Johnson & Johnson Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

CATCH WORDS: , , , ,
DATE: October 31, 2014 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 7, 2014 (Date of publication)
AY: 2009-10
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"Innovative" method of department of forcing hapless assessees to give "consent letters" for tax recovery deplored and warning issued

At this time it came to the light that the AO has followed an innovative method of collecting taxes despite specific directions of the Bench. Therefore we had called the AO who had collected the revenue by flouting the directions of the Bench. Shri Vishal Makawane, DDIT (Inv), Unit-VII(1), Mumbai appeared before us and tendered an unconditional apology for his conduct and submitted that it was collected with the consent given by the appellant vide letter dated 23.04.2014. The hapless Representative of the assessee had no other alternative but to admit that he has given the consent letter. It deserves to be clarified that neither the assessee nor the Revenue has the right to flout the decision of the Tribunal and being an officer functioning under the Government of India it is his obligation to follow the directions of the superior authority and even if there is consent he should not have collected the amount. We have recently come across in few other cases where similar consent letters were obtained or the Department has collected tax despite the stay order passed by the ITAT. We deplore this practice and direct the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax to issue a letter to all the concerned Assessing Officers not to adopt this kind of approach of obtaining consent letters and to respect the order passed by the Tribunal as otherwise the Tribunal would be constrained to view the conduct of the Department adversely. AO is directed to refund the amount collected contrary to the stay order passed by the ITAT alongwith interest within 15 days.

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