||Pramod Kumar (VP), Saktijit Dey (JM)
||capital gains, stamp duty valuation
||Ex-parte, Vijaykumar G Subramanyam
||January 15, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
||April 17, 2021 (Date of publication)
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S. 50C: The 3rd Proviso to s. 50C, inserted by the Finance Act 2018, provides that s. 50C will not apply if the difference between the stamp duty valuation and the actual consideration does not exceed 5%. This tolerance band was increased to 10% by the Finance Act 2020. Though the amendments are stated to be prospective, they are curative in nature and must be held to relate back to the date when Section 50C was inserted, i.e. 1st April 2003. Accordingly, if the valuation of a property, for the purpose of stamp duty valuation, is 10% more than the stated sale consideration, the stated sale consideration will be accepted at the face value and the anti-avoidance provisions under section 50C will not be invoked
As noted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes circular # 8 of 2018, explaining the reason for the insertion of the third proviso to Section 50C(1), has observed that “It has been pointed out that the variation between stamp duty value and actual consideration received can occur in respect of similar properties in the same area because of a variety of factors, including the shape of the plot or location”. Once the CBDT itself accepts that these variations could be on account of a variety of factors, essentially bonafide factors, and, for this reason, Section 50C(1) should not come into play, it was an “unintended consequence” of Section 50(1) that even in such bonafide situations, this provision, which is inherently in the nature of an anti-avoidance provision, is invoked. Once this situation is sought to be addressed, as is the settled legal position- as we will see a little later in our analysis, this situation needs to be addressed in entirety for the entire period in which such legal provisions had effect, and not for a specific time period only. There is no good reason for holding the curative amendment to be only as prospective in effect.
The insertion of third proviso (noted above) to Section 50C of the Act is declaratory and curative in nature. That is, the third provisoto Section 50C of the Act relates to computation of value of property as explained by us above, hence it is not a substantive amendment, it is only a procedural amendment therefore the Coordinate Benches of the ITAT used to ignore the variation up to 10%, therefore, the said amendment should be retrospective.Quite clearly therefore, even when the statute does not specifically state so, such amendments, in the light of the detailed discussions above, can only be treated as retrospective and effective from the date related statutory provisions was introduced. Viewed thus, the third proviso to Section50C should be treated as curative in nature and with retrospective effect from 1st April 2003, i.e. the date effective from which Section 50C was introduced.
The deeming fiction under section 50C of the Act, must be given its full effect and the Court should not allow to boggle the mind while giving full effect to such fiction. We are not opposing the proposition canvassed by the Counsel of the Assessee that deeming fiction must be applied in relation to the situation for which it is created. However, while giving full effect to the deeming fiction contained under section 50C of the Act for the purpose of computation of the capital gain under section 48, for which section 50C is specifically enacted, the automatic fallout thereof would be that the computation of the assessee’s capital gain and consequently the computation of exemption under section 54EC, shall have to be worked out on the basis of substituted deemed sale consideration of transfer of capital asset in terms of section 50C of the Act
The value adopted for the purpose of payment of stamp duty is not disputed by the assessee. The assessing officer has not brought on record that the property under sale was not was under various encumbrances and the assessee was having the absolute marketable title of the said property. No material is brought on record by assessing officer that the assessee has received much more consideration than shown in the MOI. The assessing officer treated the stamp valuation rate as the value of consideration, despite the facts that the assessee throughout the proceedings contended that the assessee was neither having possessing of the impugned piece of land nor having marketable title. The assessee offered the said piece of land on the basis ‘as is where is’. These vital facts were ignored by the lower authorities
The assessee can be taxed only on the gain which is oozing out from the sale consideration, thus, no adverse inference can be drawn while invoking the provision of section 50C of the Act. No evidence has been produced by the Revenue at any stage that the assessee actually received the value which was adopted by the stamp valuation authority.
The consideration as determined under section 50C based on the stamp duty authority valuation is not a consideration which has been received by or has accrued to the assessee. Rather, it is a value which has been deemed as full value of consideration for the limited purposes of determining the income chargeable as capital gains under section 48 of the Act. Therefore, in the instant case, the provisions of section 54F(1)(a) are complied with by the assessee and the assessee shall be eligible for deduction in respect of the whole of the capital gains so computed under section 45 read with section 48 and section 50C of the Act
It is essential that for application of Sec. 50C that the transfer must be of a capital asset, being land or building or both. If the capital asset under transfer cannot be described as “land or building or both” then section 50C will cease to apply. Booking advance cannot be equated with the capital asset and therefore section 50C cannot be invoked
In Honest Group of Hotels (P) Ltd. Vs. CIT (2002) 177 CTR (J&K) 232 it was held that when the margin between the value as given by the assessee and the Departmental valuer was less than 10 per cent, the difference is liable to be ignored and the addition made by the AO cannot be sustained. Since in the instant case such difference is less than 10 per cent and considering the fact that valuation is always a matter of estimation where some degree of difference is bound to occur, we are of the considered opinion that the AO in the instant case is not justified in substituting the sale consideration
When the assessee in the present case had claimed before Assessing Officer that the value adopted or assessed by the stamp valuation authority under sub section (1) exceeds the fair market value of the property as on the date of transfer, the Assessing Officer should have referred the valuation of the capital asset to a valuation officer instead of adopting the value taken by the state authority for the purpose of stamp duty. The very purpose of the Legislature behind the provisions laid down under sub section (2) to section 50C of the Act is that a valuation officer is an expert of the subject for such valuation and is certainly in a better position than the Assessing Officer to determine the valuation. Thus, non-compliance of the provisions laid down under sub section (2) by the Assessing Officer cannot be held valid and justified
The facts relating to the market value as on the date of agreement to sale and as on the date of sale deed is not disputed. The only dispute is whether the stamp duty value as on the date of agreement to sale or sale deed to be considered for the purpose of computation of capital gain. The purpose of introducing section 50C of the Act was to counter suppression of sale consideration of sale of immovable properties. Before insertion of section 50C of the Act to the statute, there are lot of litigations as to consideration shown in document conveying title and payment of stamp duty. To overcome the litigations, the provision of section 50C of the Act has been inserted to the statute w.e.f. 1.6.2003 wherein it is made mandatory to adopt value u/s 50C of the Act for the purpose of determination of consideration. A proviso to section 50C of the Act has been inserted by the Finance Act, 2016 w.e.f. 1.4.2017 to resolve the genuine and intended hardship, in the case in which the date of agreement to sale is prior to the date of sale and market value of the property as on the date of agreement to sale and date of sale deed is different