Orders u/s 234E not appealable before CIT-A. Order sent over email sufficient – ITAT

Orders u/s 234E not appealable before CIT(A). Department not obliged to serve the order separately upon the assessee when available online – ITAT

 The instant appeals were filed by the assessee against the order of the CIT(A) confirming the order imposing late fees under section 234E of the Income Tax Act 1961 (the Act) for late furnishing of TDS quarterly statements/Returns.

ABCAUS Case Law Citation
ABCAUS 2374 (2018) 06 ITAT

Important Case Laws Cited/relied upon by the parties:
Rashmikant Kundalia Vs Union of India

K.G.N.M.M.W. Educational Research & Analysis Society v. Income-tax Officer
ITO v/s SG Jaheri and Company
ClT Vs Ram Mohan Kabra
Rajesh Kourani V/s Union of India
Fatheraj Singvi V/s Union of India

The assessee was a Private limited Company. The contention of the assessee was that after filing of the TDS returns, it had not received any communication from Assessing Officer (AO) TDS in respect of late fee imposed under section 234E neither any such communication came to the knowledge of the assessee prior to the notice of outstanding demand issued by DCIT (TDS).

The assessee approached the DCIT (TDS) for issue of a certified copies of the order through which the impugned demand had been created as the assessee was not aware of any such demand so that the appeal could also be filed for the same. The assessee was informed that the order was available online and can be down loaded at the end of the assessee.

The assessee downloaded the order and immediately filed the appeals before the CIT(A) claiming that the appeals were filed within time and also filed the applications for condonation of delay. The CIT(A) pointed out that when an E-mail ID had been used for filing TDS returns, the  appellant thereafter could not claim that he had not used E-mail ID at which the orders were sent. The CIT(A) rejected the contention of the appellant with regard to the reasons for delay and dismissed the appeals of the assessee holding them to be time barred. The CIT(A) also held that the demand raised under section 234E was not appealable, therefore, the appeal of the assessee was not maintainable.

The Tribunal noted that the assessee admitted having filed the TDS return/statements quarterly through online belatedly. The AO, therefore, imposed late fees under section 234E of the Act for delay in filing the quarterly TDS statements as per Section 200A of the Act.

The Tribunal observed that levy of fee under section 234E for default in furnishing statements is mandatory. No appeal had been provided against order under section 234E before CIT(A). The CIT(A) was correct in holding that order was served on the same email id which was used for filing of the return therefore there was no reason why the orders did not reach the assessee..

The ITAT opined that since the impugned orders were not appealable before CIT(A), therefore, there was no question for the income tax department to serve them separately upon the assessee when same were served online.

It was held that when the appeals are not maintainable before CIT(A), the same would also be not maintainable before the Tribunal. The Tribunal confirmed the order of CIT(A) and dismissed the appeal

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