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Late Fee interest u/s 234E of Income Tax Act –  for filling of TDS return prior to 01/07/2015

1. As per Section 200(3) of the Act read with Rule 31A of the Income Tax Rules, 1962 (hereinafter referred to as ‘Rules’) a tax deductor is required to file quarterly statement of such taxes deducted at source by him as TDS and for the period in question, the relevant dates for filing of such statement is as follows:

(i) 30th June – 15th July of the financial year;

(ii) 30th September – 15th October of the financial year;

(iii) 31st December – 15th January of the financial year; and

(iv) 31st March – 15th May of the following financial year.

2. Section 200(3) requiring to file formal TDS statement within the aforesaid each quarter was inserted on 1.4.2005. Relevant provision of section 200 is reproduced (for Finance Act 2013):

Duty of person deducting tax.

    1. [(1)] Any person deducting any sum in accordance with  [the foregoing provisions of this Chapter] shall pay within the prescribed time, the sum so deducted to the credit of the Central Government or as the Board directs.

[(2) Any person being an employer, referred to in sub-section (1A) of section 192 shall pay, within the prescribed time, the tax to the credit of the Central Government or as the Board directs.]

[(3) Any person deducting any sum on or after the 1st day of April, 2005 in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this Chapter or, as the case may be, any person being an employer referred to in sub-section (1A) of section 192 shall, after paying the tax deducted to the credit of the Central Government within the prescribed time, prepare such statements for such period as may be prescribed and deliver or cause to be delivered to the prescribed income-tax authority or the person authorised by such authority such statement in such form and verified in such manner and setting forth such particulars and within such time as may be prescribed.]

3. Section 200A of the Income Tax Act was inserted by the Finance Act 2009 with effect from 1.4.2010. This section provided for two kinds of adjustments in computation of TDS, namely, any arithmetic error, or any incorrect claim apparent from information in the TDS statements but, the relevant aspect is that, in initial provisions of Section 200A, there was no reference for fee payable under Section 234E. Relevant provision of section 200A before amendment in Finance Act 2015 (applicable prior to 01/06/2015):

[Processing of statements of tax deducted at source.

200A. (1) Where a statement of tax deduction at source has been made by a person deducting any sum (hereafter referred to in this section as deductor) under section 200, such statement shall be processed in the following manner, namely:—

(a)  the sums deductible under this Chapter shall be computed after making the following adjustments, namely:—

 (i)  any arithmetical error in the statement; or

(ii)  an incorrect claim, apparent from any information in the statement;

(b)  the interest, if any, shall be computed on the basis of the sums deductible as computed in the statement;

(c) the sum payable by, or the amount of refund due to, the deductor shall be determined after adjustment of amount computed under clause (b) against any amount paid under section 200 and section 201, and any amount paid otherwise by way of tax or interest;

(d) an intimation shall be prepared or generated and sent to the deductor specifying the sum determined to be payable by, or the amount of refund due to, him under clause (c); and

(e) the amount of refund due to the deductor in pursuance of the determination under clause (c) shall be granted to the deductor :

Provided that no intimation under this sub-section shall be sent after the expiry of one year from the end of the financial year in which the statement is filed.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section, “an incorrect claim apparent from any information in the statement” shall mean a claim, on the basis of an entry, in the statement—

(i)  of an item, which is inconsistent with another entry of the same or some other item in such statement;

(ii)  in respect of rate of deduction of tax at source, where such rate is not in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2) For the purposes of processing of statements under sub-section (1), the Board may make a scheme for centralised processing of statements of tax deducted at source to expeditiously determine the tax payable by, or the refund due to, the deductor as required under the said sub-section.]

4. Section 200A of the Act has been subsequently amended by Finance Act 2015 with effect from 1.6.2015 wherein 2 new clauses (c) and (d) were inserted bringing clarification that during processing of a TDS statement, the fee, if any, shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of section 234E of the Act. On 1.6.2015, clauses (c) to (f) came to be substituted under Section 200A providing that the fee under Section 234E can be computed at the time of processing of the return and the intimation could be issued specifying the same payable by the deductor as fee under Section 234E of the Act. Section 200A would also be relevant in the present matter. Hence, the same for ready reference is reproduced as under: 

“Processing of statements of tax deducted at source. 200A. 

(1) Where a statement of tax deduction at source 69 [or a correction statement] has been made by a person deducting any sum (hereafter referred to in this section as deductor) under section 200, such statement shall be processed in the following manner, namely:

(a) the sums deductible under this Chapter shall be computed after making the following adjustments, namely:

(i) any arithmetical error in the statement; or

(ii) an incorrect claim, apparent from any information in the statement;

(b) the interest, if any, shall be computed on the basis of the sums deductible as computed in the statement;

(c) the fee, if any, shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of section 234E;

(d) the sum payable by, or the amount of refund due to, the deductor shall be determined after adjustment of the amount computed under clause (b) and clause (c) against any amount paid under section 200 or section 201 or section 234E and any amount paid otherwise by way of tax or interest or fee;

(e) an intimation shall be prepared or generated and sent to the deductor specifying the sum determined to be payable by, or the amount of refund due to, him under clause (d); and (f) the amount of refund due to the deductor in pursuance of the determination under clause (d) shall be granted to the deductor:] 

Provided that no intimation under this sub-section shall be sent after the expiry of one year from the end of the financial year in which the statement is filed.

Explanation.For the purposes of this sub-section, “an incorrect claim apparent from any information in the statement” shall mean a claim, on the basis of an entry, in the statement 

(i) of an item, which is inconsistent with another entry of the same or some other item in such statement;

(ii) in respect of rate of deduction of tax at source, where such rate is not in accordance with the provisions of this Act. 

(2) For the purposes of processing of statements under sub-section (1), the Board may make a scheme for centralised processing of statements of tax deducted at source to expeditiously determine the tax payable by, or the refund due to, the deductor as required under the said sub-section.”

