|CORAM:||Shailendra Yadav (JM)|
|CATCH WORDS:||capital vs. revenue receipt, compensation, redevelopment of property|
|DATE:||August 12, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||September 5, 2016 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to download the file in pdf format|
|Compensation received by flat owner from builder for hardship caused due to redevelopment of the building is a non-taxable receipt and has to be reduced from the cost of the flat. Amount received from builder to meet rental costs during the redevelopment is also not taxable as income|
(i) As regards the ground whether Rs.22 lacs received as corpus fund towards hardship caused to assessee on redevelopment and is in the nature of a capital receipt and as such not taxable, in Kushal K Bangia vs. ITO ITA No.2349/Mum/2011 it was held that it is elementary that the connotation of income howsoever wide and exhaustive, take into account only such capital receipts are specifically taxable under the provisions of the Income tax Act. Section 2(24)(vi) provides that income includes “any capital gains chargeable under section 45”, and, thus, it is clear that a capital receipt simplicitor cannot be taken as income. Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Padmraje R. Kardambande vs CIT (195 ITR 877) has observed that “..,, we hold that the amounts received by the assessee during the financial years in question have to be regarded as capital receipts, and, therefore, (emphasis supplied by us), are not income within meaning of section 2(24) of the Income tax Act….” This clearly implies, as is the settled legal position in our understanding, that a capital receipt in principle is outside the scope of income chargeable to tax and a receipt cannot be taxed as income unless it is in the nature of revenue receipt or is brought within the ambit income by way of a specific provision in the Act. No matter how wide be the scope of income u/s.2(24) it cannot obliterate the distinction between capital receipt and revenue receipt. It is not even the case of the Assessing Officer that the compensation received by the assessee is in the revenue field, and rightly so because the residential flat owned by the assessee in society building is certainly a capital asset in the hands of the assessee and compensation is referable to the same. As held by Hon’ble Hon’ble Supreme Court Court, in the case of Dr. George Thomas K vs CIT(156 ITR 412), “the burden is on the revenue to establish that the receipt is of revenue nature” though “once the receipt is found to be of revenue character, whether it comes under exemption or not, it is for the assessee to establish”. The only defence put up by learned Departmental Representative is that cash compensation received by the assessee is nothing but his share in profits earned by the developer which are essentially revenue items in nature. This argument however proceeds on the fallacy that the nature of payment in the hands of payer also ends up determining it’s nature in the hands of the recipient. As observed by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of CIT vs. Kamal Behari Lal Singha (82 ITR 460), “it is now well settled that, in order to find out whether it is a capital receipt or revenue receipt, one has to see what it is in the hands of the receiver and not what it is in the hands of the payer”. The consideration for which the amount has been paid by the developer are, therefore, not really relevant in determining the nature of receipt in the hands of the assessee. In view of these discussion, in our considered view, the receipt of Rs.11,75,000 by the assessee cannot be said to be of revenue nature, and, accordingly, the same is outside the ambit of income under section 2(24) of the Act. However, in our considered opinion and as learned counsel for the assessee fairly agrees, the impugned receipt ends up reducing the cost of acquisition of the asset, i.e. flat, and, therefore, the same will be taken into account as such, as and when occasion arises for computing capital gains in respect of the said asset. Subject to these observations, grievance of the assessee is upheld.
(ii) Nothing contrary was brought to my knowledge on behalf of Revenue. Facts being similar, so following same reasoning, I find that consideration for which the amount has been paid by the developer are, therefore, not relevant in determining the nature of receipt in the hands of the assessee. In view of these discussion, in my considered view, assessee could not be said to be of revenue nature, and, accordingly, the same is outside the ambit of income under section 2(24) of the Act. The impugned receipt ends up reducing the cost of acquisition of the asset, i.e. flat, and, therefore, the same will be taken into account as such, as and when occasion arises for computing capital gains in respect of the said asset. Subject to these observations, the appeal of assessee is allowed.
(iii) Next issue is regarding addition of Rs.8,55,800/-. In fact, this amount was given by Developer for paying rent while development of the project was taking place. In fact, assessee submitted before me that he has made expenditure of Rs.6,80,000/- towards rent while development activity of the project was taken place. So, Assessing officer is directed to allow the claim of assessee to same extent because it is nothing but compensation received by assessee for paying rent. This cannot be said to be income of assessee.