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Supreme Court Quarterly Digest 2022 - TAX (Jan - Mar)

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
31 May 2022 5:34 AM GMT
Supreme Court Quarterly Digest 2022 - TAX (Jan - Mar)
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Constitution of India, 1950 - Levy of Excise Duty - State Legislature has no authority to levy duty or tax on alcohol, which is not for human consumption as that could be levied only by the Centre - State only empowered to levy excise duty on alcoholic liquor for human consumption. State of Orissa v. Utkal Distilleries Ltd; 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 240 Constitution of India, 1950; Article 226...

Constitution of India, 1950 - Levy of Excise Duty - State Legislature has no authority to levy duty or tax on alcohol, which is not for human consumption as that could be levied only by the Centre - State only empowered to levy excise duty on alcoholic liquor for human consumption. State of Orissa v. Utkal Distilleries Ltd; 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 240

Constitution of India, 1950; Article 226 - Appeal against Bombay HC judgments dismissing writ petitions reopening of the assessment/re-assessment proceedings under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act - Allowed - Orders are bereft of reasoning as diverse grounds were urged/raised by the parties which ought to have been examined by the High Court in the first place and a clear finding was required to be recorded upon analysing the relevant documents - Remanded. Vishal Ashwin Patel v. Assistant Commissioner, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 322

Constitution of India, 1950; Entry 34,62 List II & Entry 40 of List I of Seventh Schedule - 'Lotteries' is a species of gambling activity and hence within the ambit of 'betting and gambling' as appearing in Entry 34 List II - It is only lotteries organised by the Government of India or the Government of State in terms of Entry 40 of List I which are excluded from Entry 34 of List II - If lotteries are conducted by private parties or by instrumentalities or agencies authorized, by Government of India or the Government of State, it would come within the scope and ambit of Entry 34 of List II - The State Legislatures have the power to tax lotteries under Entry 62 of List II. (Para 124) State of Karnataka v. State of Meghalaya, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 309

Doctrine of promissory estoppel - In taxing matters, the doctrine of promissory estoppel as such is not applicable and the Revenue can take a position different from its earlier stand in a case with established distinguishing features. (Para 20.3) State of Gujarat v. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 79

General Sales Tax Act, 1963 (Kerala) - The surcharge on sales tax levied by the said Act is nothing but an increase of the basic sales tax levied under Section 5(1) of the KGST Act, as such the surcharge is nothing but a sales tax- A surcharge on a tax is nothing but the enhancement of the tax. (Para 14.4) Kerala State Beverages Manufacturing & Marketing Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax Circle 1(1), 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 4

Goods and Services Tax - Non-extension of e-way bill would not automatically amount to evasion of tax, especially when the non-delivery of goods within the validity period of the e-way bill was due to external factors, like, traffic blockage. Asst. Commissioner v. Satyam Shivam Papers, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 87

Income Tax Act, 1961 - Appeal against Gujarat High Court judgment extending the immunity under the "Income Declaration Scheme" (IDS) to an assessee who was not the declarant under the scheme - Allowed - The High Court fell into error, in holding that the sequitur to a declaration under the IDS can lead to immunity (from taxation) in the hands of a non-declarant. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax v. MR Shah Logistics, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 323

Income Tax Act, 1961 - Kerala General Sales Tax Act, 1963 - Surcharge or tax were never intended to be included in the net of amended Section 40(a)(iib)(A) or 40(a)(iib)(B) of the Income­tax Act, 1961. (Para 14.5) Kerala State Beverages Manufacturing & Marketing Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax Circle 1(1), 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 4

Income Tax Act, 1961 - Section 37(1) - Explanation 1 contains within its ambit all such activities which are illegal/prohibited by law and/or punishable. (Para 17) Apex Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 195

Income Tax Act, 1961 - Section 37(1) - Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 - Pharmaceutical companies' gifting freebies to doctors, etc. is clearly "prohibited by law", and not allowed to be claimed as a deduction under Section 37(1) - When acceptance of freebies is punishable by the MCI, pharmaceutical companies cannot be granted the tax benefit for providing such freebies, and thereby (actively and with full knowledge) enabling the commission of the act which attracts such opprobrium. (Para 33, 22) Apex Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 195

Income Tax Act, 1961 - Section 37(1) - Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 - Denial of the tax benefit cannot be construed as penalizing the assessee pharmaceutical company. Only its participation in what is plainly an action prohibited by law, precludes the assessee from claiming it as a deductible expenditure. (Para 27) Apex Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 195

