There is no indication in Rule 8D to the effect that Rule 8D intended to apply retrospectively. Applying the principles of statutory interpretation for interpreting retrospectivity of a fiscal statute and looking into the nature and purpose of subsection (2) and subsection (3) of Section 14A as well as purpose and intent of Rule 8D coupled with the explanatory notes in the Finance Bill, 2006 and the departmental understanding as reflected by Circular dated 28.12.2006, we are of the considered opinion that Rule 8D was intended to operate prospectively.
The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Joint Investment Private Limited in ITA.No. 117/15 dated 25.02.2015 held that by no stretch of imagination can section 14A or Rule 8D be interpreted so as to mean that entire tax exempt income is to be disallowed. Similarly, Punjab and Haryana High court in the case of PCIT v. Empire Package Private Limited in ITA.No. 415/2015 held that disallowance should not exceed exempt income
Strategic investments/stock in trade have to be excluded for computing disallowance under 14A. The AO should keep in mind that the assessee is a single segment company being an investor and dealer in shares & securities and consequently all the business expenses ought to have been incurred towards this segment under normal circumstances unless otherwise shown
The Assessing Officer did not specifically record that he is not satisfied with the correctness of the claim of the assessee in respect of the expenditure in relation to the income which does not form part of the total income under the Act. However, he felt obliged and going by the presence of Rule 8D that once Section 14A is attracted, the disallowance is to be made as per Rule 8D only which has been prescribed by the Legislature. The Assessing Officer has not adverted to the plain language of subsection (2) of Section 14A
In order to disallow this expense the AO had to first record, on examining the accounts, that he was not satisfied with the correctness of the Assessee’s claim of Rs. 3 lakhs being the administrative expenses. This was mandatorily necessitated by Section 14 A (2) of the Act read with Rule 8D (1) (a) of the Rules. Consequently on the aspect of administrative expenses being disallowed, since there was a failure by the AO to comply with the mandatory requirement of Section 14 A (2) of the Act read with Rule 8D (1) (a) of the Rules and record his satisfaction as required thereunder, the question of applying Rule 8D (2) (iii) of the Rules did not arise
(i) The computation under clause (f) of Explanation 1 to section 115JB(2) is to be made without resorting to the computation as contemplated u/s 14A read with Rule 8D of the Income tax Rules 1962. (ii) Only those investments are to be considered for computing the average value of investment which yielded exempt income during the year.
The object of s. 14A is to disallow the direct and indirect expenditure incurred in relation to income which does not form part of the total income. There is no dispute that part of the income of the assessee from its business is from dividend which is exempt from tax whereas the assessee was unable to produce any material before the authorities below showing the source from which shares were acquired. The mere fact that those shares were old ones and not acquired recently is immaterial. It is for the assessee to show the source of acquisition of those shares by production of materials that those were acquired from the funds available in the hands of the assessee at the relevant point of time without taking benefit of any loan. If those shares were purchased from the amount taken in loan, even for instance, five or ten years ago, it is for the assessee to show by the production of documentary evidence that such loaned amount had already been paid back and for the relevant assessment year, no interest is payable by the assessee for acquiring those old shares
Thus, Rule 8D is not attracted and applicable to assessee who have exempt income and it is not compulsory and necessary that an assessee must voluntarily compute disallowance as per Rule 8D of the Rules. Where the disallowance or ‘nil’ disallowance made by the assessee is found to be unsatisfactory on examination of accounts, the assessing officer is entitled and authorised to compute the deduction under Rule 8D of the Rules. This pre-condition and stipulation as noticed below is also mandated in sub Rule (1) to Rule 8D of the Rules
The Tribunal found that the assessee does not have any investment and all the shares are held as stock in trade as is evident from the orders of the lower authorities. On those facts the Tribuanl held:- “Once, the assessee has kept the shares as stock in trade, the rule 8D of the Rules will not apply.” In view of the clear finding of fact regarding the exempt income claimed treated to be business income and the shares held by the assessee having been treated as stock in trade, we do not find the case involves a substantial question of law
We are also of the considered view, that strategic investment made by the assessee in its subsidiary Saraswat Infotech Limited as well in the other securities which are capable of yielding exempt income i.e. by way of dividend etc. which are exempt from tax shall be included while computing disallowance u/s 14A of the Act as per the scheme of the Act as contained in provisions of Section 14A of the Act as the statute does not grant any exemption to the strategic investments which are capable of yielding exempt income to be excluded while computing disallowance u/s 14A of the Act and hence the investment made by the assessee in subsidiary company M/s Saraswat Infotech Limited and all other securities which are capable of yielding exempt income by way of dividend etc shall be included for the purposes of disallowance of expenditure incurred in relation to the earning of exempt income , as stipulated u/s 14A of the Act. Our decision is fortified by the recent decision of Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of United Breweries Limited v. DCIT in ITA No. 419/2009 vide orders dated 31-05-2016 and also decision of the tribunal in the case of ACIT v. Uma Polymers Limited in ITA no 5366/Mum/2012 and CO No. 234/Mum/2013 vide orders dated 30-09-2015