5. In number of cases , it was held that amended provision of section 200A of the Act  was prospectively amended wef 1.6.2015 to allow the computation of fee payable by the assessee u/s 234E of the Act for the delayed filing of quarterly TDS returns. Hence the fee u/s 234E of the Act cannot be levied for the period prior to 1.6.2015 in respect of quarterly TDS returns filed even though the same were filed belatedly. Few of cases are as under :-

> Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fatheraj Singhvi vs. Union of India , WRIT APPEAL NOS.2663-2674/2015(T-IT)- dated 26/08/2016  held that  that late filing fee levied u/s 234E of the Act while processing the TDS statements was ultra vires to section 200A of the Act. Thus fee charged u/s 234E of the Act and consequently, interest u/s 220(2) of the Act was also liable to be cancelled. The Honable High Court observing as under:-

Para no 27:-  In view of the aforesaid observations and discussion, the impugned notices under Section 200A of the Act for computation and intimation for payment of fee under Section 234E as they relate to for the period of the tax deducted prior to 1.6.2015 are set aside. It is clarified that the present judgment would not be interpreted to mean that even if the payment of the fees under Section 234E already made as per demand/intimation under Section 200A of the Act for the TDS for the period prior to 01.04.2015 is permitted to be reopened for claiming refund. The judgment will have prospective effect accordingly. It is further observed that the question of constitutional validity of Section 234E shall remain open to be considered by the Division Bench and shall not get concluded by the order of the learned Single Judge.

> This said decision of Hon’ble Karnataka High Court was stated to be followed in by same court in its subsequent decision dated 12/12/2017 rendered in Writ Petition No. 618/2015 filed by Shree Ayappa Educational Charitable Trust

> In ITA Nos.560/PN/2016 & 561/PN/2016, 1018/PN/2016 to 1023/PN/2016 in Maharashtra Cricket Association Vs. DCIT (CPC)-TDS, Ghaziabad, relating to assessment years 2013-14 and 2014-15 for the respective quarters, the Hon’ble Tribunal deliberated upon the issue and held as under:-

“34. Accordingly, we hold that the amendment to section 200A(1) of the Act is

procedural in nature and in view thereof, the Assessing Officer while processing the TDS statements / returns in the present set of appeals for the period prior to 01.06.2015, was not empowered to charge fees under section 234E of the Act.

Hence, the intimation issued by the Assessing Officer under section 200A of the Act in all these appeals does not stand and the demand raised by way of

charging the fees under section 234E of the Act is not valid and the same is

deleted. The intimation issued by the Assessing Officer was beyond the scope of adjustment provided under section 200A of the Act and such adjustment could not stand in the eye of law.” 

> ITAT DELHI: – W SERVE TECHNOLOGIES PVT. LTD. VERSUS ACIT, CPC-TDS, GHAZIABAD-– ITA Nos. 1027/Del/2020, 1028/Del/2020, 1029/Del/2020, 1030/Del/2020, 1031/Del/2020, 1032/Del/2020, 1034/Del/2020, 1035/Del/2020, 1036/Del/2020, 1037/Del/2020, 1038/Del/2020, 1040/Del/2020 Dated.- August 31, 2022- Levy of fee u/s 234E– Fee leviable before 01.06.2015 – scope of amendment – whether late filing fee u/s 234E could be levied for TDS returns filed for the period pertaining to the period prior to 1.6.2015 ? – HELD THAT:- This tribunal in N number of appeals and has allowed appeals of the assessee holding that fees u/s 234E is not leviable before 01.06.2015 i.e. the date when clause (c) was inserted in section 200A(I) for the computation of said fees at the time of processing. The tribunal relied upon the decision of Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fatehraj Singhvi & Others [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT].

>ITAT DELHI: – ICMC PROJECTS PVT. LTD., INDUSTRIAL CONVEYORS PVT. LTD., C/O PAVAN MAHESHWARI & CO., CA VERSUS ITD, CPC, BENGALURU KARNATAKA, ACIT (CPCTDS) , GHAZIABAD– ITA/IT(SS)A/CO No. : 1361 to 1374/Del/2021, 749 to 755/Del/2021 Dated.- February 25, 2022 Fee levied u/s 234E – fee was leviable u/s 200A for filing of returns – delay in filing of quarterly TDS statement – HELD THAT: – In the absence of any machinery provisions to charge the late fee u/s 200A, the issue of levy of fee u/s 234E which was introduced w.e.f. 01.06.2015 has been examined in the context of its applicability whether retrospective or prospective.

In case of Fatehraj Singhvi & Ors. vs. UOI & Ors. [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] is in favour of the assessee holding that the amendments brought in statute w.e.f. 01.06 .2015 are prospective in nature and as such, notices issued u/s 200 A of the Act for computation and intimation of payment of late filing fee u/s 234E of the Act relating to the period of tax deduction prior to 01.06.2015 was not maintainable.

At the same time, in case of Rajesh Kourani [2017 (7) TMI 458 – GUJARAT HIGH COURT] has decided the issue against the assessee.

Under these circumstances, we are of the considered view that the decision rendered by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Vegetable products Limited [1973 (1) TMI 1 – SUPREME COURT] pronouncing that, when there are conflicting decisions the view taken in favour of the assessee should be followed is relevant to adjudication of the matter before us. Hence, the impugned order passed by the First Appellate Authorities confirming the late fee levied by the AO u/s 200A read with section 234E in all the cases wherein the defaults were prior to 01 .06.2015 is not sustainable in the eyes of law.

Thus the fee levied u/ s 234E is hereby ordered to be deleted – Decided in favour of assessee.

> ITAT Mumani  in the case of – Shri Vivek J Thar, Legal Heir and Son of Late Shri Jayesh Thar Vs ITO tds WARD Kalyan- ITA No. 1476/Mum/2022 to 1479/Mum/2022 for assessment year 20136-14- dated 19/09/2022:-

Respectfully following the decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of CIT vs Vegetable Products Ltd reported in 88 ITR 192(SC), we prefer to follow the decision of Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fatehraj Singhvi vs Union of India reported in 73 taxmann.com 252 and cancel the levy of late filing fees u/s 234E of the Act for both the quarters for both Form 24Q and 26Q TDS statements. In the result, all the appeals of the assessee are allowed.

