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2016 (6) TMI 259 - ITAT DELHI

2016 (6) TMI 259 - ITAT DELHI - TMI - Interest levied under section 234B - non-payment of advance tax - non deduction of tds by the payer - CIT(A) deleted the levy - Held that:- Respectfully following the decision of Honourable Delhi high court in case of DIT V G E Packaged power (2015 (1) TMI 1168 - DELHI HIGH COURT ) we hold that on the payments received by the assessee the payer were required to deduct tax at sources u/s 195 of the act and as the tax was ‘deductible’ u/s 195 of the act there .....

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R S Negi Sr DR ORDER Per Prashant Maharishi, A. M. 1) This appeal is filed by revenue against the order of CIT (A) -XXIX , New Delhi dated 26/03/2012 where Ld. CIT (A) appeal has held that interest under section 234B cannot be levied on the tax payable by the assessee. 2) The solitary ground of the appeal taken by the revenue is that on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Ld. Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) erred in deleting the interest levied under section 234 B of the Inc .....

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t is chargeable and therefore this ground was raised by assessee before the ld. CIT (A). However, the CIT (A) did not pass any order on applicability of the provisions of section 234B and consequent interest payable by the assessee in his order dated 01/12/2011 for A Y 2001 2002 and 2008 2009. Therefore the assessee filed an application under section 154 of the income tax act for the both the years making the prayer that the ground against charging of interest under section 234B of the act has n .....

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ntative contended before us that interest u/s 234B of the income tax act is consequent of income determination and tax thereon therefore it is leviable. 5) Despite notice, none appeared on the half of the assessee and therefore in absence of the representation from the respondent we decide this issue on the merits of the case. 6) We have carefully considered the contentions of the Ld. departmental representative and perused relevant orders of lower authorities. The issue in appeal is whether int .....

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.2015. Honourable Delhi high court has held as under :- 18. The view of this Court finds confirmation in the position of law as it stands at present, after the Finance Act, 2012; should a situation akin to that in Alcatel Lucent USA Inc (supra) arise, the payer would be treated as the assessee-in-default according to Section 201, and the payee/assessee would not be permitted a tax credit under the proviso in Section 209(1)(d). Clearly, the anomaly of an assessee denying tax liability (whether un .....

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g words of the Court: "26. It further seems to us inequitable that the assessee, who accepted the tax liability after initially denying it, should be permitted to shift the responsibility to the Indian payers for not deducting the tax at source from the remittances, after leading them to believe that no tax was deductible. The assessee must take responsibility for its volte face. Once liability to tax is accepted, all consequences follow; they cannot be avoided. After having accepted the li .....

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on being prompted by the assessee. It may be true that the general rule is that equity has no place in the interpretation of tax laws. But we are of the view that when the facts of a particular case justify it, it is open to the court to invoke the principles of equity even in the interpretation of tax laws. Tax laws and equity need not be sworn enemies at all times. The rule of strict interpretation may be relaxed where mischief can result because of the inconsistent or contradictory stands tak .....

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to shift the responsibility to the Indian payers. We are not to be understood as passing a value-judgment on the assessee's conduct. We are only saying that the assessee should take responsibility for its actions." [Emphasis added] This Court finds that no need is made out in these facts to balance any equities in these facts, as the assessee has not vacillated in its stand as to the existence of a PE in India or otherwise. In any event, as observed earlier, the position of law itself .....

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the Bombay High Court in NGC Network Asia LLC (supra) that "We are clearly of the opinion that when a duty is cast on the payer to pay the tax at source, on failure, no interest can be imposed on the payee-assessee." An important decision is that of the Karnataka High Court in CIT v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. [2012] 345 ITR 494/[2011] 203 Taxman 477/16 taxmann.com 141, which also considered the same issue, i.e. the obligation under Section 195 (1). The High Court in the first insta .....

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. Under Section 195(1), the tax has to be deducted at source from interest (other than interest on securities) or any other sum (not being salaries) chargeable under the I.T. Act in the case of non-residents only and not in the case of residents. Failure to deduct the tax under this Section may disentitle the payer to any allowance apart from prosecution under Section 276B. Thus, Section 195 imposes a statutory obligation on any person responsible for paying to a non-resident, any interest (not .....

