CA Sandeep Kanoi
From Last Few days I was updating the status of Writs filed in various High Courts in India for extension of Due date of Income tax Return and tax Audit Report, which were falling due on 30th September 2015. In all these appeal, some high courts has ruled in favour of Assessee, Some has ruled against the Assessee, Some are yet to decide and some left the issue at the wisdom of CBDT. So the final status of all high courts in which appeals been filed on the issue as per my knowledge is as follows:-
|S. No.||High Court Name||Status on 01.10.2015 at 9.00 AM|
|1||Delhi High Court
|Ruled in Favour of CBDT/UOI|
|2||Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur Bench||Ruled in Favour of CBDT/UOI|
|3||Bombay High Court||Instructed CBDT to Extend Due Date to 31.10.2015|
|4||Gujarat High Court||Instructed CBDT to Extend Due Date to 31.10.2015|
|5||Punjab & Haryana High Court||Instructed CBDT to Extend Due Date to 31.10.2015|
|6||Orissa High Court||Instructed CBDT to Extend Due Date to 31.10.2015|
|7||Karnataka High Court
|Instructed to CBDT to Consider representation of Petitioner/ICAI|
|8||Calcutta High Court
|High Court yet to decide on the issue|
|9||Andhra Pradesh & Telangana High Court at Hyderabad
|High Court yet to decide on the issue|
Post High Court Instruction CBDT has yesterday on 30.09.2015 come up with three orders by which –
Now the questions which arise in the mind of various taxpayers are as follows:-
1. What is the position of Extension in the state of Rajasthan and Delhi where High Court ruled against the Assessee?
Answer- In my Opinion Ruling of Territorial High Court will prevail and for the Assessee falling in these Jurisdictions due date will remain 30th September 2015.
2. What will be the due date for the Assessee falling in Jurisdiction of High Courts which ruled in favour of Assessee but CBDT has not issued any instruction?
Answer- They can wait for Order of CBDT as CBDT will surely act on Order of Such High Courts and extend the due date as per Instruction of Such High Courts.
3. What will be the status of Assessee falling in the Jurisdiction of Karnataka High Court?
Answer- For them also due date will remain 30th September 2015 as CBDT has rejected the representation of Petitioner.
4. What will be the status of Assessee falling under the Jurisdiction of High Court’s where no appeal been fled and in case any appeal been filed no judgment has come so far?
In such cases as per the decision of Hon’ble supreme court in the case of CIT vs M/S. Vegetables Products Ltd. 88 ITR 192 Assessee may choose the Judgment of High Court which is more beneficial to him. So Asssessee may choose the Judgment of Favourable High Courts till any judgment comes from their jurisdictional high court. Once any Judgment comes from Jurisdiction High Court than the same will apply.
5. In the CBDT orders dated 30.09.2015 CBDT has said that extension is Subject to filing of Appeal by Department in Supreme Court, so what will be the status of extension if Supreme Court decides against the Assessee?
Answer- In my opinion for the intervening period extension will remain in effect and no penalty can be imposed on Assessee for delay in filing up to extended period.
6. Do High Court orders are only for the Assessee of their Jurisdiction or was it for the Assessee all over India?
Answer- We have not come across any thing in the High Court orders which suggests that the Order applies only for the Assessee falling in a Particular High Court Jurisdiction. In our opinion High Court has extended the benefit to all the Assessees falling under Income Tax Act, 1961 and who were required to file their Return on or before 30.09.2015 under section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Further as very well pointed out by CA Manoj Sethia that such Partial extension is Violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India which says that “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
7. Is it amount to Contempt of Court?
Answers – CBDT has arbitrarily extended the due for only for the Assessee falling in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and of Union Territory of Chandigarh, so they have not fully complied the High Court Instructions and the same may be treated as Contempt of Court by Hon’ble High Courts.
8. Do CBDT or Hon’ble High Courts has extended only the due date only of ITR or also of Tax Audit Reports?
Answer- In Our opinion Extension of date of ITR will apply to Tax Audit Report also as both are integral to each other. Earlier before introduction of Online Returns and Tax Audit Reports Assessee was required to submit his Tax Audit Report with his Income Tax Return.
Note- Please check the Relevant Law Provisions before relying on the above.