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Indu Rohit kumar Pathak vs. Income Tax Officer - (Income Tax Appellate Tribunal) (19 Apr 2023)

Interest should be charged from the date of notice under Section 148 of the IT Act itself and not from the date of return filed


Direct Taxation

The assessee is an individual and derives income mainly from interest and other sources. The return of income under Section 139 of Income Tax Act, 1961 (IT Act) was not filed for the relevant year under bonafide belief that since the assessee has not having any other income from business or profession the assessee does not require to file any return of income.

The Assessing Officer observed that the assessee had taxable income during F.Y. 2014-15 and did not file her return of income disobeying the provision of Section 139(1) of the IT Act. Proceedings under Section 147 compelled her to file her return and disclose the above return and to pay tax on the income. The Assessing Officer assessed the total income at Rs. 35,53,830 under Section 143(3) read with Section 147 of the Act and also made calculation of tax as per ITBA module thereby charging interest under Section 234A, 234B and 234C as per the Act. Being aggrieved by the assessment order, the assessee filed appeal before the CIT(A). The CIT(A) dismiss the appeal of the assessee.

Section 234A of IT Act is a mandatory provision as the wording used by the statute is when the assessee furnished return of income after the due date or is not furnished under sub-Section 1 or sub-Section 4 of Section 139, the assessee shall be liable to pay simple interest at the rate of 1% for every month or part of a month comprising in the period commencing on the date immediately following the due date. Section 234A(1) Explanation 3 categorically states that where in relation to an assessment year is made for the first time under Section 147, the assessment so made shall be regarded as a regular assessment for the purposes of this Section. Here in the Explanation the assessment for the first time under Section 147 is mandatory to be recorded as regular assessment under Section 139 itself.

The CIT(A) was not right in levying interest under Section 234A of the IT Act, when the return was filed under Section 148 itself and therefore, the interest should be charged from the date of notice under Section 148 of the IT Act itself and not from the date of return filed under Section 139 or it is due date under Section 139 of IT Act. The appeal of the assessee is partly allowed.


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