> ITAT Bangalore in Mindlogicx Infratec Ltd. vs. ACIT in ITA Nos. 462 to 483/Bang/2022 by order dated 19/07/2022 for A.Ys. 2013-14 to 2015-16 observed and held as under:

“13. It is not in dispute that if the ratio laid down by the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fateeraj Singhvi (supra) if applied then the levy of interest u/s.234-E of the Act would be illegal for returns of TDS in respect of the period prior to 1.6.2015. The present appeals of the assessee relate to TDS returns filed prior to 1.6.2015. The decision of the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fateeraj Singhvi (supra) was rendered on 26.8.2016. As rightly contended by the learned Counsel for the assessee, there is no ambiguity in the non-applicability of the provisions of section 200A of the Act for the period prior to 01.06.2015 as interpreted by the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fateeraj Singhvi (supra). Therefore the issue before the AO in the application under section 154 of the Act cannot be said to be a debatable issue on which two views are possible. It cannot also be said that the mistake is not obvious and patent. The law is well settled that the decision of the Jurisdictional High Court is binding on the authorities functioning under its jurisdiction. The AO as well as the CIT (A) ought to have allowed the application of the assessee under section 154 of the Act by following law laid down by the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Fateeraj Singhvi (supra).” 

> ITAT Bangalore in Shri Thomas Abraham in ITO TDS Circle – 1(3)(3), Bangalore.- ITA Nos. 387 to 390/Bang/2022 for Assessment Years : 2013-14 to 2015-16 dated 29/07/2022 

Facts: – All issue raised in the present appeals are in respect of levy of interest u/s. 234E for filing TDS returns belatedly. The Assessee filed statement of tax deducted at source (TDS) for various quarters in Form No.26Q for different quarterly years in FY 2012-13 to 2014-15 (relevant to AY 2013-14 to 2015-16). The statement was processed by CPC TDS, Bengaluru. There was a delay in filing the TDS statement and the Ld.AO by intimation u/s. 200A of the Act levied late fee u/s. 234E of the Act.

Held: – Respectfully following the above, all the appeals filed by the assessee are allowed and the interest u/s. 234E as tabulated hereinabove cannot be sustained. In the result, all the four appeals filed by the assessee stands allowed. 

Late Fee interest under section 234E of Income Tax Act –  Recent Case Laws

> Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Delhi in Sh. Raj Veer Singh, New Delhi vs Acit (Cpc- Tds), Ghaziabad on 9 July, 2021- ITA No.3681/Del./2017 (Assessment Year : 2015-16) 

Facts : The assesse  filed its quarterly statement of Deduction of Tax at Source (TDS) for the quarter ending 31.03.2015 in Form 26Q on 30.10.2015 for tax deducted to the tune of Rs.49,102/- u/s 200(3) of the Act along with interest of Rs.5,951/-.Assessing Officer (AO) raised a demand of Rs.33,600/- by way of intimation u/s 200A of the Act dated 03.11.2015 on account of late fee u/s 234E for delay in filing the TDS statement. Assessee carried the matter before the ld. CIT (A) by way of filing appeal who has confirmed the demand by dismissing the appeal. Feeling aggrieved, the assessee has come up before the Tribunal by way of filing the present appeal.

Observation by Honable ITAT:

Para 10:- In view of what has been discussed in the preceding paras and following the aforesaid order passed by the coordinate Bench of the Tribunal, we are of the considered view that no doubt provisions contained u/s 234E under which late fee has been levied for defaults of period in filing the TDS/TCS statements/returns but coordinate Benches of the Tribunal have followed one approach, though there are conflicting decisions of different High Courts in the absence of any decision of Hon’ble jurisdictional High Court.

Because Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in case of Fatehraj Singhvi & Ors. vs. UOI & Ors. 2016 (9) TMI 964 (Karnataka High Court) is in favour of the assessee holding that the amendments brought in statute w.e.f. 01.06.2015 are prospective in nature and as such, notices issued u/s 200A of the Act for computation and intimation of payment of late filing fee u/s 234E of the Act relating to the period of tax deduction prior to 01.06.2015 was not maintainable.

Held- 12. At the same time, Hon’ble Gujarat High Court in case of Rajesh Kourani vs. UOI (2017) 83 taxmann.com 137 (Gujarat) has decided the issue against the assessee. So, in these circumstances, we are of the considered view that following the decision rendered by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Vegetable products Limited 88 ITR 192 (SC) that when there are conflicting decisions, the view taken in favour of the assessee should be followed, the impugned order passed by the ld. CIT (A) confirming the late fee levied by the AO u/s 200A read with section 234E as the defaults are prior to 01.06.2015, is not sustainable in the eyes of law, hence fee levied u/s 234E is ordered to be deleted. Consequently, the appeal filed by the assessee is allowed.

> Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – Delhi-Aircon Engineers Private … vs Tds, Cpc, Ghaziabad on 31 August, 2020- ITA No.9069 to 9072/Del/2019-Assessment Year: 2014-15 

Held- Late of fee u/s. 234 E is leviable for defaults of period in filing the TDS/ TCS statements/ returns even for the period prior to 01-06-2015 23.1 So far as the argument of the Ld. DR on the basis of various decisions including the decision of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Biswajit Das (supra) that provisions of section 234E are constitutionally valid is concerned, no doubt the provisions of section 234 E have been held to be constitutionally valid which is not the dispute before us. So far as the argument of Ld. DR on rule of consistency is concerned, the same in our opinion is not absolute but in the present case we are faced with a situation which has been considered by our coordinate benches and there is no subsequent development to depart there from. Moreover, our coordinate Benches have followed one approach in view of conflicting decision of different High Courts in the absence of any decision of the Jurisdictional High Court. So far as the levy of fee u/s. 234E for defaults of period in filing TDS/TCS statements / returns even for the period prior to 1.06.2015 is concerned, as mentioned earlier there are conflicting decisions by different High Courts and there is no decision on this issue by the jurisdictional High Court. While Hon’ble Karnataka High Court is in favour of the assessee holding that the amendments brought in statute w.e.f. 01.06.2015 are prospective in nature and hence notices issued u/s. 200 A of the Act for computation and intimation in payment of late filing fee u/s.234E of the Act relating to the period of tax deduction prior to 01.06.2015 were not maintainable, the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court has decided the issue against the assessee and in favour of the revenue. After considering the above conflicting decisions, the coordinate benches of the Tribunal are taking the view that when there are conflicting decisions, the decision in favour of the assessee should be followed in the light of decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Vegetables Products Limited (supra). In the light of the above discussion we hold that the CIT(A) is not justified in confirming the late fee levied by the AO u/s. 200 A r.w.s. 234 E since the defaults are prior to 1.06.2015. Accordingly we set aside the order of the Ld. CIT (A) and the fee levied u/s. 234 E and interest there on u/s. 220 (2) is directed to be deleted. In the result, all the appeals filed by the assessees are allowed.

