Appeal delay condonation-oversight due to election duty. CIT(A) did not find facts false, appellant did not stand to gain by filing belated appeal- ITAT
ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 1203 (2017) (04) ITAT
The Ground of Appeal:
The Appellant was aggrieved by the order passed by the CIT(A) by rejecting the appeal of the assessee and not condoning the delay in filing of the appeal.
Assessment Year : 2008-09
Date/Month of Pronouncement: April, 2017
Brief Facts of the Case:
The appellant was District Inspector of Schools (DIOS). The salaries of teaching and non teaching staff of the Government schools and Government affiliated schools were paid through banks and banks were paid service charges for the services rendered by them.
The funds were given to the banks for the purpose of paying salaries by the Govt. of the State and placed at the disposal of DIOS who disbursed the salary through the bank. Since banks were paid service charges for their services, the Revenue was of the view that the DIOS was bound to deduct tax at source (TDS) on the service charges paid to the banks u/s 194H of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘the Act’).
According to the Revenue the service charges were in the nature of commission and therefore the appellant herein was bound to deduct tax at source while making payment to the banks. Accordingly, order u/s 201(1) and 201(1A) of the Act holding the assessee in default for non deduction of tax at source and interest on tax on non deduction was passed by the Assessing Officer (‘the AO’).
Against the said order the appellant filed an appeal before CIT(A). However, there was a delay of three months and 10 days in filing the appeal. The assessee explained the reasons for the delay in filing the appeal. It was explained that the order of the AO was placed with the dealing assistant in law cell for further action. In the meantime the assessee had to participate in the State Assembly Election and in that occasion was sent for training. The order of AO was misplaced and because of the State Assembly Election duties the assessee lost sight of the matter. However, on receipt of the notice of demand from the AO the assessee contacted a tax consultant and filed the appeal.
However, the explanation of the assessee was not accepted by CIT(A). According to CIT(A) the reasons mentioned by the assessee could not be said to be reasons beyond control of the assessee. CIT(A) accordingly refused to condone the delay in filing the appeal.
Aggrieved by the order of CIT(A) the appellant had filed the present appeal before the Tribunal.
Observations made by the Tribunal:
The ITAT opined that the delay in filing the appeal ought to have been condoned by CIT(A).
The Tribunal observed that:
1. The facts stated in the application for condonation of delay had not been considered false by CIT(A).
2. The approach of the CIT that the appellant was careless and was not bothered about legal obligation was not proper.
3. The appellant did not stand to gain by filing the appeal belatedly.
4. It could not be said that there was any malafide intention in filing the appeal belatedly.
The Tribunal was of the view that the reasons given by the appellant for filing the appeal belatedly before CIT(A), made out a sufficient cause for the delay.
The ITAT condoned the delay in filing the appeal before CIT(A) and directed CIT(A) to decide the appeal of the assessee on merits after affording the assessee opportunity of being heard.