Income Tax Act, 1961 - The 'fee' or 'charge' as mentioned in Section 40(a)(iib) is clear in terms and that will take in only 'fee' or 'charge' as mentioned therein or any fee or charge by whatever name called, but cannot cover tax or surcharge on tax and such taxes are outside the scope and ambit of Section 40(a)(iib)(A) and Section 40(a)(iib)(B) of the Act. (Para 14.3) Kerala State Beverages Manufacturing & Marketing Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax Circle 1(1), 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 4

Income Tax Act, 1961 - The aspect of 'exclusivity' under Section 40(a)(iib) has to be viewed from the nature of undertaking on which levy is imposed and not on the number of undertakings on which the levy is imposed- Exclusivity is to be considered with reference to nature of licence and not on number of State owned Undertakings. (Para 14.2) Kerala State Beverages Manufacturing & Marketing Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax Circle 1(1), 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 4

Income Tax Act, 1961 - The surcharge on sales tax and turnover tax, is not a fee or charge coming within the scope of Section 40(a)(iib)(A) or 40(a)(iib)(B), as such same is not an amount which can be disallowed under the said provision. (Para 16) Kerala State Beverages Manufacturing & Marketing Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax Circle 1(1), 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 4

Income Tax Act, 1961 - Turnover tax is also outside the purview of Section 40(a) (iib)(A) and 40(a)(iib)(B). (Para 15) Kerala State Beverages Manufacturing & Marketing Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax Circle 1(1), 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 4

Income Tax Act, 1961; Section 194A(1) - Any person who is responsible for paying to a resident any income by way of interest shall at the time of credit of such income to the account of the payee or at the time of payment thereof in cash/cheque or draft whichever is earlier deduct income tax thereon at the rates in force - the Union Bank of India did not deduct TDS at source while paying interest to Agra Development Authority, but subsequently deducted and deposited the same within the financial year. Union Bank of India v. Additional Commissioner of Income Tax (TDS), 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 278

Income Tax Act, 1961; Section 194A(3)(iii)(f) - Provided for exemption from mandate of Section 194A(1), inter alia, for paying interest to such corporations as notified by the Central Government - Central Government vide notification dated 22.10.1970 notified corporation established by a statute for the purpose of exemption - Applying the same principle as in Commissioner of Income Tax (TDS) Kanpur And Anr. v. Canara Bank (2018) 9 SCC 322, the Apex Court permitted Agra Development Authority to be considered as a corporation established by a statute - Therefore, Union Bank of India was eligible for the exemption. Union Bank of India v. Additional Commissioner of Income Tax (TDS), 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 278

Interpretation of Statute - Taxation Statutes - Exemption Notifications - The exemption notification should not be liberally construed and beneficiary must fall within the ambit of the exemption and fulfill the conditions thereof. In case such conditions are not fulfilled, the issue of application of the notification does not arise at all by implication - The notification has to be read as a whole. An exception and/or an exempting provision in a taxing statute should be construed strictly and given a meaning according to legislative intendment - It is not open to the court to ignore the conditions prescribed in the relevant policy and the exemption notifications issued in that regard.The Statutory provisions providing for exemption have to be interpreted in light of the words employed in them and there cannot be any addition or subtraction from the statutory provisions. (Para 8.1 - 8.3) Krishi Upaj Mandi Samiti v. Commissioner, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 203

Interpretation of Statutes - Taxation - Exemption Entry - When the exemption Entry is clear and unambiguous, no external aid for interpretation is called for, whether in the form of Budget speech or any other notification under any other enactment. (Para 11) Authority for Clarification and Advance Ruling v. Aakavi Spinning Mills (P) Ltd., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 191

Interpretation of Statutes - Taxation Statutes - In the taxing statute, it is the plain language of the provision that has to be preferred, where language is plain and is capable of determining defined meaning. Strict interpretation to the provision is to be accorded to each case on hand. Purposive interpretation can be given only when there is an ambiguity in the statutory provision or it alleges to absurd results. (Para 14.3) State of Gujarat v. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 79

Interpretation of Statutes - Taxation Statutes - The exemption notification should be strictly construed and given meaning according to legislative intendment. The Statutory provisions providing for exemption have to be interpreted in the light of the words employed in them and there cannot be any addition or subtraction from the statutory provisions. (Para 14.3) State of Gujarat v. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 79