> ITAT Pune- Swami Vivekanand Vidyalaya, vs DCIT(CPC)-TDS, Ghaziabad, UP- 2377/PUN/2017 to 2386/PUN/2017 for AY 2013-14, 2014-15 & 2015-16 

Held- We find the facts and issue in ITA No.2377/PUN/2017 are also identical to the facts and issue in ITA  os.2072 & 2073/PUN/2017 and our decision in ITA No. 2377/PUN/2017 shall apply mutatis mutandis to ITA Nos.2072 & 2073/PUN/2017.

Further, before parting, we may also refer to the order of the CIT (A) in these two appeals. The CIT (A) had dismissed the appeals of the assessee being delayed for a period of two and half years. The CIT (A) had taken the date of intimation under section 200A (3) dated 07-08-2014 and computed the delay in filing the appeal late before him. However, the assessee had filed the appeal before the CIT (A) against the order passed under section 154 of the Act. The said application for rectification under section 154 was filed on 08-06-2017/09- 03-2017 in the respective years. The said application was decided by the Assessing Officer on 09-06-2017. The assessee filed an appeal against the dismissal of the rectification application filed under section 154 of the Act. The said fact is clear from the perusal of Form No.35 with special reference to Column 2(a) and 2(b). In the entirety of the above said facts and circumstances, we find no merit in the order of CIT (A) in the case of Medical Superintendent Rural Hospital, Surgana in dismissing the appeal in-limine being filed beyond the period of limitation. We have already decided the issue on merits in favour of assessee.

16. In the result, all the appeals of respective assessees are allowed.

2022 (11) TMI 847- ITAT VISAKHAPATNAM :- WS INDUSTRIES INDIA LTD. VERSUS DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX, TDS CIRCLE-1, VISAKHAPATNAM, ANDHRA PRADESH.- No.- I.T.A. Nos.164 to 178/Viz/2021 & 20/Viz/2022-Dated.- November 16, 2022:- Late fee levied u/s. 234E – Levy for period prior to 1/6/2015 – TDS returns pertaining to the period prior to 01/06/2015, if filed after 01/06/2015 and processed after 01/06/2015 – whether they attract the amended provisions of Finance Act, 2012 and the specific provision for levy of “fee” under section 234E of the Act which was inserted w.e.f 1/6/2015 – HELD THAT:- As the assessee, viz., WS Industries India Limited, Visakhapatnam had deducted tax at source U/s. 195 of the Act. The due date for filing TDS returns is 15th May, 2014 but belatedly filed the returns on 2/08/2014 under the bonafide intention that the amended provisions will not attract for levy of late fee U/s. 234E of the Act.

Since the period under consideration is the 4th Quarter of FY 2013-14 i.e., prior to the amendment to section 200A (1) of the Act wherein clause (c) was inserted w.e.f 01/06/2015 and the assessee had already deposited the tax at source prior to the amendment to section 200A (1), the levy of late fee u/s. 234E for default in furnishing the statement beyond the stipulated time is not sustainable in law.

Respectfully following the ratio laid down in case of Fatheraj Singhvi [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT]; judgment of United Metals [2021 (12) TMI 1349 – KERALA HIGH COURT] and various decisions of the Tribunal levying of late fee under section 234E for the period prior to 1/6/2015 is not sustainable in law.

Thus, in the instant case since the period of default was before the said date i.e., 01/06/2015, there is no merit in charging late filing fee u/s. 234E of the Act. Accordingly the Ld. AO is directed to delete the fee levied U/s. 234E of the Act in the order passed U/s. 154 r.w.s 200A of the Act. Since hold that the no late filing fee is to be charged, the consequential interest charged U/s. 220(2) of the also does not survive – Decided in favour of assessee.

> ITAT INDORE:- MADHYA PRADESH GRAMIN BANK (FORMERLY KNOWN AS NARMADA JHABUA GRAMIN BANK) VERSUS ACIT, CPC-TDS GHAZIABAD- No.- ITA Nos. 222/Ind/2022 to 328/Ind/2022, Dated.- November 11, 2022- Rectification of mistake u/s 154 – levying late-fee u/s 234E which was not leviable for period prior to 01.06.2015 – HELD THAT:- Late fee u/s 234E could not have been levied in the intimations u/s 200A for delay in filing quarterly returns of TDS for the period prior to 01.06.2015 Therefore, by levying late-fee which was not leviable, the Ld. AO has certainly committed a mistake apparent on record.

Additionally, we also observe that under the scheme of Income-tax Act, 1961, the assesseee have two remedies against the intimation u/s 200A, viz. (i) file rectification-application u/s 154, or (ii) file appeal u/s 246A. We observe that the remedy to file rectification u/s 154 is not only one of the available remedies but also a simpler remedy and practically resorted to by many of the assessees, particularly in the matter of the late-fee u/s 234E wrongly levied by revenue-authorities. We find that it is not a case of revenue that the rectification-application u/s 154 against the intimation u/s 200A is absolutely barred in the scheme of the Act. We also observe that when the late-fee is not leviable in the law and on facts, by levying the same the assessees have been fastened with the liability beyond and against the scheme of the Act, which should not happen. In this regard, we gainfully refer a recent decision in the case of Akbar Mohammad, Nagaur [2022 (2) TMI 479 – ITAT JODHPUR]

Thus having observed that there was an apparent mistake in the intimations sent by Ld. AO u/s 154, we are inclined to accept that the Ld. CIT (A) is not justified in dismissing the appeals of assessees. Therefore, Ground No. 1 is allowed.

