pri Restrictions on Loans, Deposits & Advances- Section 269SS & 269T Restrictions on Loans, Deposits & Advances- Section 269SS & 269T

Analysis of Section 269SS of the Act

This section was introduced in the Act with the objective that Unaccounted cash found in the course of searches carried out by the Income-tax Department is often explained by taxpayers as representing loans taken from or deposits made by various persons. Unaccounted income is also brought into the books of account in the form of such loans and deposits and taxpayers are also able to get confirmatory letters from such persons in support of their explanation. With a view to countering this device, which enables taxpayers to explain away unaccounted cash or unaccounted deposits, the Finance Act has inserted a new section 269SS.

Restrictions on Loans, Deposits & Advances- Section 269SS & 269T

Provision:

No person shall take or accept from any other person, any loan or deposit or any specified sum1 , otherwise than by an account payee cheque or account payee bank draft or use of electronic clearing system through a bank account, if

the amount of such loan or deposit2or specified sum or the aggregate of the loan or deposit or specified sum is twenty thousand rupees or more or

On the date of taking or accepting such loan or deposit or specified sum, any loan or deposit or specified sum accepted earlier by such person from the depositor is remaining unpaid (whether repayment has fallen due or not) is Rs.20,000/- or more or

The aggregate amount of loan or deposit or sum specified along with the amount loan or deposit or sum specified taken earlier which is outstanding on the date on which loan or deposit is to be taken is Rs. 20,000/- or more.

Exemption from Sec 269SS:

This section applies to all the persons i.e. individual, HUF, Company, Partnership firm, AOP/BOI, Local authority, Co-operative society, Trust, AJP.

The provisions of this section are not applicable in cases

1. Where the following persons are either recipient or payer:

a) Government ;

b) any banking company, post office savings bank or co-operative bank ;

c) any corporation established by a Central, State or Provincial Act ;

d) any Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) ; e)such other institution, association or body or class of institutions, associations or bodies which the Central Government may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, notify in this behalf in the Official Gazette : {Notified by F. No.414/104/84-IT (INV)- Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited, Bombay, in respect of its Home Savings Plan Scheme, Loan Linked Deposit Scheme and Certificate of Deposit Scheme, including Cumulative Interest Scheme}

2. Where the payer of loan or deposit and the recipient are both having agricultural income and neither of them has any income chargeable to tax under the Act.

Example (a) Where X had accepted a loan from XYZ on 1st of June 19 by crossed cheque for Rs 19,000. on 15th April 2020 X takes another loan from XYZ for Rs 2000 in cash (the earlier loan remaining unpaid on the date)

Then since the combined loan outstanding (20,000 + 2,000) = 21,000 is more than or equal to 20,000 the provisions of Sec 269SS will be attracted if the new loan on 15th April is taken in cash.

Example (b) Where X had accepted a loan from XYZ on 1st of June 19 by crossed cheque for Rs 19,000. He had repaid 3,000 in cash on 3rd Aug 2019. On 15th April 2020 X takes another loan from XYZ for Rs 2000 in cash (the earlier loan remaining unpaid on the date)

Then since the combined loan outstanding(19,000 – 3,000 + 2,000) = 18,000 is not more than or equal to 20,000 the provisions of Sec 269SS will not be attracted even if the new loan on 15th April is taken in cash

Example (c) If X accepts a loan of Rs 10,000 in cash from Y and a deposit of Rs 15,000 in cash from Z ...then there is no violation of the provisions of Sec 269SS as the amount does not more than or equal to 20,000 from one person

Example (d) if X takes a loan of Rs 12,000 in cash from Y on 12th of Dec 2019 and accepts a further loan of Rs 9,000 from Y by Account payee cheque, Since the new loan is by a mode of prescribed there is no violation of the provisions of Sec 269SS

Example:

Mr. Rohit had borrowed a loan of Rs. 14,000 from Mr. X as on 01 .09.2018 in form of account payee cheque and the same is still payable as on 20.12.2019 amounting to Rs 18,000 (Including interest). Also he has borrowed Rs. 7,000 as Deposit in cash as on 20.12.2019, whether there is any contravention to section 269SS?

As per Section 269SS (b), as on the date of taking or accepting loan or deposit or specified sum, if there is any loan or deposit or specified sum accepted earlier is remaining unpaid then the same should be considered for Rs 20,000/- limit. In the instant case, as the amount exceeds 20,000/- (18000 + 7,000 = 25,000/-) there is a contravention

Penalty for failure to comply with section 269SS:

As per Section 271D of the Income tax act, 1961 if a person fails to comply with Section 269SS then the Joint Commissioner shall charge a sum by way of penalty equal to the amount of the loan or deposit or specified sumso taken or accepted.

