Mere placing notice on e-filing portal not in accordance with income tax provisions – ITAT

Mere placing notice on e-filing portal of Income tax not in accordance with income tax provisions – ITAT

In a recent judgment, ITAT has held that mere placing a notice on e-filing portal of Income tax not in accordance with income tax provisions

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 3933 (2024) (04) ITAT

Important Case Laws relied upon:
Munjal BSU Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship vs Commissioner of Income Tax(E)

In the instant case, the assessee had challenged the ex-parte order passed by the passed by the CIT(Exemptions) in dismissing the application for registration u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act).

Income tax notice

The ground of appeal taken by the assessee was as to whether mere uploading of notice on the e-filing portal without following the procedure established under section 282 of the Act read with Rule 127 of the Income Tax Rules, 1962 is bad in law and order, passed thereafter is liable to be set aside?

The appellant assessee was a public charitable trust and was undertaking charitable activities of social developments.

The assessee preferred an application for provisional approval under section 80G of of the Act which was allowed. Subsequently, the assessee made application of approval by filing Form No. 10AB.

The CIT(Exemption) issued notices for hearing and enquiry on four occasions requiring the assessee to furnish relevant documents/proofs to assess the genuineness of the activities of the trust.

However, the assessee did not make compliance with any of the notices, not appeared before the CIT(E). Neither any submission was filed, nor any adjournment was sought.

As a result, the CIT(E) passed an ex-parte order against the assessee dismissing the application of the assessee.

The Tribunal observed that the first two notices were uploaded on the e-filing portal of the income tax department and no intimation through electronic mode or post was made for the same.

The Tribunal further observed that last two notices were served on the email id which did not belong to the email id of the assessee. The correct email id of the assessee was mentioned in e-filing portal which was different from the email id to which last two notices had been sent. The said email id was also not mentioned on the Form No.10A or Form 10AB at the time of registration for the purpose of communication.

The Tribunal observed that the issue is covered by the order of the jurisdictional High Court wherein their Lordships have held that the provisions of section 282(1) of the Act and Rule 127(1) envisage that it is essential that before any action is taken, a communication of the notice must be in terms of these provisions; that these provisions do not make mention of communication to be “termed” by placing the notice on the e-portal of the Department; that an average view has always to be adopted in these circumstances ; that an assessee is not expected to keep the e-filing portal open all the time to know what the department is doing and that the principles of natural justice are inherent in income tax provisions and the same are required to be necessarily followed.

In view of the above, the Tribunal opined that the assessee was not offered proper and reasonable opportunity of being heard.

Accordingly, the Tribunal restored the matter to the file of CIT(E) to decide the matter afresh after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the assessee.

Download Full Judgment ABCAUS 3933 (2024) (04) ITAT Click Here >>

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