In the instant case, learned counsel for the Revenue is not in a position to demonstrate or satisfy us that due to the change of accounting method adopted by the respondent/ assessee , which is permissible in law as per the ratio laid down in (i) CIT Vs Match well Electrical (I.) Ltd. (2003) 263 ITR 227 (Bom) and (ii) Hela Holdings Pvt. Ltd. Vs CIT (2003) 263 ITR 129 (Cal), the Revenue suffered any loss or such a change of methodology attracts tax evasion. Concededly, there is no finding to that effect in the assessment order or in the order of the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals).
The change of method of accounting of overdue charges from the mercantile basis to cash system, method of accounting, as followed by an assessee, does not create any income; but the method of accounting only recognises income. Therefore, either to apply the accrual system or cash system, recognition of income is a paramount factor. In the present case, the disputed amount is the overdue charges receivable `by the assessee from various parties on the basis of hire-purchase and lease agreements. As per the terms of the agreements, overdue charges are payable by the parties concerned to the assessee when they make defaults in paying the instalments as per the schedule of payments. When the instalment itself is overdue, is not collected, there is no basis for making out a case that the additional overdue charges payable by the parties would be collectable with certainty. The terms of the agreements which enable the assessee-company to demand overdue charges is only an enabling provision and that enabling provision does not guarantee the collection of overdue charges. It only gives a cause of action to the assessee. In such cases it is very difficult to recognise income against overdue charges.
We are, therefore, of the considered opinion that the Tribunal has rightly deleted the additions made towards overdue charges, acknowledging the change of method of accounting of overdue interest alone on cash basis.