Thursday, February 19, 2015

ITAT denies to condone delay on basis of vague affidavit of CA; raises questions on his work ethics


Assessee could not plead for condoning delay in filing appeal on basis of vague affidavit of his CA. Such conduce of CA raises serious questions on his professional competence and work ethics.

Facts:


a)Assessee filed application before ITAT for condonding delay of 347 days in filing of appeal. It contended that appeal was not filed within stipulated time due to negligence of CA and, thus,it should not suffer due to the mistakes committed by his CA.

b)The assessee referred to the affidavit of concerned CA wherein it was mentioned that: “I kept the order with me for filing the appeal before ITAT. In the meanwhile, I went to NAGAUR for bank audit. When I returned back from bank audit, the filing of appeal before ITAT skipped from my mind and papers were filed in my record.”

c)The revenue on the other side opposed the condonationplea of assesseeon following basis:

Assessments resulted in huge additions and imposed heavy demand of tax and interest on assessee. This was a seriousmatter, which in normal circumstances would require frequent meetingsand consultations between assessee and the counsel to analyze the issues. Therefore, the theory of the assesse was vague as such matters could not be left go on forgot attitude of the CA.

It was surprising that neither anyoffice assistant from the office of C.A. nor assessee reminded CAabout non-filing of such important and high demand appeals.

The ITAT dismissed condonationplea on following grounds:

1)It was unbelievable that an assessee, who was assessed at a high income resulting in a huge tax and interest demand, had not visited the CA office almost for a period of about one year to know about the filing of the appeals.

2)There was no deposition in the affidavit that prior to TRO notice, no other notice by way of telephone or writing wasreceived either by assessee or the C.A. Thus, the depositions in affidavitremain vague, unsubstantiated and do not amount to explaining the sufficient cause.

3)The affidavit and cavalier conduct of CA raises serious questions on his professional competence and work ethics in giving such an affidavit which hides more than it explains. - K.G.N.M.M.W. EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH & ANALYSIS SOCIETY V. ITO [2015] 54 taxmann.com 329 (Jaipur - Trib.)
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