of Maharaj Garage & Co. Income Tax Reference No.21 of 2008 has not considered the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of CIT vs. SSA’s Emerald Meadows (supra). Further as discussed above, Hon’ble Bombay High Court has itself in the case of CIT vs. Shri Samson Perinchery (supra) has followed the view taken by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of CIT vs. M/s SSA’s Emerald Meadows and CIT vs. Ashok Pai (supra)

Sachin Arora vs. ITO (ITAT Agra)

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DATE: September 7, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: January 5, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c): Concealment of income and furnishing of inaccurate particulars are distinct and separate charges. A nebulous notice which contains both charges is null and void ab initio (All judgements on the topic relied upon by the assessee and the department have been referred to and discussed)

It is quite clear, that `suppressio vari’, or ‘suppression of truth’, which has, in section 271(1)(c) of the IT Act, as its equivalent, `concealment of income’, and `suggestio falsi’, literally, ‘suggesting or stating a falsehood’, which manifests itself as ‘furnishing of inaccurate particulars thereof, are two distinctly separate charges; that leveling of either of these charges has to be explicitly brought to the notice/knowledge of the assessee, sans which, the assessee, under a nebulous notice containing both these charges, is rendered incapable of defending the charge per se. This would be in utter violation of the principles of natural justice, such notice being null and void ab initio. It is also pertinent to note at this juncture that the notice u/s 274 is a mandatory statutory notice without which, the initiation of penalty proceedings would be nugatory, nay, non est in the eye of the law

Maharaj Garage & Company vs. CIT (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: August 22, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 5, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 1987-88
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c) Penalty: The requirement to obtain previous approval of the IAC is mandatory as it is to safeguard the interests of the assessee against arbitrary exercise of power by the AO. Non-compliance may vitiate the penalty order. However, the requirement in s. 274 that the assessee must be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard cannot be stretched to the extent of framing a specific charge or asking the assessee an explanation in respect of the quantum of penalty proposed to be imposed

The provision of Section 271(1)(c)(iii) of the Income Tax does not attract the rule of presumption of mens rea and it cannot be equated with the provision in the Criminal Statute. The penalty is for default in complying with the provision, i.e. of furnishing true and correct particulars of the income in the return. The penalty is imposable for breach of the civil obligation. It is only the reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter, which is required to be provided to the assessee. The enquiry seems to be of summary in nature, which does not even call for issuance of show cause notice in respect of the quantum of penalty proposed to be imposed. While exercising the discretion in respect of the quantum of penalty, the explanation furnished by the assessee to mitigate the rigour of penalty has to be considered, having regard to the intention of the assessee, if any, to evade the tax, as one of the factors

Pr CIT vs. Baisetty Revathi (Andhra Pradesh High Court)

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DATE: July 13, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 4, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2010-11
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c) penalty can be levied only where the charge is unequivocal and unambiguous. The AO must specify whether the charge is of concealment of particulars of income or furnishing of inaccurate particulars thereof and which one of the two is sought to be pressed into service. He is not permitted to club both by interjecting an ‘or’ between the two. The ambiguity in the show-cause notice compounded by the confused finding of the AO that he was satisfied that the assessee was guilty of both renders the proceedings void (K. P. Madhusudhanan 251 ITR 99 (SC) & MAK Data 358 ITR 593 (SC) distinguished

On principle, when penalty proceedings are sought to be initiated by the revenue under Section 271(1)(c) of the Act of 1961, the specific ground which forms the foundation therefor has to be spelt out in clear terms. Otherwise, an assessee would not have proper opportunity to put forth his defence. When the proceedings are penal in nature, resulting in imposition of penalty ranging from 100% to 300% of the tax liability, the charge must be unequivocal and unambiguous. When the charge is either concealment of particulars of income or furnishing of inaccurate particulars thereof, the revenue must specify as to which one of the two is sought to be pressed into service and cannot be permitted to club both by interjecting an ‘or’ between the two, as in the present case

Orbit Enterprises vs. ITO (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: September 1, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 28, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2005-06, 2006-07
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c)/ 292BB: "concealment of particulars of income" and "furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income" referred to in s. 271(1)(c) denote two different connotations. It is imperative for the AO to make the assessee aware in the notice issued u/s 274 r.w.s. 271(1)(c) as to which of the two limbs are being put-up against him. The failure to do so is fatal to the penalty proceedings. The argument that the assessee was made aware of the specific charge during the proceedings is of no avail. S. 292BB does not save the penalty proceedings from being declared void

