Case Law: ACIT vs. Mohinder Singh (ITAT Chandigarh)

S. 2(1A)/ 68: An assessee who understates the consideration received for sale of agricultural land to avoid payment of stamp duty is defrauding the exchequer. He cannot take advantage of his own wrong and is estopped from contending that the amount received from the purchaser is a higher amount than was stated in the agreement. The incremental amount is assessable as ‘income from other sources’ and not as ‘agricultural income’. However, penalty u/s 271(1)(c) cannot be levied for the said wrong claim

Both seller and purchaser are estopped from their act and conduct to take such a self -contradictory plea. Not only the earlier but the later authorities also are the public officers appointed for the collection of taxes contributing to the public exchequer (may be of the State or of the Union) and a person having represented the factum of the transaction in a particular manner at one stage to a public officer and getting a wrongful benefit is estopped to deny the same to the subsequent public authority, both authorities being employee and representative of the government. The principle of estoppel in the light of the provisions of section 115 of the Evidence Act gets attracted in such a case. Even otherwise, recognizing such a transaction will amount to over riding the provisions of Transfer of Property Act and Indian Registration Act. In view of the above discussion, it can be safely held that not only legally but also ethically and morally, the parties to a registered document are not allowed to deny the terms of the document until and unless the very validity or execution of such a document is disputed Read the rest of this entry »

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Case Law: Indrani Sunil Pillai vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

S. 271(1)(c) penalty: If the AO has not recorded any satisfaction in absolute terms whether the assessee has concealed particulars of income or has furnished inaccurate particulars of income, the levy of penalty is invalid. The judgement of the Bombay High Court in Maharaj Garage cannot be read out of context or in a manner to mean that there is no need for mentioning the specific limb of section 271(1)(c) of the Act for which the penalty was intended to be imposed, as such issue never came up for consideration before the High Court

As far as the judgment of the Hon’ble Jurisdictional High Court in Maharaj Garage dated 22nd August 2017 in ITA no. 21 of 2008 relied upon by the learned Departmental Representative, on a careful reading of the said judgment, we are of the view that it will have no application to the facts of the case. As could be seen, the basic issue arising out of the reference application which fell for consideration of the Hon’ble Jurisdictional High Court was, while granting previous approval by Inspecting Assistant Commissioner of Income–tax as per provisions of section 271(1)(c)(iii) of the Act whether the assessee was required to be given an opportunity of being heard. While considering this issue, the Hon’ble Jurisdictional High Court observed that provisions of section 271(1)(c)(iii) does not attract rule of presumption of mens rea as the penalty imposable under the said provision is for the breach of civil obligation. The observations of the Hon’ble Court against issuance of show cause notice appears to be in the context of quantum of penalty proposed to be imposed and not with reference to the doing away with the issuance of show cause notice as contemplated under section 274 of the Act. Therefore, the judgment of the Hon’ble Court cannot be read out of context or in a manner to mean that there is no need for mentioning the specific limb of section 271(1)(c) of the Act for which the penalty was intended to be imposed, as such issue never came up for consideration before the Hon’ble High Court. That being the case, the aforesaid decision cannot be applied for rebutting the proposition that in the absence of recording of satisfaction regarding the exact nature of offence, no penalty under section 271(1)(c) can be imposed Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited vs. CIT (ITAT Mumbai)

S. 263: Even if there is lack of inquiry by the AO and the assessment order is “erroneous” under Explanation 2 to s. 263, the order is not “prejudicial to the interests of the Revenue” because Fringe Benefit Tax is not “tax” as defined in s. 2(43) and cannot be disallowed u/s 40(a)(v) or added back to “Book Profits” u/s 115JB

The only question that survives for our consideration is that whether the omission to carry out the stated adjustment in the Book profits as envisaged by Ld. CIT has made the quantum order erroneous and prejudicial to the interest of the revenue and whether the stated adjustment as suggested by Ld. CIT was tenable in law or not? In other words, we are concerned with whether the twin prime conditions viz. erroneous and prejudicial to the interest of the revenue for invoking the provisions of Section 263 was fulfilled in the instant case or not Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: CIT vs. NGC Networks (India) Pvt. Ltd (Bombay High Court)

