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DATE: September 11, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 12, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 1976-77
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CITATION:
(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.

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DATE: August 25, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 26, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 1971-1972
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CITATION:
S. 45 Capital Gains: In matters relating to compulsory acquisition of land under the Act of 1894, completion of transfer with vesting of land in the Government essentially correlates with taking over of possession of the land under acquisition by the Government. However, where possession is taken over before arriving of the relevant stage for such taking over, capital gains shall be deemed to have accrued upon arrival of the relevant stage and not before. To be more specific, in such cases, capital gains shall be deemed to have accrued: (a) upon making of the award, in the case of ordinary acquisition referable to Section 16; and (b) after expiration of fifteen days from the publication of the notice mentioned in Section 9 (1), in the case of urgency acquisition under Section 17 (All imp judgements referred)

For chargeability of income-tax, the income ought to have either arrived or accrued. In the matter of acquisition of land under the Act of 1894, taking over of possession before arrival of relevant stage for such taking over may give rise to a potential right in the owner of the property to make a claim for compensation but, looking to the scheme of enactment, it cannot be said that transfer resulting in capital gains is complete with taking over of possession, even if such taking over had happened earlier than the point of time of vesting contemplated in the relevant provisions.

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DATE: August 11, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 12, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
(i) S. 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 confers status of coparcener on daughters born before or after amendment in the same manner as son with the same rights and liabilities, (ii) The rights can be claimed by the daughter born earlier with effect from 9.9.2005 with savings as provided in Section 6(1) as to the disposition or alienation, partition or testamentary disposition which had taken place before 20th day of December, 2004, (iii) Since the right in coparcenary is by birth, it is not necessary that father coparcener should be living as on 9.9.2005 (Entire law on family settlements under Hindu Law (HUFs) explained)

The object of preventing, setting up of false or frivolous defence to set at naught the benefit emanating from amended provisions, has to be given full effect. Otherwise, it would become very easy to deprive the daughter of her rights as a coparcener. When such a defence is taken, the Court has to be very extremely careful in accepting the same, and only if very cogent, impeccable, and contemporaneous documentary evidence in shape of public documents in support are available, such a plea may be entertained, not otherwise. We reiterate that the plea of an oral partition or memorandum of partition, unregistered one can be manufactured at any point in time, without any contemporaneous public document needs rejection at all costs. We say so for exceptionally good cases where partition is proved conclusively and we caution the courts that the finding is not to be based on the preponderance of probabilities in view of provisions of gender justice and the rigor of very heavy burden of proof which meet intendment of Explanation to Section 6(5). It has to be remembered that courts cannot defeat the object of the beneficial provisions made by the Amendment Act

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DATE: July 31, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 8, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
The settled legal position is that when by virtue of a family settlement or arrangement, members of a family descending from a common ancestor or a near relation seek to sink their differences and disputes, settle and resolve their conflicting claims or disputed titles once and for all in order to buy peace of mind and bring about complete harmony and goodwill in the family, such arrangement ought to be governed by a special equity peculiar to them and would be enforced if honestly made. The object of such arrangement is to protect the family from long drawn litigation or perpetual strives which mar the unity and solidarity of the family and create hatred and bad blood between the various members of the family (All imp judgements referred)

It is wellsettled that registration would be necessary only if the terms of the family arrangement are reduced into writing. Here also, a distinction should be made between a document containing the terms and recitals of a family arrangement made under the document and a mere memorandum prepared after the family arrangement had already been made either for the purpose of the record or for information of the court for making necessary mutation. In such a case the memorandum itself does not create or extinguish any rights in immovable properties and therefore does not fall within the mischief of Section 17(2) of the Registration Act and is, therefore, not compulsorily registrable;

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DATE: July 29, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 30, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2005-06
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CITATION:
(i) Disallowance u/s 40(a)(ia), 40A(3) etc are intended to enforce due compliance of the requirement of other provisions of the Act and to ensure proper collection of tax as also transparency in dealings. The interest of a bonafide assessee who had made the deduction as required and had paid the same to the revenue is safeguarded. No question about prejudice or hardship arises (ii) Payment made for hiring vehicles for the business of transportation of goods attracts TDS u/s 194C, (iii) Disallowance u/s 40(a)(ia) is not limited to the amount outstanding ("payable") but also to expenses that had already been incurred and "paid" by the assessee, (iv) Disallowance u/s 40(a)(ia) as introduced by the Finance (No.2) Act, 2004 w.e.f. 01.04.2005 is applicable to AY 2005-2006, (v) Benefit of amendment made in the year 2014 to s. 40(a)(ia) is not available

We may in the passing observe that the assessee-appellant was either labouring under the mistaken impression that he was not required to deduct TDS or under the mistaken belief that the methodology of splitting a single payment into parts below Rs. 20,000/- would provide him escape from the rigour of the provisions of the Act providing for disallowance. In either event, the appellant had not been a bonafide assessee who had made the deduction and deposited it subsequently. Obviously, the appellant could not have derived the benefits that were otherwise available by the curative amendments of 2008 and 2010. Having defaulted at every stage, the attempt on the part of assessee-appellant to seek some succor in the amendment of Section 40(a)(ia) of the Act by the Finance (No.2) Act, 2014 could only be rejected as entirely baseless, rather preposterous

