Yes, in certain case even if assessee received money through proper banking channels still it may attract tax @ 82.50% if assessee could not explain its source, identity and creditworthiness etc of the lender/giver of the amount to the satisfaction of Assessing Officer (the “AO”). It is worth noting here that transaction through banking channels only is not sufficient to prove the genuineness of the transactions.
The provisions relating to tax treatment of cash credit are given in section 68. As per section 68, any sum found credited in the books of a taxpayer, for which he offers no explanation about the nature and source thereof or the explanation offered by him is not, in the opinion of the Assessing Officer, satisfactory, may be charged to income-tax as the income of the taxpayer for that year.
In case of a taxpayer being a closely held company (i.e., not being a company in which the public are substantially interested), if the sum so credited consists of share application money, share capital, share premium or any such amount by whatever name called, any explanation offered by such company shall be deemed to be not satisfactory, unless:
(a) the person, being a resident in whose name such credit is recorded in the books of such company, also offers an explanation about the nature and source of such sum so credited; and
(b) such explanation in the opinion of the Assessing Officer has been found to be satisfactory.
Section 115BBE as reproduced below for better understanding:-
“(1) Where the total income of an assessee,— (a) includes any income referred to in section 68, section 69, section 69A, section 69B, section 69C or section 69D and reflected in the return of income furnished under section 139; or
(b) determined by the Assessing Officer includes any income referred to in section 68, section 69, section 69A, section 69B, section 69C or section 69D, if such income is not covered under clause (a), the income-tax payable shall be the aggregate of—
(i) the amount of income-tax calculated on the income referred to in clause (a) and clause (b), at the rate of sixty per cent.; and
(ii) the amount of income-tax with which the assessee would have been chargeable had his total income been reduced by the amount of income referred to in clause (i).
From the above extract, it is clear that once AO makes addition under section 68, section 69, section 69A, section 69B, section 69C or section 69D tax will be payable at 60% of the addition made without deduction of any expenditure or allowance. In addition to this surcharge at the rate 25% of such tax i:e 15% is leviable. This makes effective tax rate @ 75%. Further, section 271AAC is a penalty section which is reproduced as under:-
“271AAC. (1) The Assessing Officer may, notwithstanding anything contained in this act other than the provisions of section 271AAB, direct that, in a case where the income determined includes any income referred to in section 68, section 69, section 69A, section 69B, section 69C or section 69D for any previous year, the assessee shall pay by way of penalty, in addition to tax payable under section 115BBE, a sum computed at the rate of ten per cent.of the tax payable under clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 115BBE:
It means penalty is automatic once AO determines income referred to in section 115BBE, penalty @ 10% of tax payable in addition to tax (including surcharged) of 75% i:e 7.50%. Hence, total tax works out to be 82.50% of addition made under aforesaid section.
In case assessee receive share application money from subscribers of shares, the assessee has to prove the genuineness of the transaction, the identity of the subscribers, and creditworthiness of the subscriber even if the amount is received through proper banking channels. In case the assessee is unable to prove subscribers’ identity or genuineness or creditworthiness to the satisfaction of AO such share application money received could be taxed @ 75% plus penalty.
Suppose Mr. A running a proprietor firm received interest bearing unsecured loan from any person that may be from relative, company, partnership firm, or from NBFC’s. Unsecured loan taken through proper banking channels still Mr, A has to prove the genuineness of the transaction, the identity of the subscribers, and creditworthiness of the lender. There are some genuine cases in which lender could not be traced, or was not able to give sufficient evidence in favor of the borrower in that case unsecured loan received could be taxed at 75% plus penalty.
Satisfaction of AO is very much subjective and at the discretion of AO. There are absolutely no guidelines given by the CBDT in this respect what will constitute satisfaction to the AO and what document is sufficient to prove transaction as genuine. However, various courts have held that no addition could be made on account of unexplained credit under section 68 if assessee proves the genuineness of the transaction, the identity of the subscribers, and creditworthiness of the subscriber. However, still, AO may exercise discretion and may not accept it. As stated above there is no guidelines given by the CBDT in this respect what will constitute satisfaction to AO.
Evasion of taxes deprives the nation of critical resources which could enable the Government to undertake anti-poverty and development programs. It also puts a disproportionate burden on the honest taxpayers who have to bear the brunt of higher taxes to make up for the revenue leakage. As a step forward to curb black money, bank notes of existing series of the denomination of the value of five hundred rupees and one thousand rupees (hereinafter referred to as specified bank notes) issued by the Reserve Bank of India have been ceased to be legal tender with effect from the 9th November 2016.
From the above statement, it is clear that the rational is to curb the practice of unaccounted money into white. But it will cover any amount received by assessee even if it is received through proper banking channels which may attract tax @ 82.50 % in the certain case, as discussed above.
The article is written by CA. Rahul Sureka, FCA, CS, LLB and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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(Republished with Amendments by Team Taxguru)