Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sec. 54F stipulates deposit of unutilized sum within due date specified under sec. 139(1) and not sec. 139(4)


'Due date' mentioned under section 54F is due date for filing return under section 139(1) and not under section 139(4).

Facts:

a)The assessee had claimed exemption under section 54F. The Assessing Officer held that the assessee had not deposited the unutilized sale consideration in the capital gain account scheme within the due date for filing the return of income under section 139(1). He accordingly, denied section 54F benefit to the assessee.

b)On appeal, the CIT(A) allowed Section 54F exemption to the assessee. The aggrieved-revenue filed the instant appeal.

c)Thus, the question that arose for consideration of the Tribunal was: Whether Section 54F provided for deposit of unutilized gains within due date specified under Section 139(1) and not under Section 139(4)?

The Tribunal held as under:

1)The Section 54F provides that the assessee is entitled to exemption in case he/she constructs a residential house within a period of three years after the sale of the capital asset. However, sub-clause (4) of section 54F provides that the unutilized portion of the net sale consideration shall be deposited in the capital gain account scheme within the period of due date for filing return of income under section 139.

2)The Apex Court in case of Prakash Nath Khanna v. CIT [2004] 135 Taxman 327 (SC), had an occasion to interpret the term ‘due date’ provided under Section 54F and it held that due date means the due date for filing the return under section 139(1) and not under section 139(4);

3)When the Legislature had specifically referred only to section 139(1) and omitted to refer to section 139(4) in Section 54F, making a reference to section 139(4) was not proper;

4)Thus, the case to be reconsidered by the AO in the light of the judgment of the Apex Court (Supra). Accordingly, the orders of the lower authorities were to be set aside and the issue of exemption under section 54F was to be restored to the file of the AO. – ITO V. SMT. ROSAMMA KORAH [2014] 45 taxmann.com 153 (Cochin - Trib.)
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