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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
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Disallowance u/s 43B(f) to provision for leave encashment: Argument (inter alia) that s. 43B(f) is unconstitutional because it supersedes the judgement of the Supreme Court in Bharat Earth Movers vs. CIT 245 ITR 428 is wrong. S. 43B does not place any embargo upon the autonomy of the assessee in adopting a particular method of accounting, nor deprives the assessee of any lawful deduction. It merely imposes an additional condition of actual payment for the availment of deduction qua the specified head (entire law on how to determine constitutional validity of statutory provisions explained)

The leave encashment scheme envisages the payment of a certain amount to the employees in lieu of their unused paid leaves in a year. The nature of this payment is beneficial and proemployee. However, it is not in the form of a bounty and forms a part of the conditions of service of the employee. An employer seeking deduction from tax liability in advance, in the name of discharging the liability of leave encashment, without actually extending such payment to the employee as and when the time for payment arises may lead to abhorrent consequences. When time for such payment arises upon retirement (or otherwise) of the employee, an employer may simply refuse to pay. Consequently, the innocent employee will be entangled in litigation in the evening of his/her life for claiming a hardearned right without any fault on his part. Concomitantly, it would entail in double benefit to the employer – advance deduction from tax liability without any burden of actual payment and refusal to pay as and when occasion arises. It is this mischief clause (f) seeks to subjugate

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Taxability of Liaison Offices under DTAAs: The activities carried on by the liaison office of the non-resident in India as permitted by the RBI, demonstrate that the liaison office must steer away from engaging in any primary business activity and in establishing business connection as such. It can carry on activities of preparatory or auxiliary nature only. A liaison office which is only carrying on such activity of a "preparatory or auxiliary" character is not a PE in terms of Article 5 of the DTAA. The deeming provisions in Sections 5 and 9 of the 1961 Act can have no bearing whatsoever (all imp judgements referred)

The meaning of expressions “business connection” and “business activity” has been articulated. However, even if the stated activity(ies) of the liaison office of the respondent in India is regarded as business activity, as noted earlier, the same being “of preparatory or auxiliary character”; by virtue of Article 5(3)(e) of the DTAA, the fixed place of business (liaison office) of the respondent in India otherwise a PE, is deemed to be expressly excluded from being so. And since by a legal fiction it is deemed not to be a PE of the respondent in India, it is not amenable to tax liability in terms of Article 7 of the DTAA.

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2001-02
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Entire law on principles of mutuality reiterated. The doctrine of mutuality bestows a special status to qualify for exemption from tax liability. It is a settled proposition of law that exemptions are to be put to strict interpretation. If the assessee fails to fulfil the stipulations and to prove the existence of mutuality, the question of extending exemption from tax liability to the assessee, that too at the cost of public exchequer, does not arise. Taking any other view would entail in stretching the limits of construction.

On cogitating over the rival submissions, we reckon that the following questions of law would arise for our consideration in the present case: (i) Whether the assessee company would qualify as a mutual concern in the eyes of law, thereby exempting subject transactions from tax liability? (ii) Whether the excess of income over expenditure in the hands of the assessee company is not taxable?

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 1998-99
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S. 68 Bogus Purchases: Though the assessee failed to prove the genuineness of the purchases during the assessment proceedings, he filed affidavits and statements of the dealers in penalty proceedings. That evidence fully supports the claim of the assessee. The CIT (A) accepted the explanation of the assessee and recorded a clear finding of fact that there was no concealment of income or furnishing of any inaccurate particulars of income by the assessee. Consequently, the quantum addition will also have to be deleted

Indeed, at the time of assessment, the appellant/assessee had failed to produce any explanation or evidence in support of the entries regarding purchases made from unregistered dealers. In the penalty proceedings, however, the appellant/assessee produced affidavits of 13 unregistered dealers out of whom 12 were examined by the Officer. The Officer recorded their statements and did not find any infirmity therein including about their credentials. The dealers stood by the assertion made by the appellant/assessee about the purchases on credit from them; and which explanation has been accepted by the appellate authority in paragraphs 17 and 19 of the order dated 13.1.2011. 15. To put it differently, the factual basis on which the Officer formed his opinion in the assessment order dated 30.11.2000 (for assessment year 19981999), in regard to addition of Rs.2,26,000/( Rupees two lakhs twenty six thousand only), stands dispelled by the affidavits and statements of the concerned unregistered dealers in penalty proceedings. That evidence fully supports the claim of the appellant/assessee.

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2010-11
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As the physical office of the ITAT is not functioning due to the lockdown, the stay petition was heard through video conferencing, from home offices of the respective Members. Attachment of bank account lifted and stay against coercive recovery granted as all of us are traversing through one of the toughest patch of time, facing the Covid 19 pandemic, and the poorer sections of society are hardest hit. It is necessary for every employer company to take care of its employees. The assessee not in a position to perform these obligations in view of the attachment of its bank accounts and debtors

As all of us are traversing through one of the toughest patch of time, facing the Covid 19 pandemic, and the poorer sections of society are hardest hit. It is, therefore, all the more necessary for every employer company to take care of its employees. We find that in view of the attachment of asessee’s bank accounts and assessee’s debtors, the assessee is stated to be not in a position to perform these obligations. Given this situation, we are satisfied that this situation calls for our interference

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DATE: April 6, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 8, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Article 142 Directions: All measures shall be taken to reduce the need for physical presence of all stakeholders within the court premises and to secure the functioning of courts in consonance with social distancing guidelines. The Supreme Court and all High Courts are authorized to adopt measures required to ensure the robust functioning of the judicial system through the use of video conferencing technologies. Every High Court is authorised to determine the modalities which are suitable to the temporary transition to the use of video conferencing technologies

