No question to supply reasons recorded for reopening unless return is filed u/s 148 – ITAT

No question to supply reasons recorded unless return is filed u/s 148. ITAT dismissed the ground never raised before the authorities below

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 3086 (2019) (07) ITAT

Important Case Laws Cited/relied upon by the parties:
Union of India & Others vs. Rai Singh Deb Singh Bist & Another [1973] 88 ITR 200 (SC)
Vardhman Holdings Ltd., vs. AC, Ludhiana 158 ITD 843
CIT vs. V. Ramaiah [2019] 262 Taxman 16
Pr. CIT vs. V. Ramaiah 409 ITR 580

The instant appeal by the Assessee was directed against the Order of the CIT(A)

Notice under section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act) was issued to the assessee on the basis of information obtained from DIT (Inv).

During the course of reassessment proceedings, perusal of statement of affairs filed by the assessee had revealed that the assessee had made investment in plot. Regarding source of the same it was stated that the said amount was paid out of cash deposits in saving bank account.

Regarding source of the same, the assessee had stated that he had received the cash as gift from his deceased mother. However, no evidence thereof could be furnished to establish the genuineness of the transaction and creditworthiness of the donor.

In absence of the same, the Assessing Officer (AO) treated the investment as unexplained and the same was added as income under section 69 of the Act.  

The above addition was challenged before the CIT(A). The assessee explained that assessee’s mother was around 85 years old sick lady. Being a house wife she was not having any bank accounts and was dealing mainly in cash. Regarding creditworthiness of donor it was submitted that assessee’s mother had sold lands by cash. Copy of the Sale Agreement and GPA were filed. It was also stated that the assessee’s real brother had also paid cash to his mother out of sale of plot.

However CIT(A) by making detailed observations dismissed the appeal.

Before the Tribunal, the assessee challenged the assessment order to be invalid and bad in law on the ground that copy of the reasons for reopening of the assessment under section 148 had not been provided to assessee.

The Revenue contended that copy of the reasons under section 148 were supplied to assessee. The assessee never objected before A.O. and CIT(A) that no reasons had been supplied to the assessee which clearly suggested that it was an afterthought and same could not be considered. Letters of the assessee on record also did not say anything if no reasons had been supplied to the assessee.

The Tribunal observed that from the copies of the letters of the assessee filed before A.O. it was evident that the assessee had never stated before A.O. or later on CIT(A) that reasons under section 148 had not been supplied to the assessee. Further, the assessee was unable to prove if assessee filed any return of income in response to notice under section 148 of the Act.

Therefore, the Tribunal stated that there was no question for the AO to supply reasons to the assessee unless return was filed. Further, this issue was never raised before the authorities below and no material had been produced in support of the ground so agitated for the first time before the Tribunal.

The Tribunal noted that the record produced by the Revenue showed that on the first date of the order sheet, reasons had been recorded. Thereafter, Counsel for Assessee appeared time to time and filed the details. The assessee never agitated before A.O. that no copy of the reasons had been supplied to the assessee.

The Tribunal opined that in the absence of any material from the side of the assessee, no interference was called for in the matter and the relevant ground of the appeal was dismissed.

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