Bhawani Shankar Gupta v. ITO ( 2023) The Chamber’s Journal – May -P. 112 ( Jaipur)( Trib)

S. 271B :Penalty- Failure to get accounts audited -Books of account not maintained – Penalty cannot be levied for not getting the accounts audited .[ S. 44AB, 44AD ]

Penalty proceedings u/s 271B was initiated for violation of Sec 44AB against the assessee while finalizing the assessment proceedings and show cause notice was issued. Assessee filed his reply. However, the AO without appreciating the same levied the penalty of 53,518/-. The assesse preferred an appeal before the NFAC/ CIT(A). The CIT(A) confirmed the levy of the penalty holding that the assessee was not covered under the any reasonable clause. Since the assessee did not comply with the statutory provisions, the action of levy of penalty was confirmed by CIT(A). On appeal the Tribunal held that  there was no dispute regarding the fact that the assessee had not maintained books of account. The ITAT perused the decisions of coordinate benches on the issue and observed that a consistent view has been taken that no penalty is leviable u/s 271B of the Act when books of accounts are not maintained.  Appeal of the assessee was allowed . (ITA. No. 43/ JP/2023 dt. 22-3 -2023 ) ( AY. 2015 -16 )