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10-01-2020, Lawmen Concepts, Section 200A, 234E, Tribunal Mumbai

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7 months 13 hours ago #12040 by amit
Section - 200A, 234E, 206C(3), 272A(2)(k)
Order Date - 10-01-2020
Favouring - Assessee
Court - Tribunal Mumbai
Appellant - Lawmen Concepts Pvt. Ltd.
Respondent - DCIT
Justice - VIKAS AWASTHY, JM & MANOJ KUMAR AGGARWAL, AM
Citation - 120Taxpundit104
Appeal No. - I .T.A. No.5140-5143/Mum/2018
Asstt. Year - 2014-15

Order

PER : MANOJ KUMAR AGGARWAL, AM

1. Aforesaid appeals by assessee for Quarter-1 to Quarter-4 of Assessment Year [in short referred to as ‘AY’] 2014-15 contest common order of Ld. Commissioner of Income-Tax (Appeals)-59, Mumbai, [in short referred to as ‘CIT(A)’], Appeal Nos. CIT(A) Mumbai-59/IT-218-221/TDS1/14-15 dated 14/05/2015.

2.1 The registry had noted a delay of as many as 634 days in filing of the appeals, the condonation of which was sought by the assessee during the course of hearing on 18/12/2019. Upon hearing rival contentions and after considering the factual matrix, the bench formed an opinion that delay was to be condoned, however, upon payment of cost of Rs 5,000/- per appeal. The order, in this regard, was passed by the bench on the same day and the assessee was directed to pay the cost in the specified manner.

2.2 Accordingly, as directed in the order, the appeals were posted for final hearing today. The Ld. Authorized Representative for Assessee (AR), submitted that the aforesaid cost, as directed, has already been deposited by the assessee. The relevant challans have already been placed on the record. Finding the same in order, the matter was proceeded with as per the arguments advanced by both the representatives.

3. The Ld. AR placed on record favorable judicial pronouncements to submit that the late filing fees u/s 234E as levied by revenue, before 01/06/2015, would be illegal and not sustainable under law. Per Contra, Ld. DR relied upon favorable decision of Hon’ble Gujarat High Court rendered in Rajesh Kourani V/s Union of India (297 CTR 502 20/06/2017). We have carefully considered the material on record and applied our mind to the issue in hand. Our adjudication would be as given in succeeding paragraphs.

4. The grounds raised in all the four appeals, are pari-materia the same, except for factual details and figures. Therefore, it is admitted position that adjudication in any appeal would mutatis-mutandis would apply to all the other appeals. Taking ITA No. 5140/Mum/2018 as the lead appeal, the grounds raised therein could be reproduced in the following manner: - Late Filing Fees of Rs. 12280/- (26Q-4/FY: 2013-14) U/s.: 234E of I. T. Act, 1961 Intimation U/Sec. 200A of I.T. Act, 1961 Devoid the Application o Mind:

(1) That considering the law and facts of the case the Main Ground of Appeal raised on Merit by the Appellant is that the Order passed u/s 200A r w.s. 234E of the I. Tax Act, 1961 by the learned Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Centralized Processing CellTDS, Ghaziabad-201 010, U.P. dated 22nd July, 2014 levying the late filing fees of Rs. 12280/-{26Q-4/FY: 2O13-14) is erroneous & improper on the following Grounds:-

(a) Levy of Late Filling Fees U/s 234E of the Act ULTRA VIRES the provisions of Section 200A of the I.T. Act, 1961.

The aforesaid orders passed for 26Q-4 in the scheme for centralized processing of statements of tax deducted at source framed by the Board for the purpose of processing of statements under sub-section (1l) of the Sec. 200A of the I. T. Act, 1961 levying the late filing fees of Rs. 12280/- (26Q-4/FY: 2013-14) under section 234E of Income Tax Act, 1961 are ultra vires of the provisions of Section 200A of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

(b) Effect of Statutory Amendment as per Finance Act. 2015 For that further the Intimation passed u/s 200A of the I. Tax Act, 1961 dated 22nd July. 2014 by the learned DCIT, CPC- T.D.S., Ghaziabad-201 010, U.P. levying the late filing fees of Rs. 12280/- (26Q 4/FY; 2013-14) u/s. 234E of the act is also totally bad in law as the issue of empowering powers/authority to levy of the late filing fees under section 234E of the act under the provisions of section 200A of the I. T. Act, 1961 has been finally settled after making the amendments by way of inserting the substituted clauses

(c) to (f) to section 200A by the amended Finance Act, 2015 w. e. f. 1st June, 2015 and not with any retrospective effect/date. Therefore, the Intimations passed u/s 200A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 prior to the date of amendment (1st June, 2015) are without any proper & valid legal authority and are therefore totally improper, unjustified & erroneous. It is quite evident from grounds of appeal that the assessee is aggrieved by imposition of fees u/s 234E for late filing of TDS returns which is to be computed @Rs.200/- for each day of default.

5.1 Facts on record would reveal that the assessee filed its e-TDS returns for 4 quarters of financial year 2013-14. The said returns were to be filed electronically in the prescribed manner as provided in Sec. 200(3) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, read with Rule 31A of the Income Tax Rules. Accordingly, the returns for all the quarters was filed in prescribed Form No. 26Q.

5.2 The provisions of Sec.200A provides for processing of these TDS statements and prescribes the adjustment to be made while processing the returns. Accordingly, the designated authority, while processing returns u/s 200A, levied late filing fees as prescribed by Sec. 234E for each day of default. Consequently, the assessee was saddled with late filing fees of Rs.72,000/- for Q-1, Rs.54,800/- for Q-2, Rs.36,400/- for Q-3 and Rs.12,280/- for Q-4. The aggregate fees for all the 4 quarters amounted to Rs.1,75,480/- and the same form subject matter of appeals before us.

5.3 The assessee challenged the levy of fees u/s 234E before Ld. CIT(A) vide impugned order dated 14/05/2015 which is an ex-parte order. The learned CIT(A), relying upon the decisions of Hon’ble Bombay High Court in Rashmikant Kundalia v. Union of India [2015] 54 taxmann.com 200 upheld the levy of fees u/s 234E. Aggrieved, the assessee is under appeal before us.

6. Upon due consideration, we find that present controversy, under identical factual matrix, came up for consideration before co-ordinate bench of this Tribunal in its recent decision titled as M/s National Laminate Corporation V/s ITO (ITA No. 4902/Mum/2018 dated 10/12/2019). The co-ordinate bench, in the said order (which has been authored by one of us), after considering the statutory provisions in the light of latest judicial

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