Validity of charging late-fee u/s 234E in the intimations issued u/s 200A for delay in filing quarterly-returns of TDS relatable to the period prior to 01.06.2015 – HELD THAT: – As section 200A (1) was amended w.e.f. 01.06.2015 by inserting clause (c) therein and it is only thereafter the authorities were enabled to charge latefee in the intimations u/s 200A. Therefore, it is very much clear that the authorities did not have any power to charge late-fee in respect of returns related to the period prior to 01.06.2015. See M/s. Keshav Industries Pvt. Ltd. [2020 (7) TMI 812 – ITAT INDORE] & Mr. Rajendra Prasad Tiwari [2020 (7) TMI 812 – ITAT INDORE]

Thus no hesitation in concluding that the late-fee levied u/s 234E levied by Ld. AO in the intimations made u/s 200A is illegal and deserves to be deleted. We, therefore, direct the Ld. AO to rectify intimations and delete the late-fee charged therein. Thus, the assessee succeeds in Ground No. 2 to 5

> ITAT PUNE:- WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT VERSUS DCIT, CPC, TDS, GHAZIABAD AND SHREE PASHUPATI CONSTRUCTION VERSUS CIT (A) -NAFAC, DELHI- No.- ITA Nos. 568 to 579/PUN/2021 ITA Nos. 584 to 588/PUN/2022-Dated.- October 20, 2022 Levying late fees u/s 234E – delay in filing of TDS statement(s) – HELD THAT:- As levying late fees u/s 234E of the Act; involving varying sums, for delay in filing of TDS statement(s), there is hardly any dispute between the parties that this statutory provision itself carries prospective effect from 01.06.2015 whereas all these quarters / assessment years; as the case may be, in issue before us are well before the said date.

Revenue could not file any case law to the contrary except Rajesh Kourani Vs. Union of India [2017 (7) TMI 458 – GUJARAT HIGH COURT] which already stands considered in the foregoing discussion. We, accordingly, accept the assessee’s identical sole substantive ground in all these appeals. The impugned late filing fees sum(s) stands deleted. 

> ITAT MUMBAI:- KRISHNA PANDURANG KOBNAK VERSUS NATIONAL FACELESS APPEAL CENTRE, GHAZIABAD, DELHI- No.- ITA No. 338/MUM/2022 And ITA No. 337/MUM/2022 And ITA No. 339/MUM/2022 Dated.- October 14, 2022 Levy of late fees u/s 234E – intimation issued u/s 200A of the Act on processing of Statement of Tax Deducted at Source – HELD THAT:- As decided in K.D. Realities Pvt. Ltd. [2019 (11) TMI 1762 – ITAT MUMBAI] deleted the late fee levied under Section 234E of the Act in respect of the quarterly TDS statements filed for the financial years relevant to Assessment Years 2013-14 to 2015-16 holding that the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in the case of Fatehraj Singhvi [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] had concluded, that the notice under Sec.200A of the Act for computing late fee under Section 234E of the Act, to the extent the same related to the period of the tax deduction prior to 01.06.2015 was liable to be set aside. Also see NATIONAL LAMINATE CORPORATION VERSUS ITO-CPC (TDS) UTTAR PRADESH [2019 (12) TMI 574 – ITAT MUMBAI]

Thus we delete levy of late fees for Assessment Year 2013-14, demanded under Section 234E of the Act. Ground No. 1 raised in the appeal is allowed.

> ITAT PUNE:- M/S ALLACODE TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS P. LTD. VERSUS THE INCOME TAX OFFICER (TDS-1) , PUNE- No.- ITA Nos. 565, 566, 567, 568, 569, 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, 575, 576, 577, 578, 579, 580, 581 and 582/PUN/2022, Dated.- October 11, 2022- Levy of late fees u/s. 234E – belated submission of Tax Deducted at Source – HELD THAT:- As it is with effect from 01-06-2015 that an amendment was made to section 200A of the Act providing that fees u/s. 234E could be computed at the time of processing of return of income and an intimation could be issued specifying the same payable by the deductor as fees u/s. 234E of the Act.

Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case Fatheraj Singhvi Vs. Union of India, [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] has held that the provisions of section 234E of the Act are substantive in nature and the mechanism for computing the late fee was provided by the Parliament only w.e.f. 01-06-2015. Therefore, late fees u/s. 234E of the Act can be levied only prospectively w.e.f. 01-06-2015 and not prior to that Admittedly in all the above eighteen cases, the Revenue has levied such late fee u/s. 234E for F.Y. 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 which are prior to 01-06-2015 and hence, we set aside the concerned orders of the National Faceless Appeal Centre and direct the A.O. to delete the late fees levied u/s. 234E of the Act from the hands of the assessee. Appeals of the assessee are allowed.

> ITAT PUNE:- NEW ENGLISH SCHOOL AND JR. COLLEGE VERSUS THE DY. DIRECTOR OF INCOME-TAX CPC, TDS GHAZIABAD- No.- ITA No. 122 to 129/PUN/2022, Dated.- October 11, 2022 Levy of late fees u/s 234E – belated submission of Tax Deducted at Source statements – HELD THAT:- It is with effect from 01-06-2015 that an amendment was made to section 200A of the Act providing that fees u/s 234E could be computed at the time of processing of return of income and an intimation could be issued specifying the sum payable by the deductor as fees u/s 234E of the Act. Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the case Fatheraj Singhvi Vs. Union of India [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] has held that the provisions of section 234E of the Act are substantive in nature and the mechanism for computing the late fee was provided by the Parliament only w.e.f. 01-06-2015. Therefore, late fees u/s 234E of the Act can be levied only prospectively w.e.f. 01-06-2015 and not prior to that. Admittedly in all the above eight cases, the Revenue has levied such late fee u/s 234E for F.Y. 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 which are for the periods prior to 01-06-2015 and hence, we set aside the concerned orders of the National Faceless Appeal Centre and direct the A.O to delete the late fees levied u/s 234E of the Act from the hands of the assessee.Appeal of the assessee allowed.

