CIT vs. Rajinder Kumar/ Naresh Kumar (Delhi High Court)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 1, 2013 (Date of publication)

Click here to download the judgement (Rajinder_40_a_ia_TDS.pdf)

S. 40(a)(ia) TDS: Amendment by Finance Act 2010 permitting TDS payment till due date of ROI is retrospective. Bharati Shipyard 132 ITD 53 (Mum)(SB) disapproved

In 2007-2008 the assessee made professional payments for which TDS had not been paid by 31.3.2007 though it was paid before the due date for filing the return of income. The AO & CIT(A) disallowed the expenditure u/s 40(a)(ia) though the Tribunal deleted it by relying on Virgin Creations (Cal) which held that the proviso to s. 40(a)(ia) amended by the Finance Act 2010 has retrospective effect. On appeal by the department to the High Court HELD dismissing the appeal:

The intention behind s. 40(a)(ia) is to ensure that TDS is deducted and paid. The object of introduction of s. 40(a)(ia) is to ensure that TDS provisions are scrupulously implemented without default in order to augment recoveries. It is not to penalise an assessee when payment has been made within the time stated. Failure to deduct TDS or deposit TDS results in loss of revenue and may deprive the Government of the tax due and payable. The provision should be interpreted in a fair, just and equitable manner. It should not be interpreted in a manner which results in injustice and creates tax liabilities when TDS has been deposited/ paid and the respondent who is following cash system of accountancy has made actual payment to the third party for services rendered. Also, s. 40(a)(ia), prior to the insertion of the proviso by the Finance Act 2010, was not free from interpretative difficulties and problems. The amended provisions are clear and free from any ambiguity and doubt and will help curtail litigation. The amended provision clearly support the view that the expression “said due date” used in clause A of proviso to the un-amended section refers to the time specified in s. 139(1) of the Act. The amended s. 40(a)(ia) expands and further liberalises the statue when it stipulates that deductions made in the first eleven months of the previous year but paid before the due date of filing of the return, will constitute sufficient compliance. Consequently, the proviso to s. 40(a)(ia) must be treated as retrospective in operation (Virgin Creations referred/ followed; Bharati Shipyard 132 ITD 53 (Mum)(SB) disapproved)

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