Case Law: Pr CIT vs. Grasim Industries Ltd (Bombay High Court)

The CBDT should reconsider the practice of appointing retired revenue officers as panel counsel. While the retired officials have domain expertise and do render assistance, they lack the skill and conduct required to appear as an Advocate. They also lack the objectivity expected from officers of the court. The CBDT could consider holding of a training programme, where leading Advocates could address the domain expert on the ethics, obligation and standard expected of Advocates before they start representing the State. The CBDT should lay down a standard procedure in respect of manner in which the Departmental Officer/ Assessing Officer assist the Counsel for the Revenue while promoting/ protecting Revenue’s cause so that the Revenue’s Counsel are not left to fend for themselves

We have for a long time, taken into account that many of these are fresh entrants to the bar and in due course, would learn the standard expected of an Advocate. However, to our disappointment, many of them are refusing to learn. Therefore, the CBDT could consider holding of a training programme, where leading Advocates could address the domainexpert on the ethics, obligation and standard expected of Advocates before they start representing the State. This is only a suggestion and it is entirely for the CBDT to take appropriate steps to ensure that the Revenue is properly represented to serve the greater cause of justice and fair play. In any case, we would expect the CBDT to lay down a standard procedure in respect of manner in which the Departmental Officer/ Assessing Officer assist the Counsel for the Revenue while promoting/ protecting Revenue’s cause. We find in most cases, atleast during the final hearing, Revenue’s Counsel are left to fend for themselves and that even papers at times are borrowed from the other side or taken from the Court Records. If the mind set of the Revenue Officer changes and they attend to the case diligently till it is disposed of, only then would it be ensured that the State is properly represented Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Case Law: Maxopp Investment Ltd vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

S. 14A/ Rule 8D – Applicability to shares held for controlling interest or as stock-in-trade: The argument that S. 14A & Rule 8D will not apply if the “dominant intention” of the assessee was not to earn dividends but to gain control of the company or to hold as stock-in-trade is not acceptable. S. 14A applies irrespective of whether the shares are held to gain control or as stock-in-trade. However, where the shares are held as stock-in-trade, the expenditure incurred for earning business profits will have to be apportioned and allowed as a deduction. Only that expenditure which is “in relation to” earning dividends can be disallowed u/s 14A & Rule 8D. The AO has to record proper satisfaction on why the claim of the assessee as to the quantum of suo moto disallowance is not correct

The first and foremost issue that falls for consideration is as to whether the dominant purpose test, which is pressed into service by the assessees would apply while interpreting Section 14A of the Act or we have to go by the theory of apportionment. We are of the opinion that the dominant purpose for which the investment into shares is made by an assessee may not be relevant. No doubt, the assessee like Maxopp Investment Limited may have made the investment in order to gain control of the investee company. However, that does not appear to be a relevant factor in determining the issue at hand. Fact remains that such dividend income is non-taxable. In this scenario, if expenditure is incurred on earning the dividend income, that much of the expenditure which is attributable to the dividend income has to be disallowed and cannot be treated as business expenditure. Keeping this objective behind Section14A of the Act in mind, the said provision has to be interpreted, particularly, the word ‘in relation to the income’ that does not form part of total income. Considered in this hue, the principle of apportionment of expenses comes into play as that is the principle which is engrained in Section 14A of the Act Read the rest of this entry »

HAPPY HOLI

images

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 »

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 »