Exemption to trust is not allowable if Form No. 10 is not filed: ITAT

Exemption to trust is not allowable if Form No. 10 is not filed: ITAT

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Exemption to trust is not allowable if Form No. 10 is not filed: ITAT

Navodaya Education Trust v. DCIT – [2021] 130 taxmann.com 256 (Bangalore – Trib.)
Short overview of the case:
Assessee-trust filed its return of income electronically, declaring nil income. An amount of Rs. 6.99 crores were shown as set apart for application towards specified purposes as per provisions of section 11(2).
Return was processed, and set apart amount was added to income of assessee on the ground that Form 10 was not filed on time.
According to the assessee, it had not filed Form 10 with the jurisdictional AO as the ACIT, Raichur had informed the assessee that the same was not required to be filed before his office but had to be filed online in the Income-tax portal.
Whereas, in the Income-tax portal, the facility to file Form 10 online was not available at that time. Thus, it was not filed along with the return of income and filed for the first time while submitting the rectification application.
The Tribunal held that it was an admitted fact that the assessee had not filed Form 10 before the AO within the due date of filing of return of income for AY 2015-16. It was also an admitted fact that the portal of the Income-tax Department did not contain any facility for online filing of Form 10, in AY 2015-16, and it was only with effect from 1-4-2016 that this facility was made available for tax filers.
As per CBDT Circular No. 7/2018, the Commissioner could condone the delay in filing Form 10 electronically with the department.
While entertaining such application, the Commissioner is required to satisfy that the assessee was prevented by reasonable cause in filing Form 9A and Form 10 within the stipulated time. But this Circular does not preclude the assessee from filing Form 10 manually before the jurisdictional AO.
The assessee is not exempted in filing Form 10 manually by this Circular. It only gives power to the Commissioner to permit the assessee to file Form 10 electronically belatedly.
 However, in the instant case, the assessee had not filed Form 10 manually within the stipulated time, i.e., before the due date for filing return of income and therefore, the assessee couldn’t avail the benefit of CBDT Circular to cover its own mistake.

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