Interpretation of Statutes - Taxation Statutes - The notification has to be read as a whole. If any of the conditions laid down in the notification is not fulfilled, the party is not entitled to the benefit of that notification. An exception and/or an exempting provision in a taxing statute should be construed strictly and it is not open to the court to ignore the conditions prescribed in industrial policy and the exemption notifications. (Para 14.2) State of Gujarat v. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 79

Interpretation of Statutes - Taxation Statutes - The principle that construction favourable to the assessee should be adopted shall not be applicable to construction of an exemption notification, if it is clear and not ambiguous. Thus, it will be for the assessee to show that he comes within the purview of the notification. Eligibility clause in relation to exemption notification must be given effect to as per the language and not to expand the scope deviating from the language. (Para 14.6) State of Gujarat v. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 79

Interpretation of Statutes - Taxation Statutes - There is a vast difference and distinction between a charging provision in a fiscal statute and an exemption notification. (Para 14.6) State of Gujarat v. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 79

Interpretation of Statutes - Taxation Statutes - While the exemption notification should be liberally construed, beneficiary must fall within the ambit of the exemption and fulfill the conditions thereof. In case such conditions are not fulfilled, the issue of application of the notification does not arise. (Para 14.1) State of Gujarat v. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 79

Interpretation of Statutes - Taxing Statutes - Principle of interpretation of taxing statutes – that they need to be interpreted strictly – cannot sustain when it results in an absurdity contrary to the intentions of the Parliament. (Para 33) Apex Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 195

Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997 (U.P.) - Section 9 - The requirement under law is to first pay the tax in advance as provided under Section 9 and thereafter to use the vehicle - It is 'pay the tax and use' and not 'use and pay the tax'. (Para 9) Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 198

Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997 (U.P.) - Sections 2(g), 2(h), 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 20A - A financier of a motor vehicle/transport vehicle in respect of which a hire -purchase or lease or hypothecation agreement has been entered, is liable to tax from the date of taking possession of the said vehicle under the said agreement. (Para 12) Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 198

Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997 (U.P.) - Sections 2(g), 2(h), 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 20A - If, after the payment of tax, the vehicle is not used for a month or more, then such an owner may apply for refund under Section 12 of the Act, 1997 and has to comply with all the requirements for seeking the refund as mentioned in Section 12, and 26 on fulfilling and/or complying with all the conditions mentioned in Section 12(1), he may get the refund to the extent provided in sub -section (1) of Section 12, as even under Section 12(1), the owner / operator shall not be entitled to the full refund but shall be entitled to the refund of an amount equal to one -third of the rate of quarterly tax or one twelfth of the yearly tax, as the case may be, payable in respect of such vehicle for each thirty days of such period for which such tax has been paid. However, only in a case, which falls under sub -section (2) of Section 12 and subject to surrender of the necessary documents as mentioned in sub -section (2) of Section 12, the liability to pay the tax shall not arise, otherwise the liability to pay the tax by such owner/operator shall continue. (Para 12) Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 198

Service Tax - Whether contract is for job work or for supply of manpower - Agreement has to be read as a composite whole - In this case, though ostensibly, the agreement contains a provision for payment on the basis of the rates mentioned in Schedule II, the agreement has to be read as a composite whole. On reading the agreement as a whole, it is apparent that the contract is pure and simple a contract for the provision of contract labour. An attempt has been made to camouflage the contract as a contract for job work to avail of the exemption from the payment of service tax. The judgment of the Tribunal does not, in the circumstances, suffer from any error of reasoning. (Para 17) Adiraj Manpower Services Pvt. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Central Excise Pune II, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 190

Tax on Paper Lotteries Act, 2005 (Kerala) - Tax on Lotteries Act, 2004 (Karnataka) - Constitutional Validity upheld - Karnataka and Kerala State Legislatures possessed legislative competence to enact such Acts. (Para 124) State of Karnataka v. State of Meghalaya, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 309

Value Added Tax Act, 2006 (Tamil Nadu) - Entry 44 of Part B of the Fourth Schedule - Hank Yarn - When the Entry in question specifically provides for exemption to the goods described as "Hank Yarn" without any ambiguity or qualification, its import cannot be restricted by describing it as being available only for the hank form of one raw material like cotton nor could it be restricted with reference to its user industry - Entry in question is clear, direct and unambiguous. (Para 11 -12) Authority for Clarification and Advance Ruling v. Aakavi Spinning Mills (P) Ltd., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 191


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