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DATE: July 22, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2007-08
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CITATION:
The condition precedent for applicability of “fixed place” permanent establishments under Article 5(1) of the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties is that it should be an establishment “through which the business of an enterprise” is wholly or partly carried on. Further, the profits of the foreign enterprise are taxable only where the said enterprise carries on its core business through a permanent establishment. The maintenance of a fixed place of business which is of a preparatory or auxiliary character in the trade or business of the enterprise would not be considered to be a permanent establishment under Article 5. Also, it is only so much of the profits of the enterprise that may be taxed in the other State as is attributable to that permanent establishment (All imp judgements referred)

Though it was pointed out to the ITAT that there were only two persons working in the Mumbai office, neither of whom was qualified to perform any core activity of the Assessee, the ITAT chose to ignore the same. This being the case, it is clear, therefore, that no permanent establishment has been set up within the meaning of Article 5(1) of the DTAA, as the Mumbai Project Office cannot be said to be a fixed place of business through which the core business of the Assessee was wholly or partly carried on. Also, as correctly argued by Shri Ganesh, the Mumbai Project Office, on the facts of the present case, would fall within Article 5(4)(e) of the DTAA, inasmuch as the office is solely an auxiliary office, meant to act as a liaison office between the Assessee and ONGC

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DATE: July 22, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 23, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 1995-96
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CITATION:
S. 28(v-a): There is a dichotomy between receipt of compensation by an assessee for the loss of agency and receipt of compensation attributable to the negative/restrictive covenant. The compensation received for the loss of agency is a revenue receipt whereas the compensation attributable to a negative/ restrictive covenant is a capital receipt. Payment received as non-competition fee under a negative covenant was always treated as a capital receipt till AY 2003-2004. It is only w.e.f. 1-4-2003 that the said capital receipt is now made taxable u/s 28(v-a). It is well settled that a liability cannot be created retrospectively (All imp judgements referred)

The revenue has no business to second guess commercial or business expediency of what parties at arms-length decide for each other. For example, stating that there was no rationale behind the payment of INR 6.6 crores and that the assessee was not a probable or perceptible threat or competitor to the SWC group is the perception of the Assessing Officer, which cannot take the place of business reality from the point of view of the assessee, as has been pointed out by us hereinabove. The fact that M/s Maltings Ltd. had incurred a loss in the previous year is again neither here nor there. It may in future be a direct threat to the SWC group and may turn around and make profits in future years. Besides, M/s Maltings Ltd. is only one concern of the assessee – it is the assessee’s expertise in this field on all counts that was the threat perception of the SWC group which cannot be second guessed by the revenue

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DATE: July 10, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 15, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
Extension of limitation period due to Covid-19 Lock down: Service of all notices, summons and exchange of pleadings may be effected by e-mail, FAX, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal etc in addition to service of the same document by e-mail simultaneously on the same date. The Reserve Bank of India may consider whether the validity period of a cheque under the Negotiable Instruments Act should be extended or not

Extension of validity of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. With reference to the prayer, that the period of validity of a cheque be extended, we find that the said period has not been prescribed by any Statute but it is a period prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India under Section 35-A of the Banking Regulation Act,1949. We do not consider it appropriate to interfere with the period prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India, particularly, since the entire banking system functions on the basis of the period so prescribed.

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DATE: June 1, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 11, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2014-15
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CITATION:
S. 147: The reasons in support of the s. 148 notice is the very issue in respect of which the AO had raised a query during the assessment proceedings and the Petitioner had responded justifying its stand. The non-rejection of the explanation in the Assessment Order amounts to the AO accepting the view of the assessee, thus taking a view/forming an opinion. In these circumstances, the reasons in support of the notice proceed on a mere change of opinion and would be completely without jurisdiction

The non-rejection of the explanation in the Assessment Order would amount to the Assessing Officer accepting the view of the assessee, thus taking a view/forming an opinion. Therefore, in these circumstances, the reasons in support of the impugned notice proceed on a mere change of opinion and therefore would be completely without jurisdiction in the present facts

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DATE: June 5, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 6, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 1993-94 to 1997-98
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CITATION:
(i) The sweeping proposition in some Supreme Court decisions that when two views are possible, the one favourable to assessee has to be preferred & that a tax incentive provision must receive liberal interpretation, is disapproved by the Constitution Bench in Dilip Kumar (2018) 9 SCC 1 (FB). The burden is on the assessee to prove eligibility to an incentive or exemption provision and it is subject to strict interpretation. If there is ambiguity, the benefit of the ambiguity has to go to the Revenue. However, if the assessee proves eligibility, a wide and liberal construction of the provision has to be done (ii) Merely having a contract with a foreign enterprise and mere earning foreign exchange does not ipso facto lead to the application of s. 80-O of the Act (All judgements considered in detail)

The principles laid down by the Constitution Bench in Dilip Kumar (2018) 9 SCC 1, when applied to incentive provisions like those for deduction, would also be that the burden lies on the assessee to prove its applicability to his case; and if there be any ambiguity in the deduction clause, the same is subject to strict interpretation with the result that the benefit of such ambiguity cannot be claimed by the assessee, rather it would be interpreted in favour of the revenue. In view of the Constitution Bench decision in Dilip Kumar & Co. (supra), the generalised observations in Baby Marine Exports 290 ITR 323 (SC) with reference to a few other decisions, that a tax incentive provision must receive liberal interpretation, cannot be considered to be a sound statement of law; rather the applicable principles would be those enunciated in Wood Papers Ltd. (1990) 4 SCC 256, which have been precisely approved by the Constitution Bench