S. 40(a)(i) TDS disallowance: A party cannot be called upon to perform an impossible Act i.e. to comply with a provision not in force at the relevant time but introduced later by retrospective amendment. S. 40(a)(i) disallowance can be made only if the royalty falls under Explanation 2 to s. 9(1)(vi) but not if it falls under Explanation 6 to s. 9(1)(vi)

The view taken by the Tribunal that a party cannot be called upon to perform an impossible Act i.e. to comply with a provision not in force at the relevant time but introduced later by retrospective amendment. This is in accord with the view taken by this Court in CIT v/s. Cello Plast (2012) 209 Taxmann 617 – wherein this Court has applied the legal maxim lex non cogit ad impossibilia (law does not compel a man to do what he cannot possibly perform) Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: CST vs. Shri Krishna Chaitanya Enterprises (Bombay High Court)

Service-tax on maintenance of property: Under the MOFA, the builder/ developer is under a statutory obligation to look after the day-to-day upkeep, maintenance and repair of the property till conveyance to the co-op society. Such maintenance of the structure is not rendering a taxable service as per s. 65 (64) of the Finance Act, 1994

The promoter has to maintain, safeguard and protect the property and look after the day-to-day wear and tear. Therefore, when he maintains the structure or repairs it, he is not rendering a taxable service in the sense envisaged by the Financial Act, 1994. If one loses complete focus or sight of the backdrop in which the so called service is rendered, then, the conclusion as erroneous and suggested by the Revenue will be reached. The deposit or the monies themselves are held and appropriated towards payment of taxes, etc., popularly known as outgoings. The building and the Flats therein has to stand intact till all the Flats or units are sold and the statutory obligations are fully discharged. This is not a service of the nature understood by Section 65 (64) of the Finance Act, 1994. It is not a contractor simplicitor of maintenance of immovable property. It is not as if there is a existing building comprising of Flats, fully occupied, the maintenance and upkeep of which is handed over under a contract. It is a statutory obligation superimposed on a contract to sell a Flat/unit in a building to be constructed on a piece or parcel of land. That cannot be confused with a taxable service as defined under the Finance Act, 1994. The day-to-day upkeep, maintenance and repair is till the statutory duty is fully performed as noted above. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Gwalior) M.P. Ltd vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

S. 12A: The CIT has no power to cancel/withdraw/recall the registration certificate granted u/s 12A until express power to do so was granted by s. 12AA(3). Though the grant of certificate is a quasi judicial function, s. 21 of the General Clauses Act cannot be applied to support the order of cancellation of the registration certificate

The CIT had no express power of cancellation of the registration certificate once granted by him to the assessee under Section 12A till 01.10.2004. It is for the reasons that, first, there was no express provision in the Act vesting the CIT with the power to cancel the registration certificate granted under Section 12A of the Act. Second, the order passed under Section 12A by the CIT is a quasi judicial order and being quasi judicial in nature, it could be withdrawn/recalled by the CIT only when there was express power vested in him under the Act to do so. In this case there was no such express power Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Rajat B Mehta vs. ITO (ITAT Ahmedabad)

54: The expression “cost of the residential house so purchased” in s. 54 is not confined to the cost of civil construction but includes furniture and fixtures if they are an integral part of the purchase. The fact that the assessee did not make the claim is no reason to deny the claim if he is otherwise entitled to it (Srinivas R Desai 155 TTJ 743 (Ahd) distinguished)

The expression used in the statute is “cost of the residential house so purchased” and it does not necessarily mean that the cost of the residential house must remain confined to the cost of civil construction alone. A residential house may have many other things, other than civil construction and including things like furniture and fixtures, as its integral part and may also be on sale as an integral deal. There are, for example, situations in which the residential units for sale come, as a package deal, with things like air-conditioners, geysers, fans, electric fittings, furniture, modular kitchens and dishwashers. If these things are integral part of the house being purchased, the cost of house has to essentially include the cost of these things as well Read the rest of this entry »