> ITAT INDORE- PATWA ABHIKARNA PRIVATE LIMITED VERSUS ACIT-TDS -CPC, INDORE ACIT-TDS -CPC, GHAZIABAD- No.- I.T.A. Nos. 58 to 60/Ind/2021, Dated.- September 29, 2022 Addition u/s 234E – Intimation u/s 200A of the Act before 01.06.2015 i.e. before the amendment brought into effect from 01.06.2015 in section 200A – HELD THAT:- As decided in M/s. Keshav Industries Pvt. Ltd. [2020 (7) TMI 812 – ITAT INDORE] wherein fee u/s 234E of the Act was levied in the statements processed u/s 200A of the Act before 01.06.2015 i.e. before the amendment brought into effect from 01.06.2015 in section 200A of the Act thereby enabling the revenue authorities to raise demand in respect of levy of fees u/s 234E CIT(A) erred in confirming the levy of late fees u/s 234E of the Act by the assessing officer. Accordingly findings CIT (A) in all these 10 appeals are reversed as we have recently taken a considered view against the revenue on earlier orders of Ld. CIT (A) wherein the identical orders by respective CIT (A) were passed and accordingly the revenue is directed to delete the levy of fees u/s 234E of the Act in all these 10 cases. Thus, common issue raised in these bunch of appeals is decided in favour of the assessee(s).

> ITAT MUMBAI:- SHRI VIVEK J THAR, LEGAL HEIR AND SON OF LATE SHRI JAYESH THAR VERSUS INCOME TAX OFFICER TDS WARD, KALYAN- No.- ITA No. 1476/Mum/2022 to 1479/Mum/2022, Dated.- September 19, 2022- Levying Late filing fees u/s 234E and consequentially interest u/s 220(2) – whether late filing fee u/s 234E of the Act could be levied for TDS returns filed for the period pertaining to the period prior to 1.6.2015 – Diversified views on matter – HELD THAT:- Respectfully following the decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of CIT vs Vegetable Products Ltd [1973 (1) TMI 1 – SUPREME COURT] we prefer to follow the decision in the case of Fatehraj Singhvi [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] and cancel the levy of late filing fees u/s 234E of the Act for both the quarters for both Form 24Q and 26Q TDS statements. – Decided in favour of assessee.

> ITAT AMRITSAR:- M/S UNITED SERVICE STATION GURU NANAK MISSION CHOWK, JALANDHAR VERSUS THE INCOME TAX OFFICER (TDS) CIT-1, JALANDHAR, No.- I.T.A. No. 22/Asr/2022 Dated.- September 1, 2022

Levy of fee u/s 234E – intimation issued u/s 200A – assessee argued enabling clause (c) was inserted in the section 200A w.e.f. 01.06.2015 – whether late filing fee u/s 234E of the Act has rightly been charged in the intimation issued u/s 200A/206CB of the Act while processing the TDS returns/statements as the enabling clause (c) having been inserted in the section w.e.f. 01.06.2015? – HELD THAT: – We understand that earlier, there was no enabling provision in the Act u/s 200A for raising demand in respect of levy of fee u/s 234E. As such, as per the assessee, in respect of TDS statement filed for a period up to 31.03.2015, no late fee could be levied in the intimation issued u/s 200A of the Act.

On similar facts, the same issue has been adjudicated and addition has been deleted by the Case of ‘Sudershan Goyal vs. DCIT [2018 (5) TMI 1626 – ITAT AGRA] wherein the judgments of ‘Shri Fatehraj Singhvi and Others’[2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT], ‘Sibia Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. [2015 (6) TMI 437 – ITAT AMRITSAR] and ‘Shri Kaur Chand Jain [2016 (9) TMI 1442 – ITAT AMRITSAR] were considered.

Accordingly, the order of the CIT (A) is reversed and the fee so levied under section 234E of the Act is cancelled. Decided in favour of assessee.

> ITAT SURAT:- DESAI INFRASTRUCTURE PRIVATE LIMITED VERSUS ACIT, CPC-TDS, GHAZIABAD.- No.- ITA No.505 to 526/SRT/2018 Dated.- August 3, 2022- Late Fee under section 234E  levy of late fee in the course of intimation under section 200A – levy of late fee under section 234E in furnishing the statements of TDS was inserted vide Finance Act 2012, w.e.f 01.06.2015 – HELD THAT:- On careful perusal of the decision of Hon’ble Jurisdictional High Court in Rajesh Kourani [2017 (7) TMI 458 – GUJARAT HIGH COURT] we find that that jurisdiction high court in para-20 of the decision has clearly dissented with the decision of Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in Fatheraj Singhvi [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] and held that even in absence of section 200A with introduction of section 234E, it was always open for the revenue to demand and collect the fee for late filing of the statements.

Without a regulatory provision being found for section 200A for computation of fee, the fee prescribed under section 234E cannot be levied is not acceptable. Any such view would amount to a charging section yielding to the machinery provision. If at all, the recasted clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 200A would be in nature of clarificatory amendment. Even in absence of such provision, as noted, it was always open for the revenue to charge the fee in terms of section 234E. By amendment, this adjustment was brought within the fold of section 200A. This would have one direct effect.

An order passed under section 200A is rectifiable under section 154 and is also appealable under section 246A. In absence of the power of authority to make such adjustment under section 200A, any calculation of the fee would not partake the character of the intimation under said provision and it could be argued that such an order would not be open to any rectification or appeal. Upon introduction of the re-casted clause (c), this situation also would be obviated. Even prior to 1- 6-2015, it was always open for the revenue to calculate fee in terms of section 234E. Section 200A is not a source of substantive power. Substantive power to levy fee can be traced to section 234E.

It is settled position under legal hierarchy that decision of Hon’ble jurisdictional High Court is having binding precedent, in absence of any decision of Hon’ble Apex Court. Thus, all the submissions which is raised by Ld. AR for the assessee is not helpful to him. Therefore, respectfully following the ratio of law that section 234E is a charging provision creating a charge for levying of fee for certain default in filing statement, and the fee prescribed under this section could be levied even without a regulatory provision being found in section 200A for computation of fee. – Appeal of assessee allowed.

> ITAT LUCKNOW: – SHIVANSH INFRAESTATE PVT. LTD. VERSUS ACIT, CENTRAL PROCESSING CELL-TDS, GHAZIABAD- No.- ITA No.121 to 125/Lkw/2022, Dated.- July 26, 2022 Late fees u/s 234E read with section 200A – statement in Form-26Q could not be filed within the prescribed period of times and therefore CPC imposed late fee u/s. 234E – AR submitted that admittedly the year involved in these appeals is Assessment Year 2014-15 whereas the effect of charging late fee u/s. 234E came into existence w.e.f. 01.06.2015 – HELD THAT:- We find that it is undisputed fact that the assessee has been charged late fee u/s. 234E for various returns filed in the Form-26Q for late filing of the statements. These cases relate to Assessment Year 2014-15. The various Hon’ble High Courts including the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court and Hon’ble Kerala High Court have held that the provisions of Section 234E are applicable w.e.f. 01.06.2015. See SRI. FATHERAJ SINGHVI AND OTHERS VERSUS UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] – Also see M/S. UNITED METALS VERSUS THE INCOME TAX OFFICER (TDS) KOCHI (2) , ERNAKULAM, THE UNION OF INDIA, NEW DELHI [2021 (12) TMI 1349 – KERALA HIGH COURT] – Decided in favour of assessee.