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required to be paid to the credit of Central Government in terms of Section 200 of the I.T. Act read with Rule 30 of the I.T. Rules, 1962. Failure to deduct tax or failure to pay tax would also render a person liable to penalty under Section 201 read with Section 221 of the I.T. Act. In addition, he would also be liable under Section 201(1A) to pay simple interest at 12 per cent per annum on the amount of such tax from the date on which such tax was deductible to the date on which such tax is a .....

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ent but is made voluntarily, such payments cannot be regarded as income under the I.T. Act. It may be noted that Section 195 contemplate not merely amounts, the whole of which are pure income payments, it also covers composite payments which has an element of income embedded or incorporated in them. Thus, where an amount is payable to a non-resident, the payer is under an obligation to deduct TAS in respect of such composite payments. The obligation to deduct TAS is, however, limited to the appr .....

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d that Section 195(1) is in identical terms with Section 18(3B) of the 1922 Act, In CIT v. Cooper Engineering [1968] 68 ITR 457 (Bom.) it was pointed out that if the payment made by the resident to the non-resident was an amount which was not chargeable to tax in India, then no tax is deductible at source even though the assessee had not made an application under Section 18(3B) (now Section 195(2) of the I. T. Act). The application of Section 195(2) pre-supposes that the person responsible for m .....

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tion 195(2) will arise. In fact, at one point of time, there was a provision in the I. T. Act to obtain a NOC from the Department that no tax was due. That certificate was required to be given to RBI for making remittance. It was held in the case of Czechoslovak Ocean Shipping International Joint Stock Company v. ITO [1971] 81 ITR 162 (Calcutta) that an application for NOC cannot be said to be an application under Section 195(2) of the Act. Which deciding the scope of Section 195(2) it is import .....

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t. In our view, Sections 195(2) and 195(3) are safeguards. The said provisions are of practical importance. This reasoning of ours is based on the decision of this Court in Transmission Corporation (supra) in which this safeguard. From this it follows that where a person responsible for deduction is fairly certain then he can make his own determination as to whether the tax was deductible at source and, if so, what should be the amount thereof.' The Supreme Court after considering the submis .....

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uot; is used only in Section 195. For example, Section 194C casts an obligation to deduct TAS in respect of "any sum paid to any resident". Similarly, Sections 194EE and 194F inter alia provide for deduction of tax in respect of "any amount" referred to in the specified provisions. In none of the provisions we find the expression "sum chargeable under the provisions of the Act", which as stated above, is an expression used only in Section 195(1). Therefore, this Cou .....

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9. This reasoning flows from the words "sum chargeable under the provisions of the Act" in Section 195(1). The fact that the Revenue has not obtained any information per se cannot be a ground to construe Section 195 widely so as to require deduction of TAS even in a case where an amount paid is not chargeable to tax in India at all We cannot read Section 195, as suggested by the Department, namely, that the moment there is remittance the obligation to deduct TAS arises. If we were to a .....

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that Act de hors the machinery Sections. The Act is to be read as an integrated code. Section 195 appears in Chapter XVII which deals with collection and recovery. As held in the case of C.I.T v. Eli Lilly & Co. (India) (P.) Ltd. [2009] 312 ITR 225 (SC) the previsions for deduction of TAS which is in Chapter XVII dealing with collection of taxes and the charging provisions of the I.T Act form one single integral, inseparable Code and, therefore, the provisions relating to TDS applies only t .....

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any sum 'chargeable under the provisions of the Act', which expression, as stated above, do not find place in other Sections of Chapter XVII. It is in this sense that we hold that the I.T. Act constitutes one single integral inseparable Code. Hence, the provisions relating to TDS applies only to those sums which are Department that any person making payment to a non-resident is necessarily required to deduct TAS then the consequence would be that the Department that any person making pa .....

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to be deducted on all payments. The payer, therefore, has to deduct and pay tax, even if the so-called deduction comes out of his own pocket and he has no remedy whatsoever, even where the sum paid by him is not a sum changeable under the Act. The interpretation of the Department, therefore, not only requires the words "chargeable under the provisions of the Act" to be omitted, it also leads to an absurd consequence. The interpretation placed by the Department would result in a situat .....

