Monday, December 10, 2012

Huge profits and lack of govt. grants took away Sec. 10(23C) exemptions of an educational institute

The assessee was a registered society formed by Govt. of Madhya Pradesh for promotion and development of open school system in the State. It had claimed exemption under section 10(23C)(iiiab). During assessment proceedings, the AO opined that the assessee was systematically generating profits, thus, it couldn’t be regarding as existing for the benefit of public at large. Accordingly, the exemption was denied by AO for impugned assessment years. On appeal, the CIT(A) affirmed the stand of the AO.

On further appeal, the Tribunal held in favour of revenue as under:

1) Only the application of income as required under the Act and the predominant objects have to be kept in mind while granting or refusing exemption under section 10(23C);

2) Sec. 10(23C)(iiiab) speaks about any educational institution which is solely existing for educational purposes and not for profit and at the same time, which is wholly or substantially financed by the Government;

3) As per the data furnished, there was huge profit generated by the assessee which clearly established the profit motive of the assessee;

4) As regards the condition of wholly and substantially financed by the Govt., it was found that only in one year the Government had given some grant to assessee;

5) In respect to government grant, the word “wholly or substantially” used in the aforesaid section, means that, either it can be 100% or nearly to 100% but in any case may not be less than 75% because it has been used with the word wholly and not singularly; and

6) Moreover, the assessee’s case couldn’t be covered under Section 10(23C)(iiiad) as it was found that the surplus generated by the assessee was in crores which indicated that a huge abnormal profit had been earned by the assessee.

In view of the above, it was held that there was no infirmity in the conclusion drawn by the lower authorities to deny section 10(23C) exemption - m.p. rajya open school v. dcit [2012] 28 29

ITAT accepts lacuna in law as sec. 41(1) doesn’t tax depreciation claim if capital loan is waived off by lender

The assessee purchased a depreciable asset for which it took loan of same amount from a group company. Subsequently, parent company waived off the loan, which was shown as capital receipt by the assessee in its financial statements, without adjusting the book value of such asset. During assessment, the AO reduced the WDV of the asset to the extent of waived off loan and disallowed the claim for differential depreciation amount pertaining to the period when such loan was waived off and for the subsequent years.

On appeal, the Tribunal held in favour of assessee as under:

1) Since there was no sale or destruction of any assets comprising the block of assets, provisions of Section 43(6)(c)(i)(B) could not be invoked on ground of waiver of loan;

2) Further, concept of 'actual cost' as defined under section 43(1) could be applied only in year of purchase of assets. Therefore, the actual cost of asset recorded in the year of purchase could not be disturbed in the year of waiver;

3) In that regard there was a lacuna, in law, inasmuch as on one hand assessee got waiver of monies payable on purchase of machinery and claimed such receipt to be not taxable in view of it being a capital receipt and on other hand assessee claimed depreciation on value of machinery for which it did not incur any cost.

In view of above, it was held that under law revenue had no remedy and, therefore, disallowance of depreciation could not be sustained - Akzo Nobel Coatings India (P.) Ltd. v. DCIT [2012] 28 82 (Bangalore - Trib.)