No penalty u/s 271F as due to mistake of DDO wrong PAN was mentioned in 26AS and assessee was precluded from filing the return of income – ITAT
ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 3808 (2023) (09) ITAT
The appellant assessee had not filed his return of income. The assessment was completed u/s 144 of the Act and Penalty proceedings u/s 271F of the Act were separately initiated.
Thereafter, the AO, after giving opportunity to the assessee, imposed a penalty of Rs.5,000/- u/s 271F of the Act.
Aggrieved against this, the assessee preferred appeal before the CIT(A) who also sustained the penalty.
Before the Tribunal, the assessee argued that the authorities below were not justified in imposing the penalty and sustaining the same. He contended that there was reasonable cause for not filing the return of income.
It was submitted that he was a government employee and had given correct PAN to the Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO). However, due to the mistake of the DDO, the assessee could not file his return in time. Therefore, the penalty was not sustainable.
The Tribunal observed that the assessee had categorically stated that owing to the mistake by the Drawing and Disbursing Officer, the PAN was not correctly mentioned in 26AS and the necessary correction was not made despite requests made by the assessee.
The Tribunal further noted that the Income Tax authorities had not adverted to this submission of the assessee and verified the correctness of the claim of the assessee
that DDO had committed a mistake.
The Tribunal opined that in view of the facts, on account of non-availability of correct data, the assessee was precluded from filing the return of income which was a reasonable cause for not filing the income-tax return as envisaged u/s 139 of the Act and the default was bona fide.
Accordingly, the AO was directed to delete the penalty.
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