|The Tax Publishers2020 TaxPub(DT) 5533 (Chen-Trib)
INCOME TAX ACT, 1961
Where on issue as regards validity of levying late filing fee under section 234E and demands raised under sections 200A and 154, assessee filed appeal before CIT(A), which was dismissed as it was filed belatedly, considering reason of assessee that delay caused due to negligence of accountant of the assessee, who was handling the income tax matters for both the assessee and company in which the assessee was a director, appeal was restored to CIT(A) for adjudication on merits.
Appeal [CIT(A)] - Condonation of delay in filing appeal before CIT(A) - Issue as regards validity of levying late filing fee under section 234E and demands raised under sections 200A and 154 -
Assessee deducted tax at source and filed electronically return for the same. Issue was as regards validity of levying late filing fee under section 234E and demands raised under sections 200A and 154. Appeals were filed belatedly before CIT(A) and there is a substantial delay in filing of these appeals varying from 223 days to maximum of 927 days. It was a submission that the reason for the delay in filing of these appeals was that the accountant of the assessee, who was handling the income-tax matters for both the assessee and company in which the assessee was a director, and who was responsible for co-ordinating with CA firm, was entrusted with the work of attending the e-orders/notices received. Case of assessee was that there was a dispute between the said accountant and the management of the company, in which the assessee was one of the directors. Due to which accountant did not bring to the assessee's knowledge notices issued in the assessee's case to the attention of the CA firm and had subsequently left the services of both the assessee and the company. Held: It is very much known in law that when substantial justice is pitted against technicalities, then substantial justice must prevail. Similarly, in the case of the company, Thirumurugan Plastics P. Ltd. in which assessee was a Director, also there was delay in filing of these appeals on identical grounds. Co-ordinate Bench of the Tribunal in that cases has held revenue claimed to have served the orders electronically, the assessee pleaded that they were not brought to its notice and the revenue did not send any further communication till the date of recovery notice served, manually. Assessee was unaware of such orders. When there is a change from one system, say, the manual system to the other system, say, the electronic system, apart from relying the rules and regulations, the revenue as an administrator of the Act must also guide the assessees, in enabling them to comply with the systemic changes in a reasonable manner. At least in those cases, where the demand made on the assessee was pending for long time and the assessee did not respond, the revenue should also have used other mode of communication, mentioned in sub-section (1) to section 282. After condoning the delay, issues were restored to the file of CIT(A) for adjudication on merits.
Followed:Thirumurugan Plastics P. Ltd. v. Asstt. CIT [ITA No. Nos. 2969 to 2987/Chny/2019 for assessment years 2013-14 to 2015-16, dt. 27-12-2019].
FAVOUR : In assessee's favour.
IN THE ITAT, CHENNAI BENCH
SUBSCRIBE FOR FULL CONTENT