> KERALA HIGH COURT:- AMARAVATI VERSUS INCOME TAX OFFICER (TDS) DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES UNION OF INDIA- No.- WP(C) NO. 16664 OF 2022Dated. – May 24, 2022 

Late fee u/s 234E – delay in filing the statement of TDS remittance – HELD THAT: – In the decision in M/s. Sarala Memorial Hospital v. Union of India and Another [2018 (12) TMI 1818 – KERALA HIGH COURT] an identical question arose for consideration. After considering the statutory provisions of section 234E and section 200A of the Act and the implications of the amendment brought in to the Act, it was held that the amendment would take effect only from 1st June, 2015 and is thus prospective in nature. The aforesaid judgment has become final and is binding upon the authorities. Thus the jurisdiction to levy late fee under section 234E arises only from 01-06.2015 and not earlier.

As regards the contention on the delay, though the said contention was impressive on first blush, it can be seen that the nature of challenge raised by the petitioner is based upon the lack of jurisdiction of the respondents to impose late fee. Since in matters where total lack of jurisdiction is alleged, delay cannot be relied upon as a ground to deny the relief, this Court is of the view that the objections of the respondents are without any basis.

Decisions cited are distinguishable on the facts of those cases itself. Thus quash Ext.P1 to Ext.P5 intimations to the extent it demands late fee under section 234E for the period from 2012-13 till 01.06.2015. The writ petition is therefore allowed as above.

> KERALA HIGH COURT:- SARK CABLE PRIVATE LIMITED VERSUS INCOME TAX OFFICER TDS, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX GAZIABAD, CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES, UNION OF INDIA- No.- WP(C) NO. 1312 OF 2022, Dated. – May 23, 2022 Late fee u/s 234E – delay in filing the statement of TDS remittance – HELD THAT: – In the decision in M/s.Sarala Memorial Hospital v. Union of India and Another [2018 (12) TMI 1818 – KERALA HIGH COURT] an identical question arose for consideration. After considering the statutory provisions of section 234E and section 200A of the Act and the implications of the amendment brought in to the Act, it was held that the amendment would take effect only from 1st June, 2015 and is thus prospective in nature. The aforesaid judgment has become final and is binding upon the authorities. Thus the jurisdiction to levy late fee under section 234E arises only from 01-06.2015 and not earlier.

As regards the contention on the delay, though the said contention was impressive on first blush, it can be seen that the nature of challenge raised by the petitioner is based upon the lack of jurisdiction of the respondents to impose late fee. Since in matters where total lack of jurisdiction is alleged, delay cannot be relied upon as a ground to deny the relief, this Court is of the view that the objections of the respondents are without any basis.

In view of the above, the demand in intimations for the period from 2012-13 to 2013-14 are bereft of authority and cannot be legally sustainable.

> ITAT KOLKATA:-M/S. PASSPORT JEANS PVT. LTD. VERSUS DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME-TAX, CPC- No.- I.T.A. No. 575/Kol/2021, Dated.- May 18, 2022:Late fees u/s. 234E – Scope of enabling clause (c) was inserted in the section 200A w.e.f. 01.06.2015 – whether late filing fee u/s. 234E of the Act has rightly been charged in the intimation issued u/s. 200A/206CB of the Act while processing the TDS returns/statements as the enabling clause (c) having been inserted in the section w.e.f. 01.06.2015 – HELD THAT:- We understand that earlier, there was no enabling provision in the Act u/s. 200A for raising demand in respect of levy of fee u/s. 234E. As such, as per the assessee, in respect of TDS statement filed for a period up to 31.03.2015, no late fee could be levied in the intimation issued u/s. 200A of the Act.

On similar facts, the same issue has been adjudicated in the case of SHRI BHASKAR ROY [2021 (12) TMI 784 – ITAT KOLKATA] respectfully following ‘Shri Fatehraj Singhvi and Ors’ [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] accept the grievance of the assessee as genuine. Accordingly, the orders of the CIT (A) are reversed and the fee so levied under section 234E of the Act is cancelled. Appeal of assessee allowed.

> 2022 (5) TMI 999 – ITAT NAGPUR: – HASANATE BURHANIAH FIDAYYIAH TRUST VERSUS INCOME TAX OFFICER (TDS), WARD-1 NAGPUR- No. – ITA Nos. 9 , 10/Nag./2022 Dated.- April 28, 2022 Late filing fee payable under section 234E – assessee belatedly filed its quarterly e-TDS statements in Form-26Q – HELD THAT:- Late fee cannot be imposed for the statements of TDS filed before 1st June 2015. Therefore, respectfully following the decision of Fatehraj Singhavi [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] and Eurotech Maritime Academy (P.) Ltd [2022 (2) TMI 233 – KERALA HIGH COURT] no late fee can be levied under section 234E of the Act and hence the same cannot be sustained.

We also find substance in the arguments of the learned Counsel for the assessee that in assessee’s case statements have been filed during the financial year 2013-14 relevant to the assessment year 2014-15 in terms of the provisions of section 200A (1) of the Act and intimation can be passed only within one year from the end of the financial year of filing of statement of TDS. The aforesaid period of the assessee has expired on 31st March 2015. In the order of the learned CIT (A), levy of fee under section 234E was directed to be deleted. It was also directed that if there is limitation, the Assessing Officer is free to levy fee under section 234E of the Act.

Since the limitation to pass intimation had already expired on 31st March 2015, hence no order levying fee can be passed by the Assessing Officer – we hold that the levy of fee under section 234E of the Act by the Assessing Officer while giving effect to the order of the learned CIT (A) is unjustified which is liable to be deleted. We also hold that the fee charged by the Assessing Officer and confirmed by the learned CIT (A) was not in accordance with law. Since the issue is covered by the judicial pronouncements cited supra, therefore, we set aside the impugned orders passed for the assessment year 2013-14 and 2014-15, and allow the grounds of appeal raised by the assessee allowed.

