Case Law Details

Case Name : The chambers of Tax Consultant & Others Vs UOI (Bombay High Court)
Appeal Number : CWP No. 2764/2015
Date of Judgement/Order : 30/09/2015
Related Assessment Year :

Brief of the case:

By this petition petitioners sought relief by way of writ and prayed before court that due date of filing ITR should be extended. Petitioner prayed before court on relying upon the upon the decision of Gujarat HC dated 30.09.2015 in WP No. 15075/2015 in the matter of All Gujarat Federation of Income-tax Consultants Vs. CBDT and decision of P & H HC dated 29.09.2015 in WP No. 19770/2015 in Vishal Garg Vs. UOI. It was argued that the above decisions were accepted by CBDT and the due date was extended in the respective territories of the High Court’s jurisdiction. Hon’ble HC after considering the above two judgments held that held that it is very unfair that benefit regarding an all India statute is restricting its benefit to only two states and one Union territory.

Facts of the case:due date fiasco

  • It is expected that state would notify the required ITR forms on 1st of April of the AY. The forms will provide the information to the assessees what to file or submit in the return while e-filing.
  • The delay caused prejudice to the class of assessees on which TAR is applicable. Those assessees have very shortage of time which is likely to result in inaccurate return.
  • In view of the delay in having notified the ITR form nos. 3,4,5,6 & 7, various assessees had in individual capacity made representations that the time to file e-return in form nos. 3,4,5,6 & 7 be extended in view of prejudice as pointed out above.
  • The petitioners also filed representations dated 25.08.2015 before CBDT who vide press release 09.09.2015 rejected the representation and informed that due date would not be extended. However, petitioner did not deal with all the issues raised by the petitioners.
  • Thereafter petitioners made another representation before CBDT seeking extension of time which was not responded by the CBDT.
  • Thus it was requested to extend the due date of ITR by this instant petition which was filed on relying upon the decision passed by Hon’ble Gujarat HC and P&H HC due to which CBDT extended due date in the respective territories in which order of extension has been passed by the courts.

Contention of the revenue:

  • Revenue placed reliance upon the decision of Delhi HC in the case of Avinash Gupta Vs. UOI and Rajastan HC in case of Rajastan Tax Consultants Vs. UOI.
  • It was submitted that Hon’ble Delhi HC rendered decision on 21.09.2015 in which court refused to entertain a petitioner seeking extension of due date to e-file return in ITR form nos. 3,4,5,6 &7. The instant petition is more in the nature of a public interest litigation and therefore, should have been filed by way of a public interest litigation. Hence, in view of the above decisions this court ought not to take a different view.
  • Reliance was also placed on the order dated 29.09.2015 passed by CBDT who rejected representation made by Karnataka Chartered Accountants Association in accordance with the direction of Karnataka HC.
  • There was sufficient time available with the CAs to file returns after notification of forms.

Contention of the petitioners:

Held by the court:

  • With effect from AY 2013-14, it is mandatory to e-file return of income. It is not open to an assessee to file return in hard copy. Thus, in the absence of the forms and facility being available, it was impossible for any assessee to file its return of income.
  • It was not disputed before us that the CBDT notified the forms only on 29.07.2015 which were made available on website only from 07.08.2015.
  • If the forms were notified as expected on 1st of April of the AY then the concerned assessee would have had 183 days to file their ITRs and to collect the information to be submitted in the return.
  • In view of the delay in notifying the forms the available time for assessee to fill up the forms was restricted to 55 to 61 days, depending upon the dates when the forms are notified.
  • The present situation has arisen only in view of the delay on the part of CBDT in discharging its obligations of making available the ITR form nos. 3,4,5,6 & 7 in due time. Thus, the need to extend the due date.
  • In another category of assessees on which TAR is not applicable, forms were available only from 22.06.2015 in place of 1st of April and in that case CBDT extended the due date. While in present case there was delay in notifying forms but due date was not extended.
  • This court is unable to appreciate how a delay of 83 days in making the ITR form nos. 1,2,2A and 4S in case of non-audit will cause great prejudice and delay of 120 days in making ITR form nos. 3,4,5,6 & 7 does not cause any prejudice.
  • The representation made by Karnataka Chartered Accountants Association in accordance with Karnataka HC was rejected by CBDT without considering the judgements passed by Gujarat HC and P&H HC. In light of these decisions the judgments relied upon by the revenue lost their significance. Reliance was placed upon CIT Vs. Thane Electricity Supply Ltd. 206 ITR 227 in which it was held that court is entitled to take its own view.
  • It was also pointed out by the Hon’ble Delhi HC that CBDT should make availability of forms from 1st of April and there was mistake on the part of CBDT.
  • Hence, in the view taken by Gujarat HC and P&H HC it was directed to CBDT to extend the due date to file ITR.

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