Original assessment can be re-assessed because of change of opinion?

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Original assessment can be re-assessed because of change of opinion?

INCOME TAX OFFICER vs. TECHSPAN INDIA PRIVATE LTD. & ANR.

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

ISSUE

Whether original assessment can be re-assessed merely because of change of opinion?

HELD

Controversy in this case is with regard to the deduction under Section 10A of the IT Act which was allegedly allowed in excess. The show cause notice dated 10.02.2005 reflects the ground for re-assessment in the present case, that is, the deduction allowed in excess under Section 10A and, therefore, the income has escaped assessment to the tune of Rs. 57,36,811. In the order in question dated 17.08.2005, the reason purportedly given for rejecting the objections was that the assessee was not maintaining any separate books of accounts for the two categories, i.e., software development and human resource development, on which it has declared income separately.

 However, a bare perusal of notice dated 09.03.2004 which was issued in the original assessment proceedings under Section 143 makes it clear that the point on which the re-assessment proceedings were initiated, was well considered in the original proceedings.

In fact, the very basis of issuing the show cause notice dated 09.03.2004 was that the assessee was not maintaining any separate books of account for the said two categories and the details filed do not reveal proportional allocation of common expenses be made to these categories. Even the said show cause notice suggested how proportional allocation should be done. All these things leads to an unavoidable conclusion that the question as to how and to what extent deduction should be allowed under Section 10A of the IT Act was well considered in the original assessment proceedings itself.

Hence, initiation of the re-assessment proceedings under Section 147 by issuing a notice under Section 148 merely because of the fact that now the Assessing Officer is of the view that the deduction under Section 10A was allowed in excess, was based on nothing but a change of opinion on the same facts and circumstances which were already in his knowledge even during the original assessment proceedings.

CONCLUSION

Re-assessment proceedings u/s 147 could not be initiated merely because of change of opinion on same facts and circumstances which were already in AO’s knowledge even during original assessment proceedings.

 

IN FAVOUR OF

Assessee


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