Notably, Sec. 292BB of the Act has been inserted w.e.f. 01.04.2008 and is understood basically as a rule of evidence. The implication of Sec. 292BB of the Act is that once the assessee appears in any proceedings or has co-operated in any inquiry relating to assessment or reassessment, it shall be deemed that any notice under any provisions of the Act that is required to be served has been duly served upon him in accordance with the provisions of the Act and under these circumstances, assessee would be precluded from objecting that a notice that was required to be served under the Act was either not served upon him or was not served in time or was served in an improper manner. In our considered opinion, the provisions of Sec. 292BB of the Act have no relevance in the context of the impugned examination of the efficacy of the notice issued by the Assessing Officer u/s 274 r.w.s. 271(1)(c) of the Act. Notably, the issue before us is not about the service of notice but as to whether the contents of the notice issued meets with the requirements of law. Therefore, the said argument of the ld. CIT-DR is also rejected

Jehangir HC Jehangir vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: May 17, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 25, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2006-07
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c): 'Furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income' and 'concealment of particulars of income' have different connotations. The failure by the AO to specify in the s. 274 notice which of the two charges is applicable reflects non-application of mind and is in breach of natural justice as it deprives the assessee of an opportunity to contest. The penalty proceedings have to be quashed

A perusal of the quantum assessment order reveals that the penalty has been initiated for furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income and concealment of particulars of income which, as per settled legal propositions, are different connotations and carry different meaning and two separate limbs. The same also becomes clear from the language of show-cause notice which states that the assessee have concealed the particulars of income or furnished inaccurate particulars of income. Finally, the penalty has been levied for filing of inaccurate particulars of income and hence concealed particulars of income which shows inconsistent thinking on the part of AO. Undisputedly, the AO was required to specify the exact charge for which the assessee was being penalized which he has failed to do so and the same has resulted into taking away assessee’s valuable right of contesting the same and thereby violates the principles of natural justice

Meherjee Cassinath Holdings Pvt. Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: April 28, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 11, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c) penalty proceedings are “quasi-criminal” and ought to comply with the principles of natural justice. The non-striking of the irrelevant portion in the show-cause notice means that the AO is not firm about the charge against the assessee and the assessee is not made aware as to which of the two limbs of s. 271(1)(c) he has to respond. The fact that the assessment order is clear about the charge against the assessee is irrelevant (Samson Perinchery (Bom) followed, Kaushalya 216 ITR 660 (Bom) distinguished)

Apart from the aforesaid discussion, we may also refer to the one more seminal feature of this case which would demonstrate the importance of non-striking off of irrelevant clause in the notice by the Assessing Officer. As noted earlier, in the assessment order dated 10.12.2010 the Assessing Officer records that the penalty proceedings u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act are to be initiated for furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income. However, in the notice issued u/s 274 r.w.s. 271(1)(c) of the Act of even date, both the limbs of Sec. 271(1)(c) of the Act are reproduced in the proforma notice and the irrelevant clause has not been struck-off. Quite clearly, the observation of the Assessing Officer in the assessment order and non-striking off of the irrelevant clause in the notice clearly brings out the diffidence on the part of Assessing Officer and there is no clear and crystallised charge being conveyed to the assessee u/s 271(1)(c), which has to be met by him. As noted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Dilip N. Shroff (supra), the quasi-criminal proceedings u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act ought to comply with the principles of natural justice, and in the present case, considering the observations of the Assessing Officer in the assessment order alongside his action of non-striking off of the irrelevant clause in the notice shows that the charge being made against the assessee qua Sec. 271(1)(c) of the Act is not firm and, therefore, the proceedings suffer from non-compliance with principles of natural justice inasmuch as the Assessing Officer is himself unsure and assessee is not made aware as to which of the two limbs of Sec. 271(1)(c) of the Act he has to respond

Earthmoving Equipment Service Corporation vs. DCIT (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: May 2, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 9, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2010-11
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c): Bogus purchases cannot be assessed as 'unexplained expenditure' u/s 69C if the transactions are duly disclosed and payments are through banks. The fact that the sellers are not traceable and the assessee surrendered the bogus purchases does not justify levy of penalty. Mere non-striking of the options in the s. 274 notice does not render the penalty proceedings void if the assessment order shows due application of mind.

Section 69C could not be applied to the facts of the case as the payments were through banking channels which were duly reflected in the books of accounts and therefore, there was no unexplained expenditure within the meaning of Section 69C incurred by the assessee. Further, we find that the assessee was in possession of purchase invoices and various other documentary evidences qua these purchases. A bare perusal of the purchase invoices reveals that the assessee has purchased consumables etc. from the alleged bogus suppliers, which are connected, at least to some extent, with the business of the assessee. The assessee, during quantum proceedings itself filed revised computation of income after disallowing the alleged bogus purchases by citing the reason that the suppliers were not traceable during assessment proceedings. Nevertheless, the assessee was in possession of vital evidences in his possession to prima facie substantiate his purchases to some extent particularly when the payments were though banking channels. Merely because the suppliers could not be traced at the given address would not automatically lead to a conclusion that there was concealment of income or furnishing of inaccurate particulars by the assessee

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