CA Sandeep Kanoi
Section 43B deals with statutory dues and stipulates that the year in which the payment is made the same would be allowed as a deduction even if the assessee is following the mercantile system of accountancy. The proviso, however, stipulates that deduction would be allowed where the statutory dues covered by Section 43B stand paid on or before the due date of filing of return of income. Section 40(a)(ia) is applicable to cases where an assessee is required to deduct tax at source and fails to deduct or does not make payment of the TDS before the due date, in such cases, notwithstanding Sections 30 to 38 of the Act, deduction is to be allowed as an expenditure in the year of payment unless a case is covered under the exceptions carved out. The amended proviso as inserted by Finance Act, 2010 states where an assessee has made payment of the TDS on or before the due date of filing of the return under Section 139(1), the sum shall be allowed as an expense in computing the income of the previous year. The two provisions are akin and the provisos to Sections 40(a)(ia) and 43B are to the same effect and for the same purpose.
The intention behind Section 40(a)(ia) is to ensure that TDS is deducted and paid. The object of introduction of Section 40(a)(ia) is to ensure that TDS provisions are scrupulously implemented without default in order to augment recoveries. It is not to penalise an assessee when payment has been made within the time stated. Failure to deduct TDS or deposit TDS results in loss of revenue and may deprive the Government of the tax due and payable. The provision should be interpreted in a fair, just and equitable manner. It should not be interpreted in a manner which results in injustice and creates tax liabilities when TDS has been deposited/paid and the respondent who is following cash system of accountancy has made actual payment to the third party for services rendered. If the said object and purpose is kept in view, we do not think the Assessing Officer was justified in disallowing and in invoking Section 40(a)(ia) in the present case.
The amended section 40(a)(ia) expands and further liberalises the statue when it stipulates that deductions made in the first eleven months of the previous year but paid before the due date of filing of the return, will constitute sufficient compliance. Consequently, the proviso to section 40(a)(ia) must be treated as retrospective in operation.