Tehsildar letter that there is no cultivation carried on the lands as per the land records is not conclusive for treating it as Non Agricultural
CIT Vs P ASHOK KUMAR: MADRAS HIGH COURT (Dated: January 2, 2019)
Income tax – agricultural land – exemption from capital gains – distance from municipality
THE assessee, an individual, had sold a piece of land and claimed exemption from capital gains on such sale by urging it to be an agricultural land. This claim was however denied by the AO during course of assessment. When the matter reached the CIT(A), he called for a remand report from the AO as to the distance between the property in question and the outer limit of the notified municipality.
The AO thereafter conducted inspection of the property in the presence of Revenue officials and submitted a remand report, in which, it was categorically stated that the land was situated at a distance of more than 8 kms away from the outer limits of St.Thomas Mount Cantonment Board.
Apart from that, CIT (A) also referred to the certificate issued by the Tahsildar and one of the important entry in the said certificate was by stating that the lands were classified as agricultural lands.
On appeal, the HC held that,
Whether a claim of exemption from capital gains tax on sale of agricultural land, need not be denied, when there is nothing on record to show that the land in question was put to use for any non-agricultural purposes – YES: HC
though the certificate issued by Tehsildar may state that there is no cultivation carried on the lands as per the land records, there is nothing on record to show that the land in question was put to use for any non-agricultural purposes. Apart from that, the assessee has also paid taxes which has been recorded by the CIT(A). Thus, the concurrent factual findings recorded by the FAA and the Tribunal does not call for any interference.
Revenue’s appeal dismissed