Budget 2020- Clarity on stay by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT)

The existing provisions of the first proviso to sub-section (2A) of section 254 of the Act, inter-alia, provides that the ITAT may, after considering the merits of the application made by the assessee pass an order of stay for a maximum period of 180 days in any proceedings against the order of the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeal). Second proviso to the said sub-section prescribes that where the appeal is not so disposed of, the ITAT on being satisfied that the delay is not attributable to the assessee, extend the stay for a further period subject to the restriction that the aggregate of the periods originally allowed and the period so extended shall not, in any case, exceed 365 days and the Appellate Tribunal shall dispose of the appeal within the period or periods of stay so extended or allowed. The third proviso of the said sub-section also provides that if such appeal is not so disposed of within the period allowed under the first proviso or the period or periods extended or allowed under the second proviso, which shall not, in any case, exceed 365 days, the order of stay shall stand vacated after the expiry of such period or periods, even if the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee.

It is proposed to provide that ITAT may grant stay under the first proviso subject to the condition that the assessee deposits not less than twenty per cent of the amount of tax, interest, fee, penalty, or any other sum payable under the provisions of this Act, or furnish security of equal amount in respect thereof.

It is also proposed to substitute second proviso to provide that no extension of stay shall be granted by ITAT, where such appeal is not so disposed of which the said period of stay as specified in the order of stay. However, on an application made by the assessee, a further stay can be granted, if the delay in not disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee and the assessee has deposited not less than twenty per cent of the amount of tax, interest, fee, penalty, or any other sum payable under the provisions of this Act, or furnish security of equal amount in respect thereof. The total stay granted by ITAT cannot exceed 365 days.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2020.

[Clause 97]

Extract of Relevant Clauses of Finance Bill, 2020

Clause 97

“Clause 97 of the Bill seeks to amend section 254 of the Income-tax Act relating to orders of Appellate Tribunal.

It is proposed to amend the first proviso to sub-section (2A) of the said section so as to provide that no order of stay under the said proviso shall be passed by the Appellate Tribunal unless the assessee has deposited not less than twenty per cent. of the amount of tax, interest, fee, penalty, or any other sum payable under the provisions of this Act, or has furnished security of equal amount in respect thereof.

It is further proposed to substitute the second proviso to said sub-section so as to provide that no extension of stay shall be granted by the Appellate Tribunal, where such appeal is not so disposed of within the said period of stay as specified in the order of stay, on an application made in this behalf by the assessee, unless the assessee has complied with the condition referred to in the first proviso and the Appellate Tribunal is satisfied that the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee, so however, that the aggregate of the period of stay originally allowed and the period of stay so extended shall not exceed three hundred and sixty-five days and the Appellate Tribunal shall dispose of the appeal within the period or periods of stay so extended or allowed.

These amendments will take effect from lst April, 2020.”

Extract of Relevant Amendment Proposed by Finance Bill, 2020

97. Amendment of section 254.

In section 254 of the Income-tax Act, in sub-section (2A),—

(a) in the first proviso, after the words “from the date of such order”, the words “subject to the condition that the assessee deposits not less than twenty per cent. of the amount of tax, interest, fee, penalty, or any other sum payable under the provisions of this Act, or furnishes security of equal amount in respect thereof” shall be inserted;

(b) for the second proviso, the following proviso shall be substituted, namely:––

“Provided further that no extension of stay shall be granted by the Appellate Tribunal, where such appeal is not so disposed of within the said period of stay as specified in the order of stay, unless the assessee makes an application and has complied with the condition referred to in the first proviso and the Appellate Tribunal is satisfied that the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee, so however, that the aggregate of the period of stay originally allowed and the period of stay so extended shall not exceed three hundred and sixty-five days and the Appellate Tribunal shall dispose of the appeal within the period or periods of stay so extended or allowed:”.

Source- Finance Bill 2020 / Union Budget 2020-21

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