> ITAT MUMBAI: – GOVERSHAN VENTURE PVT. LTD. VERSUS ASSTT. COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX CENTRALIZED PROCESSING CENTRE – TDS GHAZIABAD- No.- ITA No.181/Mum./2020 And ITA No.182/Mum./2020, Dated.- April 13, 2022:- Late filing fee under section 234E – Whether fee under section 234E of the Act can be levied while processing of statements of tax deducted at source under section 200A(1) of the Act for the period prior to 1st June 2015, and thus whether clause (c) to section 200A sub–section (1) of the Act, as substituted by Finance Act, 2015, is retrospective in nature? – HELD THAT:- Whether clause (c) of section 200A(1), as substituted by Finance Act, 2015, w.e.f. 01.06.2015, whereby the A.O. was enabled to compute the fee under section 234E of the Act while processing of statement of tax deducted at source, is prospective in nature has come up for adjudication before the Hon’ble High Courts of various States. The first decision was rendered by the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in Fatheraj Singhvi v/s Union of India, [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] whereby the Hon’ble High Court held that such an amendment is prospective in nature and thus intimation issued under section 200A of the Act for computation and intimation of payment of fee under section 234E of the Act relating to the period of tax deduction prior to 01.06.2015 was not maintainable. Also see M/S. OLARI LITTLE FLOWER KURIES [2022 (2) TMI 1061 – KERALAHIGH COURT]

Thus the impugned orders passed by the learned CIT(A) is not sustainable and the late fee levied under section 234E vide intimation issued under section 200A of the Act, for the period prior to 01.06.2015, is directed to be deleted for the assessment years under consideration in present appeals. – Decided in favour of assessee.

> ITAT AGRA:- SH. RAM PRASAD VERMA PURVA MADHYAMIC VIDHYALAY SONAI VERSUS ACIT-CPC-TDS, GHAZIABAD- No.- ITA Nos. 03 to 06/Agr/2022 Dated.- March 22, 2022

Late fees u/s. 234E – Scope of enabling clause (c) was inserted in the section 200A w.e.f. 01.06.2015 – whether late filing fee u/s. 234E of the Act has rightly been charged in the intimation issued u/s. 200A/206CB of the Act while processing the TDS returns/statements as the enabling clause (c) having been inserted in the section w.e.f. 01.06.2015 – HELD THAT:- We understand that earlier, there was no enabling provision in the Act u/s. 200A for raising demand in respect of levy of fee u/s. 234E. As such, as per the assessee, in respect of TDS statement filed for a period up to 31.03.2015, no late fee could be levied in the intimation issued u/s. 200A of the Act.

On similar facts, the same issue has been adjudicated in the case of ‘Sudershan Goyal [2018 (5) TMI 1626 – ITAT AGRA] respectfully following ‘Shri Fatehraj Singhvi and Ors’ [2016 (9) TMI 964 – KARNATAKA HIGH COURT] accept the grievance of the assessees as genuine. Accordingly, the orders of the CIT (A) are reversed and the fee so levied under section 234E of the Act is cancelled. Appeal of assessee allowed.

> ITAT RAJKOT:- MAVANI DEVELOPERS, BHUJ VERSUS ITO, TDS-4, GANDHIDHAM- No.- ITA 323 to 331/Rjt/2018, Dated.- November 25, 2021

Levy of fees u/s. 234E for delay in filing quarterly statements of deduction of taxes u/s. 200(3) – assessee has filed quarterly statement of tax deducted at source in form no. 26Q for all the above three years – HELD THAT:- As brought to the notice of both the sides that jurisdictional High Court of Gujarat in the case of Rajesh Kourani vs. Union of India [2017 (7) TMI 458 – GUJARAT HIGH COURT] held that section 234E of the act is a charging provision creating a charge for levy of fess for certain default in filing statements and also held that the fees prescribed u/s. 234E could be levied even without a regulatory provision being found in section 200A for computation of fees. We have noticed that rule 31A of IT rule laid down the time limit for filing quarterly statement for deduction of tax u/s. 200(3) of the act.

Section 234E prescribes the charging of fees for every day default in filing of statement u/s.200 (3) of the act or any proviso to subsection (3) of section 206 of the act. Section 200A pertained to processing of statement of tax deducted at source and prior to 01-06-2015 this provision did not include any reference of the fees payable u/s. 234E of the act. W.e.f. 1st June, 2015, this provision specifically provides for computing fees payable u/s. 234E of the act. As in the case RAJESH KOURANI [2017 (7) TMI 458 – GUJARAT HIGH COURT] has held that when section 234E has already created a charge for levying fees, it would thereafter not have been necessary to have yet another provision creating the same charge. Even in absence of section 200A with introduction of section 234E, it was always open for the revenue to demand and collect the fees for late filing of the statement. As also held that section 234E is a charging provision and it was always open for the revenue to charge fees in terms of section 234E of the act even prior to 1st June, 2015.

After considering the above facts and judicial findings, we are not inclined with the contention of the ld. counsel that CPC was not authorized to levy fee u/s. 234E of the act.

> ITAT DELHI:-SUB DIVISIONAL OFFICE VERSUS ITO, TDS KARNAL- No.- ITA No.5921/Del./2021Dated.- July 26, 2021 Late filing fee u/s. 234E – intimation u/s 200A – Late filing of TDS returns / statement – contention that fee u/s 234E is not leviable before 01.06.2015, i.e., the date when clause (c) was inserted in section 200A(1) for the computation of the said fees at the time of processing – conflicting decisions by different High Courts – HELD THAT:- Identical issue has been examined in the case of Supreme Brahmaputra (JV) [2020 (9) TMI 289 – ITAT DELHI] when there are conflicting decisions, the view taken in favour of the assessee should be followed, the impugned order passed by the ld. CIT (A) confirming the late fee levied by the AO u/s 200A read with section 234E as the defaults are prior to 01.06.2015, is not sustainable in the eyes of law, hence fee levied u/s 234E is ordered to be deleted. Consequently, the appeal filed by the assessee is allowed.

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