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.
S. 68: Purchases cannot be treated as “bogus” only on the ground that the suppliers are not traceable
The Tribunal has found that the purchases are genuine because they are supported by bills, entries in the books of account, payment by cheque and quantitative details. The AO did not find any inflation in purchase price or inflation in consumption or suppression the production. The addition had been made only on the ground that the parties are not traceable. The assessee had made payment through crossed cheques and AO did not find that payment made came back to assessee. The ratio of creditors to purchases is normal considering the past records of the assessee. The creditors were outstanding owing to liquidity as assessee is also required to get credit in respect of sales also. Even otherwise, section 68 is not attracted to amounts representing purchases made on credit. This is a finding of fact which does not give rise to a question of law.
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
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;