Sunday, January 9, 2011

Supreme Court: Advance Tax payable on MAT and in default, interest u/s 234B, 234C applicable

Jt.C.I.T.,Mumbai v. M/S.Rolta India Ltd. on 7 January, 2011

Question before the Hon’ble Court: “Whether interest under Section 234B can be charged on the tax calculated on book profits under Section 115JA? In other words, whether advance tax was at all payable on book profits under Section 115JA?”

Relevant Facts: Assessee furnished a return of income on 28.11.1997 declaring total income of Rs. Nil. On 28.3.2000, an order under Section 143(3) was passed determining the total income at nil after set off of unabsorbed business loss and depreciation. The tax was levied on the book profit worked out at Rs. 1,52,61,834/- determined as per the provisions of Section 115JA. The interest under Section 234B of Rs. 39,73,167/- was charged on the tax on the book profit as worked out in the order of assessment.

Upholding the appeal of the Department, the Hon’ble Court held, inter alia that:

Para 8: “The pre-requisite condition for applicability of Section 234B is that assessee is liable to pay tax under Section 208 and the expression "assessed tax" is defined to mean the tax on the total income determined under Section 143(1) or under Section 143(3) as reduced by the amount of tax deducted or collected at source. Thus, there is no exclusion of Section 115J/115JA in the levy of interest under Section 234B. The expression "assessed tax" is defined to mean the tax assessed on regular assessment which means the tax determined on the application of Section 115J/115JA in the regular assessment.”

Para 9: “…held that Section 115JB, with which we are concerned, is a self-contained code pertaining to MAT, which imposed liability for payment of advance tax on MAT companies and, therefore, where such companies defaulted in payment of advance tax in respect of tax payable under Section 115JB, it was liable to pay interest under Sections 234B and 234C of the Act.

The decision is available here.

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