2023 (1) TMI 423 - HC - Income Tax
Exemption u/s 11 - Disallowance invoking of provision of Section 2(15) read with Section 13 (8) of the Income Tax Act - HELD THAT:- As decided in Apex Court [2022 (10) TMI 948 - SUPREME COURT] the charging of any amount towards consideration for such an activity (advancing general public utility), which is on cost-basis or nominally above cost, cannot be considered to be “trade, commerce, or business” or any services in relation thereto. It is only when the charges are markedly or significantly above the cost incurred by the assessee in question, that they would fall within the mischief of “cess, or fee, or any other consideration” towards “trade, commerce or business”. In this regard, the Court has clarified through illustrations what kind of services or goods provided on cost or nominal basis would normally be excluded from the mischief of trade, commerce, or business, in the body of the judgment.
Section 11(4A) must be interpreted harmoniously with Section 2(15), with which there is no conflict. Carrying out activity in the nature of trade, commerce or business, or service in relation to such activities, should be conducted in the course of achieving the GPU object, and the income, profit or surplus or gains must, therefore, be incidental. The requirement in Section 11(4A) of maintaining separate books of account is also in line with the necessity of demonstrating that the quantitative limit prescribed in the proviso to Section 2(15), has not been breached.
Similarly, the insertion of Section 13(8), seventeenth proviso to Section 10(23C) and third proviso to Section 143(3) (all w.r.e.f. 01.04.2009), reaffirm this interpretation and bring uniformity across the statutory provisions. The issue is squarely covered and no question of law, much less substantial question of law has arisen.