Thursday, November 1, 2012

Assessee escaped penalty for delay in filing e-TDS return on reasoning that he was new to this stuff

In the instant case, for the relevant assessment year, the assessee had not filed the E-TDS returns within the specified time and, thus, AO levied the penalty under Section 272A(2). Aggrieved by the order of AO, assessee preferred an appeal to the CIT(A), which  confirmed the penalty order passed by AO.

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

1) The delay in filing the returns, even if they are characterized as negligence on the part of the assessee, can only be considered as a technical or venial breach of law for which penalty should not be levied automatically;

2) The requirement of filing Form No. 24Q was new one for the assessee being the first year of filing such return and, moreover, there was no dispute about the fact that the tax had been deducted by the assessee; and

3) As held by the ITAT Mumbai Bench in the case of Royal Metal Printers (P.) Ltd.v.ACIT [2010] 37 SOT 139, for such technical or venial breach supported by reasonable cause, penalty under Section 272A(2) is not leviable.

Therefore, the impugned penalty order was cancelled - UNION BANK OF INDIA V. ACIT [2012] 26 347 (Agra - Trib.)

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