Sections 194C(6) and Section 194C(7) are independent of each other, and cannot be read together to attract disallowance u/s 40(a)(ia) read with Section 194C of the Act; and If the assessee complies with the provisions of Section 194C(6), no disallowance u/s 40(a)(ia) of the Act is permissible, even there is violation of the provisions of Section 194C(7) of the Act.
Next ground of disallowance stated by the learned CIT is that Sec. 194C(6) and 194C(7) are to be read together, and if after obtaining PAN from the Transporters, the requisite particulars so obtained from the Transporters are not furnished to the prescribed Authority as provided U/S 194C(7), deduction and for that matter disallowance, U/S 194C and 40(a)(ia) would get attracted. On this aspect, as indicated above a reading of provisions of Section 194C (6), prior to the amendment of by Finance Act, 2015 (w.e.f. 1-06-2015), makes it clear that that during the relevant Assessment year, if the sub-contractors have supplied their PAN to the person making payments in respect of hiring /leasing/of vehicles during the course of his business, then such person making such payment shall not deduct any It is only by way of subsequent amendment by Finance Act, 2015 (w.e.f. 1-06-20 15), the expression “where such contractor owns ten or less goods carriages at any time during the previous year and furnishes a declaration to that effect along with” was substituted in the place of “on furnishing of” thereby introducing the requirement of the declaration to the effect indicated by the amendment. Therefore, under Sec. 194C(6), as it stood prior to the amendment in 2015 in order to get immunity from the obligation of TDS, filing of PAN of the Payee-Transporter alone is sufficient and no confirmation letter as required by the learned CIT is required.
On the aspect of observation of the learned CIT that Sections 194C(6) and Section 194C(7) have to be read together to extend the immunity from TDS, our attention is drawn to the fact that though the Finance Act, (N0.2) 2009 introduced, inter alia, Sec. 194C(6) and 194C(7), similar and analogous provision had been very much in existence under proviso 2 and 3 to Section 194C(3) of the Act. Placing such provisions in juxtaposition in the following chart makes it clear that they are very much analogous and the difference is that only in respect of requirement of a declaration and furnishing the particulars to the to the prescribed income-tax authorities under the provisos 2 and 3 of pre-amended section 194C(3) is being replaced by the Permanent Account Number under present Sections 194C(6) and (7) respectively.
|194C prior to Amendment by Finance Act, (N0.2) 2009 )||194C as Amended by Finance Act, (N0.2) 2009|
|194C(3) No deduction shall be made under subsection (1) or sub-section (2) from—|
… … … … … … Provided that …. …
Provided further that no deduction shall be made under sub-section (2), from the amount of any sum credited or paid or likely to be credited or paid during the previous year to the account of the sub-contractor during the course of business of plying, hiring or leasing goods carriages, on production of a declaration to the person concerned paying or crediting such sum, in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and within such time as may be prescribed, if such sub-contractor is an individual who has not owned more than two goods carriages at any time during the previous year:
Provided also that the person responsible for paying any sum as aforesaid to the subcontractor referred to in the second proviso shall furnish to the prescribed income-tax authority or the person authorised by it such particulars as may be prescribed in such form and within such time as may be prescribed; or]
|(6) No deduction shall be made from any sum credited or paid or likely to be credited or paid during the previous year to the account of a contractor during the course of business of plying, hiring or leasing goods carriages, 1[“where such contractor owns ten or less goods carriages at any time during the previous year and furnishes a declaration to that effect along with”], his Permanent Account Number, to the person paying or crediting such sum.|
(7) The person responsible for paying or crediting any sum to the person referred to in sub-section (6) shall furnish, to the prescribed income-tax authority or the person authorised by it, such particulars, in such form and within such time as may be prescribed.
From the above, it could be observed that only slight modification had been introduced as to the procedure by replacing “declaration” with the words “Permanent Account Number” as the thing to be obtained from the Transporter. We are, therefore, inclined to hold that the provisions of Section 194C(6) and 194C(7) are similar to the Proviso (2) and (3) of the pre-amended Section 194C(3), and on this premise we shall proceed to examine whether Section 194C(6) and 194C(7) are to be read together to invoke provisions under section 40(a)(ia) of the Act.
After drawing an analogy between the pre-amended proviso between Clause (2) and Clause (3) of section 194C(3) and the present amended section 194C(6) and 194C(7), Learned AR submitted that even on earlier occasions when the declaration obtained in Form 15I ( requirement similar to the PAN particulars under Sec. 194C(6)) obtained from the Transporter under Second Proviso is not submitted in Form 15J to the Commissioner of Income Tax in Form 15J (requirement similar as is provided under the third proviso and equivalent to the requirement Sec. 194C(7), the Department made attempts to make additions, but such additions have been deleted and rendered invalid. He submitted that the Courts and Tribunals consistently held that on obtaining of either the declaration contemplated under second proviso to the pre-amended section 194C(3) or the PAN details under the present section 194C(6), the assessee was not required to make any deduction at source on the payments made to the contractor or sub-contractor, irrespective of the fact whether or not such information was furnished to the authorities as prescribed under third proviso to the amended section 194C(3) or the present section 194C(7).