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Shri Pravesh Kumar Maurya vs. Commissioner of Central Excise and CGST, Allahabad - (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) (24 Apr 2024)

When the income arising from various activities stand reflected in public documents, there cannot be suppression or misstatement on part of Assessee


Service Tax

In facts of the present case, the demand was raised on the basis of third party information i.e. data revealed from ITR/Form 26-AS from Income Tax Department. On this basis, Show Cause Notice was issued alleging that, the Appellant had shown Income of Rs. 42,29,837 in his ITR but has not paid Service Tax on that amount.

The SCN was adjudicated vide Order-in-Original, by which the demand of Rs. 6,34,476 was confirmed and penalties were imposed under Sections 78, 77(1)(a), 77(2), 77(1)(c) and 70 of the Finance Act,1994.

The service receiver PVVNL deposited the entire service tax amount on the works contract services provided by the Appellant. Present Tribunal in the case of Navyug Alloys Pvt. Ltd., has held that once tax is already paid on the services, it was not open to the Department to confirm the same against the Appellant in respect of the same services, since after accepting the said tax from service recipient, Revenue did not refund the same. The Appellant has submitted that the service tax liability on works contract services provided by him to PVVNL was discharged by the service recipient under reverse charge mechanism. If the same service tax is once again confirmed then it will amount to double taxation.

The demand is barred by limitation having been raised by invoking the longer period. The Revenue picked up the figures from the Income Tax Return maintained by the Assessee. The Income Tax Return has been held to be public documents by various decisions and it stands concluded that when the income arising from various activities stand reflected in the said public documents, it cannot be said that there was any suppression or misstatement on the part of the Assessee so as to invoke the longer period of limitation.

Reference can be made to Tribunal's decision in the case of C.S.T., New Delhi v. Kamal Lalwani, laying down that extended period is not invocable if services rendered are reflected in Balance Sheet and Income Tax returns and no evidence stands produced that non-payment of duty was due to any mala fide intention. Reference can also be made to Hon'ble Allahabad High Court's decision in the case of Commissioner of Central Tax v. Zee Media Corporation Ltd. The Hon'ble High Court observed that the SCN itself shows that every detail was maintained by the assessee in usual course of business, the ingredients of proviso to Section 73(1) of the Finance Act, 1994, establishing any suppression of facts to evade payment of tax cannot be held to be present and invocation of extended period of limitation was not correct on the part of the Revenue. The impugned order is set aside. Appeal allowed.


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