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DATE: July 13, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 3, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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S. 234C: Though levy of interest for deferment of advance-tax is mandatory and cause & justification for the deferment are irrelevant, the same is not leviable if the income was not predictable and the assessee could not have anticipated its receipt e.g. the receipt of a gift

The liability to pay advance tax enshrined under the Act is based on the principle of ‘pay as you earn’, as has been aptly noted by the Delhi High Court in the case of Bill and Peggy Marketing India Pvt. Ltd. vs. ACIT, 350 ITR 465 (Del). Section 234C of the Act prescribes that the advance tax is payable in installments on the dates falling within financial year itself. Any failure or shortfall in payment of such installments attracts interest under section 234C of the Act. In the present case, the assessee has been charged interest under section 234C of the Act primarily on the ground that the requisite installments were not paid on the specified dates of 15/9/2011 and 15/12/2011. The assessee resists the levy on the ground that the income which has prompted the Revenue to levy interest was not received by the assessee on such specified dates, but it was received on 17/12/2011. Ostensibly, the income in question is by way of gifts received, which has been received by the assessee after the date of instalments due on 15/9/2011 and 15/12/2011. Quite clearly, assessee could not have anticipated the receipt or accrual of such income before the event, and such event has taken place after the due dates of instalments