|Indu Malhotra J, Sanjay Kishan Kaul J
|28, 37(1), 4
|capital vs. revenue expenditure, Diversion of income by overriding title, real income theory
|Arijit Prasad, Rajat Navet
|September 11, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
|September 12, 2020 (Date of publication)
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|(i) To decide whether a particular source is business income, one has to look to the notions of what is the business activity. The activity must have a set purpose. The fact that the assessee does not carry on business activity for profit motive is not material as profit making is not an essential ingredient (ii) The Act requires determination of ‘real income’ on the basis of ordinary commercial principles of accountancy. To determine the ‘real income’, permissible expenses are required to be set off. Every application of income towards business objective of the assessee is a business expenditure and nothing else (iii) Mediation inter se the Government authorities or Government departments is an efficacious remedy. A Committee of legal experts presided by a retired Judge can give its imprimatur to the settlement (iv) A vibrant system of Advance Ruling can go a long way in reducing taxation litigation. This is true even of disputes between the taxation department and private persons, who are more than willing to comply with the law of the land but find some ambiguity.
In the case of a business, the profits must be arrived at on ordinary commercial principles. The scheme of the IT Act requires the determination of ‘real income’ on the basis of ordinary commercial principles of accountancy. To determine the ‘real income’, permissible expenses are required to be set off. There is, thus, a clear distinction between deductions made for ascertaining real profits and thereafter distributions made out of profits.The distribution would be application of income. There is also a distinction between real profits ascertained on commercial principles and profits fixed by a statute for a specific purpose. Income tax is a tax on real income.