The ROI filed pursuant to a s. 148 notice is not ‘voluntary’ & it can be readily inferred that the assessee had not furnished full particulars of his true income and so reopening became necessary. The explanation that the income was offered to buy peace is not acceptable because it is a clear case of admission of not offering true income earlier. If it had not been for the reopening, the income would have escaped assessment. When the assessee admits, by offering additional income in the s. 148 ROI, that the earlier ROI did not disclose the true income, there is no burden on the department to show concealment
When s. 40(a)(ia) was proposed to be inserted by the Finance Bill 2004, it applied to any “amount credited or paid”. However, when enacted by the Finance Act 2004, it applied only to “amount payable”. The words “credited/ paid” and “payable” have different connotations and the latter refers to an amount which is unpaid. The change in language between the Bill and the Act is conscious and with a purpose. The legislative intent is clear that only the outstanding amount or the provision for expense (and not the amount already paid) is liable for disallowance if TDS is not deducted. Also, s. 40(a)(ia) creates a legal fiction by virtue of which even genuine and admissible expenses can be disallowed for want of TDS. A legal fiction has to be limited to the area for which it is created. Consequently, s. 40(a)(ia) can apply only to expenditure which is “payable” as of 31st March and does not apply to expenditure which has been already paid during the year.
None of the bankers had obtained details of the assets & liabilities of Vijay Mallya in India or abroad. He stood guarantor in respect of total borrowings of Rs. 115 crores and received commission of Rs. 1.15 crores even though his net worth was hardly Rs. 70.47 lakhs. Also, as he was a NRI, the permission of the RBI ought to have been taken which was not done. The assessee paid the MD commission “on the pretext” of paying guarantee commission and it is a “clear case” of “a ploy to divert the income of the companies under his management”. The payment was characterized as commission to overcome the RBI’s directions, the provisions of s. 309 of the Companies Act and was not a lawful payment and could not be allowed as a deduction u/s 37(1).
Explanation 10 to s. 43(1) does not cover the case of waiver of the loan. It covers only the grant of a subsidy or reimbursement by whatever name called. Though the assessee’s case may not fall under Explanation 10, the waiver of the loan amounted to the meeting of a portion of the cost of the assets under the main provision of s. 43(1) because of the treatment given by the assessee in its books of account in reducing the cost/WDV of the assets by the amount of the loans waived. The real nature of a transaction can be understood by reference to the contemporaneous act of the parties, which throws considerable light on their true intention and their understanding of the transaction. The assessee understood the receipt of the loans as having been given towards meeting a part of the cost of the assets and the waiver cannot have a different effect on such intention. PJ Chemicals Ltd 210 ITR 830 (SC), which holds, (pre Explanation 10) that a subsidy given as an incentive for industrial growth cannot be reduced from the cost of the assets under s. 43(1), does not apply to the facts.
While it is true that on merely establishing a prima facie case, interim order of protection should not be passed, if on a cursory glance it appears that the demand raised has no leg to stand, it would be undesirable to require the assessee to pay full or substantive part of the demand. As the CIT (A) had himself expressed opinion in the order that there is enough strength in the plea of the assessee for stay of the demand, there was no occasion to direct for deposit of 30 percent. The assessee is entitled to stay on furnishing adequate security (Dunlop India 154 ITR 172 (SC) & Pennar Industries followed)
In CIT vs. Polycott Corp 138 ITR 144 (Bom) & CIT vs. Vijaya V. Kavekar, it was held that Circular No.3 of 2011 has retrospective operation and applies even to pending cases. As regards Surya Herbals, the appeal does not involve any “cascading effect” as the department has not shown whether there are other appeals which raise the same point.
When no expenditure is incurred by the assessee in earning dividend income, no notional expenditure can be disallowed u/s 14A. The assessee had not retained shares with the intention of earning dividend. The dividend income was incidental to the business of sale of shares, which remained unsold by the assessee. It cannot be said that the expenditure incurred in acquiring the shares had to be apportioned to the extent of dividend income and that should be a disallowance u/s 14A.
The Proviso to s. 220(1) which empowers the AO to demand payment within a period lesser than 30 days with the prior approval of the JCIT cannot be exercised casually and without due application of mind. The AO & JCIT must apply their mind on how it would be detrimental to the interests of the Revenue to allow the full period of 30 days and record reasons. The reasons & approval must be made available to the assessee if he seeks them. On facts, as there was already a provisional attachment u/s 281B attaching the assessee’s mutual funds to the extent of Rs.36.54 crores, there would have been no basis for forming the reason to believe that allowing the period of 30 days would be detrimental to the Revenue. Merely because the end of the financial year is approaching that cannot constitute a detriment to the Revenue. The detriment to the Revenue must be akin to a situation where the demand of the Revenue is liable to be defeated by an abuse of process by the assessee. There is absolutely no justification for the AO to demand payment in 7 days and his action is highhanded and contrary to law
The AO’s action of assessing the award as income shows utter disregard to the order of the Tribunal and lacks judicial propriety which is not expected from the AO who is subordinate to the Tribunal. The AO’s action of threatening the assessee with penalty and prosecution and deputing his inspector to collect the advance-tax is certainly not a healthy practice. In order to gain faith of the assessees and create confidence in the minds of the tax payers and for smooth administration of tax law, the Revenue authorities must act in a fair and legal manner. Every action of the State and its instrumentality should be fair, legitimate and above board and without any affection or aversion. The Government cannot be permitted to play dirty games with the citizens of this country to coerce them in making payments which the citizens were not legally obliged to make. If any money is due to the Government, the Government should take appropriate steps, but it should not take extra legal steps or adopt the course of maneuvering. Because of discontentment, it is necessary to provide guidelines for just exercise of the power of Revenue authorities. To prevent the abuse of power and to see that it does not become a new despotism, courts are gradually evolving the principles to be observed while exercising such power. New problems call for new solutions
In the present case, as in several cases which have come up before this Court and particularly in the month of March, it is evident that the AO & DIT have both had scant regard to the parameters which have been laid down by this Court for disposal of stay applications in KEC International Ltd 251 ITR 158 & UTI Mutual Fund. No reasons are indicated. The orders do not contain a prima facie evaluation of the issues which would arise in appeal. In UTI Mutual Fund, this Court was constrained to issue a cautionary observation to the effect that AOs and Appellate Authorities, when they dispose of applications for stay, act as quasi judicial authorities and not merely as tax gatherers of the Revenue. While they have a duty of protecting the interests of the Revenue, they need to mitigate the hardship to the assessee and applications for stay must be considered objectively. The assessee does have serious issues to be urged before the CIT (A) and the AO & DIT ought to have granted a complete stay of demand u/s 220(6)