SKIL Infrastructure Ltd vs. ITO (TDS) (ITAT Mumbai)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 14, 2011 (Date of publication)

Click here to download the judgement (SKIL_194-I_transportation_contracts.pdf)

S. 194-I: Distinction between “hire of vehicles” & “transportation contract”

The assessee paid “hire charges” for hiring helicopter & aircraft services and deducted TDS at 2% u/s 194C. The AO & CIT (A) held that the assessee ought to have deducted TDS at 22.44% u/s 194-I on the ground that “vehicles” were “plant and machinery” and the assessee had “hired” the vehicles and not merely taken services for carrying passengers or goods. The assessee was held liable to pay the deficit u/s 201. On appeal by the assessee, HELD allowing the appeal:

The department’s argument that the assessee has hired helicopter/air craft/vehicle is not correct because these were not hired on a periodic basis or on day-to-day basis. Instead, the transport services provided by the transporters were availed of. The assessee paid charges on the basis of flying hours, cost of landing charges and refuelling charges, etc. The crew, fuel, maintenance operation licences, etc. were all under the control of the service providers and not under the control of the assessee. If the assessee does not enjoy control over the vehicles and if the running and maintenance expenditure is borne by the transport service providers, the contract is not one for the “hiring” but is merely for availing transportation services. Payment for transportation services is not covered by s. 194-I (Accenture Services 44 SOT 290 (Mum), Tata AIG 43 SOT 215 (Mum) and Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority followed).

See also ITO vs. Indian Oil Corporation (ITAT Delhi)

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