Case Law: ITO vs. Gymkhana Club (ITAT Chandigarh)

Principles of mutuality: Entire law on whether a club whose membership is also open to the persons from the public and whose management is looked after by officials of HUDA is eligible to claim the benefits of “mutuality” explained in the light of Banglore Club 350 ITR 509 (SC) and other judgements

There can not be said to be straight jacket formula to say that in every a mutual concern the members must be entitled to a share in the surplus. In the aforesaid case laws as discussed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Banglore Club’s case (supra), if the scheme or the mechanism of functioning of a mutual organization is so devised that a taint of commerciality is involved, the income of the organization can be subjected to tax. As observed by the hon’ble supreme court, it is difficult and vexed question as to at what point of time the relationship of mutually ends and that of trading begins. Since the affairs of the assessee trust are controlled by the serving officers of HUDA, hence it has to pass through greater scrutiny as the chances of it crossing the thin line between the mutuality and commerciality are very high

ITO vs. Gymkhana Club (ITAT Chandigarh)

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