ITAT| Disallowance under Section 40(a)(ia) IT Act not to remain in force if the IT Return reflects the transaction

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Mumbai: Explaining the law on disallowance u/s.40(a)(ia), the Tribunal has said that if the payees have included the subject mentioned transaction in their income tax returns, then the assessee payer should not be treated as assessee in default and disallowance u/s.40(a)(ia) of the Act should be deleted in its hands. It further stated,

“IF the subject mentioned transaction is not reflected in the income tax returns of the payees, then disallowance made in the hands of the assessee u/s 40(a)(ia) of the Act would remain in force.”

The Tribunal was dealing with a case pertaining to Tax Deduction at Sources and held that the advertisement charges paid to an agency which is a franchisee of a newspaper would attract TDS under Section 194 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

The Tribunal held that any amount paid as a consideration for carrying out any work is liable for deduction of Tax at Source.

Background

The Assessee was in the business of import eye testing equipment mainly from M/s. Topcon Asia Pvt. Ltd., Singapore and selling them to eye doctors, eye hospitals, medical colleges etc., all over India. The Assessee also procured maintenance contracts, brake-down jobs, and other services to the customer through its engineers.

The Assessee made a one-time payment to the franchisee of “The Hindu” newspaper for advertising for hiring staff . It was argued that it was a one-time payment and no contract exist with the newspaper and accordingly, the provisions of Section 194C of the Act would not be applicable.

On Scrutiny, the Assession Officer disallowed the payment made u/s. 40(a)(ia) by the Assessee on account of advertisement expenses incurred without deduction of tax at source. The Order passed by the AO was upheld the CIT(A). Being aggrieved by the decision of the CIT(A) the Assessee preferred an Appeal before the ITAT.

Issue

Whether the CIT(A) was justified in confirming the disallowance made u/s 40(a)(ia) of the Act for an amount of Rs. 56,997/- on account of advertisement expenses without deduction of tax at source?

Finding

The ITAT was pleased to hold that the any Assessee who is responsible for paying any sum to any resident for carrying out any work in pursuance of a contract shall deduct tax at source thereon.

Further, in the present case the Assessee was responsible for paying the sum to the franchise as consideration for publishing the advertisement and therefore It was held that all the ingredients of Section 194C were fulfilled. Hence, it was held that the Assessee is liable for deduction of Tax at Source.

[Mehra Eyetech Pvt. Ltd. v. Add. Commissioner of Income Tax,  ITA No. 1760/Mum/2019,decided On 13.07.2020]

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