Meaning of specified sum

The term ‘Specified sum‘ was added by Finance Act, 2015 w.e.f 01.06.2015 by amending the provisions of section 269SS and 269T of the Act, which means any sum of money receivable, whether as advance or otherwise in relation to transfer of immovable property irrespective of whether or not the transfer has taken place. It is without any doubt that the applicability of Section 269SS of the Act is not limited to only cash transactions relating to immovable properties which have been held as capital asset but also to those immovable properties which are not capital asset, thus, definition of ‘transfer‘ as specified in Section 2(47) cannot be said to be considered for the purposes of Section 269SS. Here, the expression ‘transfer‘ will have to be understood as under the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. Also, the term ‘Immovable Property‘ has not been defined anywhere. It does not matter whether immovable property is capital asset or stock in trade or whether it is rural agricultural land or urban land. It could be any land or any property. However, as per the second proviso to Section 269SS, where both the depositor as well as the receiver are having agricultural income and are not in receipt of any other taxable income, Section 269SS will have no application.

žNormally, as per the provisions of Section 269SS, a person cannot receive advances for sale of immovable property of Rs. 20,000 or more in cash. Any person who is found to have received advance cash of Rs. 20,000 or more in respect of consideration for sale of property would be liable to penalty under section 271 D of the Act. However, the question that arises here is whether this position would continue to apply even where the sale consideration paid as cash advance has been subjected to TDS under Section194-IA of the Act.

The proviso to sec provides ―Provided further that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any loan or deposit or specified sum, where the person from whom the loan or deposit or specified sum is taken or accepted and the person by whom the loan or deposit or specified sum is taken or accepted, are both having agricultural income and neither of them has any income chargeable to tax under this Act. It specifies that acceptance of deposit/ loan /specified sum shall not attract provisions of sec 269SS where both the parties are agriculturists and both have income below basic exemption limit

Example: Mr. Lal Singh purchased an agriculture land for Rs. 1,80,000 in cash from Mr. Nijjar Singh. Both of them are agriculturists and none of them have income exceeding the basic exemption limit. Whether sec 269SS be applicable on them and whether penalty u/s 271 D will be imposed on them?

Whether the answer will remain same if the land is other than agriculture land? Whether the answer will remain same if land is purchased for Rs. 5,00,000?

Answer: Sec 269SS deals with receipt of specified sum. Explanation to the section provides the meaning of specified sum” means any sum of money receivable, whether as advance or otherwise, in relation to transfer of an immovable property, whether or not the transfer takes place. It covers not only advance related to immoveable property, but also money received at time of transfer of property.

However, as both Mr. Lal Singh and Mr. Nijjar Singh are agriculturists and both have income below basic exemption limit, sec 269SS shall not be applicable on them. Mr. Nijjar Singh have received ‘specified sum‘ other than account payee cheque/ draft or ECS. But this will not amount to violation of sec 269SS and hence, penalty u/s 271 D shall not be imposed.

The answer would remain same even if the land is other than agriculture land because the exemption provided is not related to type of property. Rather, the exemption is for the agriculturists. Therefore, sec 269SS will not be applicable in this case.

If the consideration for the land is Rs. 5,00,000 the answer will still remain same. However, in this case sec 269ST will be applicable. Sec 269ST provides that

Provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to—

(ii) Transactions of the nature referred to in section 269SS;

Sec 269ST is not applicable on the transactions which are covered by sec 269SS. The transaction between two agriculturists who are having income below taxable limit is not covered by sec 269SS and hence sec 269ST shall be applicable on it.

As cash received by Mr. Nijjar singh exceeds Rs. 2,00,000, provisions of sec 269ST are violated. Penalty amounting to Rs. 5,00,000 shall be imposed u/s 271 DA.

Provisions of Section 269T

Mode of repayment of certain loans or deposits.

Applicability:

This section applies to all the persons i.e. individual, HUF, Company (including branch of the banking company), Partnership firm, AOP/BOI, Local authority, Co-operative society, Trust, AJP.

Provision:

The repayment, by any person, of any loan or deposit3 or specified advance 4, made with it, should not be done in any mode apart from account payee cheque or account payee bank draft drawn in the name of the person or by use of electronic clearing system through a bank account who has made the loan or deposit, if:

1. The amount of loan or deposit or specified advance along with any interest, if any payable on such loans or deposit is Rs. 20,000 or more or

2. As on the date of repayment, if there exists any other loan or deposits held by the person either in his own name or jointly with any other person, the aggregate amount of such loans or deposit together with interest, if any payable on such loans or depositis Rs. 20,000 or more or

3. In case of specified advances received by such person either in his own name or jointly with any other person, the aggregate of such specified advances along with any interest payable on such specified advances is Rs. 20,000 or more

The repayment made by a branch of a banking company or co-operative bank, of such loan / deposit, can also be made by crediting the amount to the savings bank account or to the current bank account held with the branch.

Cases where the above provisions do not apply:

The provisions of this section does not apply to in case the loan / deposit has been taken / made by the following persons:

Government;

any banking company, post office savings bank or cooperative bank;

any corporation established by a Central, State or Provincial Act;

any Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) ;

such other institution, association or body or class of institutions, associations or bodies which the Central Government may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, notify in this behalf in the Official Gazette.

