CIT vs. Executive Engineer, GESCOM (Karnataka High Court)

DATE: August 18, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 26, 2015 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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S. 194C/ 194J TDS: Even if the supply contract is an integral part of a composite contract on single sale responsible basis, there is no obligation to deduct TDS. Service contracts, not being professional services, are not covered by s. 194J

(i) The clauses of the contract make it clear that three separate contracts have been entered into, but all the separate contracts were integral parts of a composite contract on single sale responsible basis. The invoices raised on the basis of the said composite contract separately mentioning the value of the material supplied, no deduction is permissible under Section 194C of the Act. Section 194C of the Act cannot be pressed into service to deduct tax at source. The whole object of introduction of that Section is to deduct tax in respect of payments made for works contract. No division is, therefore, permissible in respect of a contract for supply of materials for carrying out the work. It is in a case of distinct contracts. The contract for supply of material being a separate and distinct contract, no division is permissible under Section 194C of the Act. Section 194C has suffered an amendment also with effect from October 1, 2009 and the provision has been made very clear without any ambiguity.

(ii) Thus, we can conclude safely that if a person executing the work, purchases the materials from a person other than the customer, the same would not fall within the definition of ‘work’ under Section 194C of the Act.

(iii) As regards the issue whether the provisions of Section 194J or Section 194C would apply in respect of payments made by an assessee towards Bill Management Services, the services rendered by the agencies engaged by the assessees at Hospet, Bellary and Raichur are not professional services, and, therefore, Section 194J is not attracted. The demand towards the alleged short deduction of tax deducted at source and interest, therefore, was improper. The contract was rightly held to be a service contract by the Tribunal which should be covered under Section 194C of the Act.

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