Clarification of the phrase “tax due” for the purposes of recovery in certain cases

1 Section 179 of the Income-tax Act provides that where the tax due from a private company cannot be recovered from such company, then the director (who was the director of such company during the previous year to which non-recovery relates) shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of such tax unless he proves that the non-recovery of tax cannot be attributed to any gross neglect, misfeasance or breach of duty on his part. This provision is intended to recover outstanding demand under the Income-tax Act of a private company from the directors of such company in certain cases. However, some courts have interpreted the phrase ‘tax due’, used in section 179, does not include penalty, interest and other sum payable under the Income-tax Act.

2 In view of the above, it has been clarified that for the purposes of the said section 179, the expression “tax due” includes penalty, interest or any other sum payable under the Income-tax Act. Amendment on the similar lines for clarifying the expression ‘tax due’ has also been made to the provisions of section 167C of the Income-tax Act.

3 Applicability: – These amendments take effect from 1st June, 2013.

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June 2021