CIT vs. Kalpataru Colours and Chemicals (Bombay High Court)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 10, 2010 (Date of publication)

Click here to download the judgement (kalpataru_topman_80HHC_DEPB.pdf)

DEPB sale proceeds cannot be bifurcated into “profits” and “face value”. The entire amount is “profits” for s. 80HHC r.w.s. 28(iiid)

S. 28 (iiid) provides that “any profit on the transfer” of the DEPB shall be business profits. Under Explanation (baa) to s. 80HHC, 90% of “the sum referred to in s. 28(iiid)” has to be reduced from the business profits. Under the third Proviso to s. 80HHC (3), in the case of an assessee having an export turnover exceeding Rs. 10 crores, the profits referred to in s. 80HHC (3) can be increased by 90% of “the sum referred to in s. 28 (iiid)” only if two conditions are satisfied. If the said conditions are not satisfied, no relief on account of DEPB can be granted u/s 80HHC. In Topman Exports vs. ITO 318 ITR 87 (Mum)(SB)(AT) the Special Bench of the Tribunal held that “the sum referred to in s. 28(iiid)” meant only the “profits” on transfer of the DEPB and not the entire sale proceeds. The Tribunal held that the amount received on account of DEPB had to be bifurcated into the “face value” of the DEPB and the “profit” and that while the “face value” was assessable u/s 28(iiib), the “profit” was assessable u/s 28(iiid). The consequence was that only the “profit” suffered the rigors of the third Proviso to s. 80HHC (3) and not the “face value“. On appeal by the Department, HELD reversing the Special Bench:

The argument that s. 28(iiid) covers only the “profit” (difference between sale consideration and face value of the DEPB credit) and that the “face value” is assessable u/s 28(iiib) is not correct. The entire amount received on transfer of the DEPB credit is “profits” and falls under s. 28(iiid). There was no basis or justification for the Tribunal to hold that the face value of the DEPB credit can be reduced from the sale consideration. It is not permissible to bifurcate the proceeds of the DEPB into “face value” and “excess of face value”. The approach of the Tribunal is misconceived and unsustainable. As the assessee had an export turnover exceeding Rs.10 crores and did not fulfill the conditions set out in the third proviso to s. 80HHC (3), it was not entitled to a deduction u/s 80HHC on the amount received on transfer of DEPB.