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M/s Neelagiris Textiles, Pallipalayam Versus The Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, CPC-TDS, TDS CPC, Uttar Pradesh

Levy of fee under Section 234E while processing the statement furnished by the assessees under Section 200A - Held that:- The Parliament welcomes the citizens to come forward and comply with the provisions of the Act by paying the prescribed fee before filing the statement under Section 200(3) of the Act. However, if the assessee fails to pay the fee before filing the statement under Section 200(3) of the Act, the assessing authority is well within his limit in passing a separate order levying s .....

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sion, this Tribunal is of the considered opinion that the Assessing Officer has exceeded his jurisdiction in levying fee under Section 234E while processing the statement and make adjustment under Section 200A of the Act. Therefore, the impugned intimation of the lower authorities levying fee under Section 234E of the Act cannot be sustained in law. However, it is made clear that it is open to the Assessing Officer to pass a separate order under Section 234E of the Act levying fee provided the l .....

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ate For the Respondent : Shri A.V. Sreekanth, JCIT ORDER PER N.R.S. GANESAN, JUDICIAL MEMBER: All these appeals of the assessee are directed against the respective orders of the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals), Salem. Since common issue arises for consideration in all these appeals, we heard these appeals together and disposing the same by this common order. 2. The only issue arises for consideration is with regard to levy of fee under Section 234E of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (in short ' .....

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that with effect from 01.06.2015, the Parliament by way of amendment to Section 200A of the Act empowered the Assessing Officer to levy fee under Section 234E of the Act while processing under Section 200A of the Act. Therefore, according to the Ld.counsel, prior to 01.06.2015, the Assessing Officer had no authority to levy fee, if any, under Section 234E of the Act. Referring to the decision of Amritsar Bench of this Tribunal in I.T.A. No.90/Asr/2015 dated 09.06.2015, the Ld.counsel pointed ou .....

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ed our attention to Section 234A of the Act and submitted that when an assessee fails to deliver the statement within the prescribed time, the assessee is liable to pay by way of fee a sum of 200/- for every day during such a period the failure continues. Referring to the word used in the section 234E he shall be liable to pay , the Ld.counsel pointed out that the assessee is liable to pay fee. However, it does not empower the Assessing Officer to levy the fee. Section 234E(3) of the Act provide .....

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Act. Therefore, the Assessing Officer has every authority to levy fee either by a separate order or while processing the statement under Section 200A of the Act. 6. We have considered the rival submissions on either side and perused the relevant material on record. Section 200A of the Act provides for processing of the statement of tax deducted at source by making adjustment as provided in that Section. For the purpose of convenience, we are reproducing the provisions of Section 200A of the Act: .....

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(b) the interest, if any, shall be computed on the basis of the sums deductible as computed in the statement ; (c) the sum payable by, or the amount of refund due to, the deductor shall be determined after adjustment of amount computed under clause (b) against any amount paid under section 200 and section 201, and any amount paid otherwise by way of tax or interest ; (d) an intimation shall be prepared or generated and sent to the deductor specifying the sum determined to be payable by, or the .....

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n entry, in the statement- (i) of an item, which is inconsistent with another entry of the same or some other item in such statement ; (ii) in respect of rate of deduction of tax at source, where such rate is not in accordance with the provisions of this Act ; (2) For the purposes of processing of statements under sub-section (1), the Board may make a scheme for centralised processing of statements of tax deducted at source to expeditiously determine the tax payable by, or the refund due to, the .....

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(c) to (e), the following clauses shall be substituted with effect from the 1st day of June, 2015, namely:- (c) the fee, if any, shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of section 234E; (d) the sum payable by, or the amount of refund due to, the deductor shall be determined after adjustment of the amount computed under clause (b) and clause (c) against any amount paid under section 200 or section 201 or section 234E and any amount paid otherwise by way of tax or interest or fee; (e) .....

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to tax deducted at source by levying fee under Section 234E of the Act. The Parliament for the first time enabled the Assessing Officer to make adjustment by levying fee under Section 234E of the Act with effect from 01.06.2015. Therefore, as rightly submitted by the Ld.counsel for the assessee, while processing statement under Section 200A of the Act, the Assessing Officer cannot make any adjustment by levying fee under Section 234E prior to 01.06.2015. In the case before us, the Assessing Off .....

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Section 234E of the Act says that the assessee shall be liable to pay by way of fee, therefore, the assessee has to voluntarily pay the fee and the Assessing Officer has no authority to levy fee. The argument of the Ld.counsel for the assessee is very attractive and fanciful. However, we do not find any substance in that argument. When Section 234E clearly says that the assessee is liable to pay fee for the delay in delivery of the statement with regard to tax deducted at source, the assessee sh .....

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not permissible is that levy of fee under Section 234E of the Act while processing the statement of tax deducted at source and making adjustment before 01.06.2015. It does not mean that the Assessing Officer cannot pass a separate order under Section 234E of the Act levying fee for the delay in filing the statement as required under Section 200(3) of the Act. 9. The contention of the assessee can also be examined in the light of the provisions of Indian Penal Code. Section 396 of Indian Penal C .....

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t for life, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Similarly, Section 408 of Indian Penal Code provides for criminal breach of trust by a clerk or servant. In addition to imprisonment which may extend to seven years, the accused who is found to be guilty shall also be liable to fine. Similarly, the other provisions of Indian Penal Code also say that in addition to imprisonment, the accused shall be liable to pay fine. The language use .....

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thority to levy fine. 10. It is well known principle that the fine prescribed under the Indian Penal Code has to be levied by the concerned Magistrate or Sessions Judge who is trying the offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code. Therefore, the contention of the Ld.counsel that merely because the Parliament has used the language he shall be liable to pay by way of fee , the assessee has to pay the fee voluntarily and the Assessing Officer has no authority to levy fee could not be accepted. .....

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