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Department huge seepage of revenue can take place if persons making payments to non-residents are free to deduct TAS or not to deduct TAS. It is the case of the Department that Section 195(2), as interpreted by the High Court, would plug the loophole as the said interpretation requires the payer to make a declaration before the ITO(TDS) of payments made to non-residents. In other words, according to the Department Section 195(2) is a provision by which payer is required to inform the Department .....

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bligation under Section 195(1). If the payment does not contain the element of income the payer cannot be made liable. He cannot be declared to be an assessee-in-default. The above mentioned contention of the Department is based on an apprehension which is ill founded. The payer is also an assessee under the ordinary provisions of the I.T. Act. When the payer remits an amount to a nonresident out of India he claims deduction or allowances under the Income Tax Act for the said sum as an "exp .....

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t of royalties, fees or other sums chargeable under the I.T. Act. In a given case where the payer is an assessee he will definitely claim deduction under the I.T. Act for such remittance and on inquiry if the AO finds that the sums remitted outside India comes within the definition of royalty or fees for technical service or other sums chargeable under the I.T. Act then it would be open to the AO to disallow such claim for deduction. Similarly, vide Finance Act, 2008, w.e.f. 1.4.2008 sub-section .....

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quot;17. It is clear from the scrutiny of the material on record and the contentions of the parties viz., revenue and the respective respondent in these cases that the fact that payments have been made by the respondent herein to non-resident for having imported shrink wrapped software/off-the-shelf software is not disputed. There is also no dispute that no tax was deducted at source by the respondent under Section 195(1) of the Act in respect of such payments on the ground that the same were ma .....

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e, the dispute between the revenue and the respondent in these cases is whether payments made by the respondent to the non-resident would constitute 'royalty' or 'Income from Business' and if it is to be treated as 'Income from Business', whether the nonresident is required to have a permanent establishment in India. Further, in the absence of any permanent establishment of the non resident in India, is there no obligation on the part of the payee, the respondent herein t .....

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no permanent establishment is required for making payment in India. There is also no dispute that if the payments made by the respondent are held to be royalty and not 'Income from Business', there is an obligation on the part of the payee, the respondent herein to deduct the tax at source and in default, the respondent herein would be considered as a default assessee. Once there is an obligation to deduct tax at source under Section 195 of the Act, which imposes a statutory right on any .....

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. The tax so collected and deducted is required to be paid to the credit of Central Government in terms of Section 200 of the Act read with rule 30 of the Income Tax Rules, 1962. Failure to deduct tax or failure to pay tax would also render a person liable to penalty under Section 201 read with Section 221 of the Act. In addition, he would also be liable under Section 201(1A) to pay simple interest at 12 per cent per annum on the amount of such tax from the date on which such tax was deductible .....

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held that payment made by the respondents to the non-resident Companies would amount to 'royalty' within the meaning of Article 12 of the DTAA with the respective country, it is clear that the payment made by the respondents to the non-resident supplier would amount to royalty. In view of the said finding, it is clear that there is obligation on the part of the respondents to deduct tax at source under Section 195 of the Act and consequences would follow as held by the Hon'ble Suprem .....

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ilar and asymmetrical results entirely dependent on the facts presented in each case. It is unclear what would be the outcome where the payee is, in fact, under the bona fide belief that it does not have a PE, or how the payer is to discern that a payee's assertion is intended to defeat the law. This Court therefore, notes that this precise question was addressed in Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (supra) by the Supreme Court, while remitting the matter for reconsideration by the High Court. Th .....

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f ours is based on the decision of this Court in Transmission Corporation(supra) in which this safeguard. From this it follows that where a person responsible for deduction is fairly certain then he can make his own determination as to whether the tax was deductible at source and, if so, what should be the amount thereof." 22. This Court, therefore, holds that Jacabs Civil Incorporated/Mitsubishi Corporation (supra) applies in such situations; Alcatel Lucent USA Inc (supra) can be explained .....

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