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10-06-2019, Estee Auto Pressings, Section 200A, 234E, 154, Tribunal Chennai
These six appeals have been filed by the assessee directed against the common order of the learned Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals)-17, Chennai (hereinafter called as ‘CIT(A)’) dated 18.12.2018 for the assessment year 2013-14.
2. Since, the identical facts and issues are involved in these appeals, we proceed to dispose the same vide this common order.
3. For the sake of convenience and clarity the facts relevant in ITA No.485/Chny/2019 for assessment year 2013 14 are stated herein.
4. The Assessee raised the following grounds of appeal: Levy of Fee u/s 234E:
1. ‘’The intimation U/S 200Al154 levying fee U/S 234E is without authority of law.
2. The appellant submits that the amendment made under section 200A which has come into effect on 1-6-2015 has prospective effect. Hence, no computation of fee under section 234E can be made in the intimation U/S 200Al154 for the period prior to 1-6-2015.
3. Hence, the intimation issued by the Assessing Officer under section 200A/154 cannot stand and the demand raised by way of charging the fees under section 234E is not valid and requires to be deleted. It is submitted that the intimation issued by the Assessing Officer was beyond the scope of adjustment provided under section 200Al154.
4. The appellant relies on the following decisions in this regard:
• Fatheraj Singhvi v. Union of India,  73 taxmann.com 252 (Karnataka)
• Smt. G. Indhirani v.Deputy Commissioner of Income-tax, CPC-TDS, Uttar Pradesh,  60 taxmann.com 312 (Chennai - Trib.)
• Maharashtra Cricket Association, Pune v. Deputy Commissioner of Income-tax, (CPC)-TDS, Ghaziabad,  74 taxmann.com 6 (Pune -Trib.)
5. The appellant is entitled to the benefit of favourable decisions in the event of contradicting decisions and in the absence of a decision of the jurisdictional High Court.
6. For these and such other grounds as may be adduced at the time of hearing, it is prayed that the levy of fee U/S 234E in the intimation u/s 200A/154 be cancelled and justice rendered’’.
5. The brief facts of the case are as under:
The appellant is a partnership firm. During the financial year 2013-14 the appellant had deducted tax at source and paid to the Central Government The applicable quarterly statement was filed belatedly on 15.01.2017 and it was processed on 17.01.2017 and levied late fee of Rs. 57,800/- u/s. 234E of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (in short ‘the Act’).
6. Being aggrieved, an appeal was preferred before ld. CIT(A), who vide impugned order confirmed the levy of late fees u/s. 234E of the Act. Being aggrieved, the appellant is in appeal before us in the present appeal.
7. The issue in the present appeal is decided in favour of the assessee by the decision of Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fatheraj Singhvi & Ors vs. Union of India & Ors. 73 taxmann.com 252, wherein it was held as follows.
‘’17. The examination of the aforesaid contentions show that, s. 234E has come into force on 1st July, 2012. Therefore, one may at the first blush say that, since s. 234E is a charging section for fee, the liability was generated or had accrued, if there was failure to deliver or cause to be delivered the statement/s of TDS within the prescribed time. But, in our view, s. 234E cannot be read in isolation and is required to be read with the mechanism and the mode provided for its enforcement As observed by us hereinabove, when s. 234E was inserted in the Act simultaneously, s. 271H was also inserted in the Act providing for the penalty for failure of furnishing of statements etc. Therefore, if there was failure to submit the statement for TDS as per s. 234E, the fee payable is provided but the mechanism provided was that if there was failure to furnish statements within the prescribed date, the penalty under s. 271H(1) and (2) could be imposed However, under sub-s. (3) of s 271H, the exception is provided that no penalty shall be levied for the failure referred to under cl. (a) of sub-s. (1) if the person proves that after paying TDS with the fee and interest the amount is credited and he had delivered or caused to deliver the statement within one year from the time prescribed for submission of the said statement. To put it in other words, for failure to submit the statements, the penalty provided under s. 271(l)(a) cannot be imposed if the deductor complies with the requirement of sub-s. (3) of s. 271H. Hence, it can be said that the fee provided under s, 234E would take out from the rigors of penalty under s. 271H but of course subject to the outer limit of one year as prescribed under sub-s. (3) of s. 271H. It can also be said that when the Parliament intended to insert the provisions of s. 234E providing for fee simultaneously the utility of such fee was for conferring the privilege to the defaulter-deductor to come out from the rigors of penal provision of s. 271H. Be it recorded that, prior to s. 271H of the Act inserted in the statute book, the enforceability of requirement to file return