Every individual and institution is expected to cooperate in the implementation of measures designed to reduce the transmission of the virus. The scaling down conventional operations within the precincts of courts is a measure in that direction. Access to justice is fundamental to preserve the rule of law in the democracy envisaged by the Constitution of India. The challenges occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 have to be addressed while preserving the constitutional commitment to ensuring the delivery of and access to justice to those who seek it. It is necessary to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines issued from time to time by various health authorities, Government of India and States. Court hearings in congregation must necessarily become an exception during this period

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DATE: April 3, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 3, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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S. 147/ 148 Reopening: (i) Merely because the original assessment is a detailed one, the powers of the AO to reopen u/s 147 is not affected, (ii) Information which comes to the notice of the AO during proceedings for subsequent AYs can definitely form tangible material to reopen the assessment, (iii) As regards "full & true disclosure of material facts", the assessee has the duty to disclose the "primary facts". It is not required to disclose the "secondary facts". The assessee is also not required to give any assistance to the AO by disclosure of other facts. It is for the AO to decide what inference should be drawn from the facts, (iv) If the AO intends to rely upon the second Proviso to s. 148 for the extended period of 16 years limitation, the same should be stated either in the notice or in the reasons in support of the notice. It cannot be done in the order rejecting the objections or at a later stage (All imp judgements considered)

In our view the assessee disclosed all the primary facts necessary for assessment of its case to the assessing officer. What the revenue urges is that the assessee did not make a full and true disclosure of certain other facts. We are of the view that the assessee had disclosed all primary facts before the assessing officer and it was not required to give any further assistance to the assessing officer by disclosure of other facts. It was for the assessing officer at this stage to decide what inference should be drawn from the facts of the case. In the present case the assessing officer on the basis of the facts disclosed to him did not doubt the genuiness of the transaction set up by the assessee. This the assessing officer could have done even at that stage on the basis of the facts which he already knew. The other facts relied upon by the revenue are the proceedings before the DRP and facts subsequent to the assessment order, and we have already dealt with the same while deciding Issue No.1. However, that cannot lead to the conclusion that there is nondisclosure of true and material facts by the assessee

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DATE: March 26, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 28, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Corona Virus Lockdown Crisis: All interim orders operating till today and are not already continued by some other courts / authority including this court shall remain in force till 30.04.2020 subject to liberty to parties to move for vacation of interim orders only in extreme urgent cases. Thus, all interim orders passed by this High Court at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji as also all courts/ Tribunal and authorities subordinate over which it has power of superintendence expiring before 30.04.2020, shall continue to operate till then. It is clarifed that such interim orders which are not granted for limited duration and therefore, are to operate till further orders, shall remain unaffected by this order (Similar orders are passed by the Delhi & Karnataka High Courts)

we fnd it appropriate to continue all interim orders which are operating till today and are not already continued by some other courts / authority including this court and the same shall remain in force till 30.04.2020, subject to liberty to parties to move for vacation of interim orders only in extreme urgent cases. Thus, all interim orders passed by this High Court at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji as also all courts/ Tribunal and authorities subordinate over which it has power of superintendence expiring before 30.04.2020, shall continue to operate till then. It is clarifed that such interim orders which are not granted for limited duration and therefore, are to operate till further orders, shall remain unaffected by this order

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DATE: December 23, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 28, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2015-16
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S. 199/205: In a case where the deductor has deducted tax at source but has not deposited the tax with the Govt, the assessee cannot be made to suffer. U/s 205, the assessee/ deductee cannot be called upon to pay the tax. Credit for the tax deducted at source has to be allowed in the hands of the deductee irrespective of whether the same has been deposited by the deductor to the credit of the Central Government or not (Yashpal Sahani 165 TM 144 (Bom), Sumit Devendra Rajani 49 TM.com 31 (Guj) & Pushkar Jain 103 TM.com 106 (Bom) followed)

In terms of section 205 of the Act, the assessee/deductee cannot be called upon to pay tax, to the extent to which tax had been deducted from the payments due. Consequently, it follows that credit for such tax deducted at source, which is deducted from the account of the deductee, by the deductor, is to be allowed as taxes paid in the hands of the deductee, irrespective of the fact whether the same has been deposited by the deductor to the credit of the Central Government or not. The deductee in such circumstances cannot be denied credit of tax deducted at source on its behalf. Under the Act, the provisions are enshrined under which recovery of tax from the account of the person, who had deducted the such tax, are provided

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DATE: March 13, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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S. 44DA prevails over s. 44BB after the amendment w.e.f. 01.04.2011. Income from provision of services through high end customized software does not constitute "Fees For Technical Services" u/s 9(1)(vii) as the definition excludes income from "mining or like project". The Q whether income from composite software and maintenance services constitutes "royalty" for purposes of s. 44DA would have to be decided from the nature of services. The assessee is eligible to take benefit of the definition of 'royalty' as per the DTAA for the purpose of applicability of s. 44DA

If the nature of services rendered have a proximate nexus with the extraction of production of mineral oils, it would be outside the ambit of the definition of FTS. In the instant case, since the nature of services rendered by the Petitioner gets excluded from the definition of “FTS”, in light of what is discussed above, the next logical question that arises for consideration is whether the Petitioner can claim the benefit of Section 44BB. The answer to this question is contingent on factual determination, as the legal position has changed from April 01, 2011. It is now required to be considered whether the receipts in the hands of the assessee qualify to be “royalty” or not? If the answer to this question is in the affirmative, then in that event, the relevant provision would now be 44DA(1).