Example. XYZ Ltd. had deposited of Rs. 18,500 from Mr. Arshdeep. During the previous year 2017-1 8, such deposit has become due for repayment (Interest payable Rs. 3100). XYZ Ltd repaid such amount by way of bearer cheque.

The provision of section 269T shall be made applicable if amount to be repaid (together with interest) exceeds Rs. 20,000. In this case,XYZ Ltd. had repaid Rs. 21,600 otherwise than by account cheque or draft or ECS, there is a clear violation of provisions of section 269T.

Example. XYZ Ltd had accepted deposited of Rs. 12000 from Mr. Singh on 01-05-2015 for a period of two year (Rate of interest 12% p.a. payable annually). It further accepted deposit of Rs. 15,000 (Rate of interest 10% p.a payable annually). Date of second deposit was 01-06-2016. On 01-05-2017, XYZ Ltd repaid Rs.16,800 (together with interest) towards first deposit in cash. XYZ Ltd also repaid Rs. 16,500 (together with interest) toward first deposit in cash. XYZ Ltd. also repaid Rs. 16,500 towards second deposit on 03-05-2017 in cash.

Does your answer differ in point no. (b) Above, if second deposit of Rs. 15,000 was in a joint name of Mr. & Mrs. Singh

The provision of the section 269T shall be made applicable if aggregate amount of deposits held by a person together with interest exceeds Rs.20,000 . Therefore, at the time of repayment of first deposit in cash, there is a violation of provision of section 269T since aggregate deposits together with interest exceeded Rs. 20,000.

However, there is no violation of section 269T by XYZ Ltd. at the time of repayment of second deposit in cash since neither the amount of deposit with interest nor the aggregate amount deposit held by Mr. Singh on that date together with interest exceeds the threshold limit of Rs. 20,000.

The answer will not differ because the law mentioned under section 269T is applicable even if deposits are held in joint name with other person.

Example(i) Mr. A, an individual, has deposited Rs.15,000 on 1st May, 2019 for 48 months by bearer cheque and another Rs.15,000 on 30th June, 2019 in cash to purchase a new certificate of 48 months tenure.

(ii) Mr. A has applied for premature withdrawal against both the certificates and the company has paid him Rs.16,500, by a bearer cheque, against principal and interest on 23rd March, 2020, due against his first certificate (purchased in 2019) and Rs.15,500 in cash on 25th March, 2020, against the second certificate.

Fearless General Finance & Investment Limited, a residuary non-banking company, accepts public deposits, issues deposit certificate and repays the same after some period of time alongwith interest, under different schemes run by it.

Following transactions were noted from their books of account:

Discuss the violation of income tax provision, if any, and consequential penalty for each transaction. Will it make any difference if the certificates were held jointly with Mrs. A, wife of Mr. A, while repaying back in cash or bearer cheque?

i. There is no violation of section 269SS at the time of acceptance of the first deposit of Rs.15,000 on 1.5.2019, since it is not in excess of the threshold limit of Rs.20,000. However, violation under section 269SS is attracted at the time of acceptance of the second deposit in cash on 30th June, 2019, since as on that date, there is already an outstanding deposit of Rs.15,000 and another cash deposit of Rs.15,000 would take the aggregate to Rs.30,000, which exceeds the threshold limit of Rs.20,000. Therefore, penalty under section 271 D of a sum equal to the amount of deposit taken from Mr. A is attracted for failure to comply with the provisions of section 269SS.

ii. In this case, there is a violation of the provisions of section 269T at the time of first repayment by bearer cheque on 23rd March, 2020, since on that date, the aggregate amount of deposits held by Mr. A with the non-banking company (together with interest payable on such deposits) is more than Rs.20,000. Therefore, penalty under section 271 E equal to the amount of deposit so repaid will be attracted for failure to comply with the provisions of section 269T. However, the second repayment of Rs.15,500 on 25th March, 2020 in cash cannot be considered as a violation of section 269T, since neither the amount of deposit with interest thereon nor the aggregate amount of deposits held by Mr. A on that date together with interest exceeds the threshold limit of Rs.20,000. The provisions of section 269T will be attracted even if the certificate is being held by Mr. A in joint name with his wife.

Penalty for failure to comply with section 269T:

As per Section 271E of the Income tax act, 1961 if a person fails to comply with Section 269T then the Joint Commissioner shall charge a sum by way of penalty equal to the amount of the loan or deposit or specified sum so repaid.

Example:

Mr. A holds the following accounts with ABC Ltd, a banking company:

Account 1: FD of Rs. 10,000; interest payable Rs. 1,250

Account 2: FD of Rs. 8,750 interest payable Rs. 1,120

ABC Ltd repays the amount of FD along with the applicable interest payable on such FD to Mr. A, in a mode other than account payee cheque or account payee bank draft. Will there be any contravention of the provisions of section 269T?

On a plain understanding of the section, one would assume that since only Rs. 11,250 is being paid to Mr. A.

In case of any doubt or query, readers are requested to approach the author at ca.rskalra@yahoo.com.

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