|The Tax Publishers2021 TaxPub(DT) 0570 (Bang-Trib)
INCOME TAX ACT, 1961
Where assessee was prevented by sufficient cause for making appeal in time delay in filing thereof was condonable.
Appeal CIT(A) - Condonation of delay - Justification -
The assessee contended that AO could levy fee under section 234E of the Act while processing a return of TDS filed under section 200(3) of the Act only by virtue of the provisions of section 200A(1)(c), (d) & (f) of the Act and those provisions came into force only from 1-6-2015 and therefore the authority issuing intimation under section 200A of the Act while processing return of TDS filed under section 200(3) of the Act, could not levy fee under section 234E of the Act in respect of statement of TDS filed prior to 1-6-2015. The assessee, thus, challenged the validity of charging of fee under section 234E of the Act. The CIT (A) found that some of the appeals were filed by the assessee belated and the reasons for condonation of delay in filing the appeals were no sufficient. The assessee claimed before CIT (A) that the controversy regarding levy of interest under section 234-E of the Act was not clear and clarity emerged only after the decision of the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka in the case of Fatheraj Singhv. The CIT (A) found that there was inordinate delay in filing the appeals and those details have been set out in the order of CIT (A) for each of the appeals set out in the cause title of this order. The reasons for the delay in filing appeal before CIT (A) has been explained as owing to shifting of registered office and factory of the assessee company which was the place of business at the time of incorporation of the assessee. Held: The annual return of TDS since 1998 continued to be filed with the old address and the communication from the Department were all sent to the old address. It is only after e-mails were received that the assessee knew about the impugned orders of demand under section 200A of the Act. It is not in dispute that if the ratio laid down by the Hon'ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fatehraj Singhvi (supra) is applied then the levy of interest under section 234-E of the Act would be illegal for returns of TDS in respect of the period prior to 1-6-2015. The present appeals of the assessee relate to TDS returns filed prior to 1-6-2015. The decision of the Hon'ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fatehraj Singhvi (supra) was rendered on 26-8-2016. It has been held by the ITAT Hyderabad Bench in the case of MSV IT Solutions Ltd. v. ITO, Ward 16(4) ITA Nos. 177 & 178/Hyd/2018 Order, dated 26-10-2018, wherein on identical facts noticing that there was no legal remedy prior to 1-6-2015 against an intimation under section 200A of the Act, the Hyderabad Bench condoned delay in filing appeal before CIT (A). The Assessee will be to hardship if delay in filing the appeal is not condoned. Considering the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and keeping in mind that technicalities should not stand in the way of rendering substantive justice, as laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Collerctor Land Acquisition v. Mst. Katiji & Ors. (1987) 167 ITR 471 (SC) : 1987 TaxPub(DT) 1279 (SC), that interest of justice would be met if the delay in filing appeals by the assessee before CIT (A) is condoned.
Followed:Collector, Land Acquisition v. Katiji & Others (1987) 167 ITR 471 (SC) : 1987 TaxPub(DT) 1279 (SC), Fatheraj Singhvi & Others v. UOI & Ors. (2016) 73 Taxmann.com 252 : 2016 TaxPub(DT) 4175 (Karn-HC) and MSV IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd. v. ITO ITA Nos. 177 & 178/Hyd/2018, Order dated 26-10-2018.
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