Tax officers should not take advantage of an assessee’s ignorance to collect more tax out of him than is legitimately due to him: Karnataka HC

Tax officers should not take advantage of an assessee's ignorance to collect more tax out of him than is legitimately due to him: Karnataka HC

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Tax officers should not take advantage of an assessee’s ignorance to collect more tax out of him than is legitimately due to him: Karnataka HC

Here is an interesting case of Karnataka High Court which has condoned the delay of 6 years in filing revised ITR as AO didn’t pass rectification order to allow assessee’s claim of deduction under section 10(10C).
The case is as under:
Devendra Pai v. ACIT – [2022] 135 taxmann.com 196 (Karnataka)
The assessee was a retired bank employee. He availed of the early retirement scheme but did not claim the benefit of exemption under section 10(10C) in his return of income.
 An intimation under section 143(1) was issued to the assessee accepting the return filed by the assessee.
Assessee sought exemption under section 10(10C) by filing a rectification application through a letter.
However, no order had been passed on said letter. Later, the assessee decided to seek condonation of delay to file a revised return by applying section 119(2)(b).
However, said application was rejected because it was filed beyond a specified period of 6 years. The assessee filed a writ petition before the High Court.
The Karnataka High Court held that the assessee had sought relief by rectification. As AO passed no order, the assessee decided to seek condonation of delay to file a revised return by an application under section 119(2)(b).
If an order had been passed regarding the rectification application, the assessee might have gotten relief at that end itself.
 As no order was passed, the assessee then sought for condonation of delay to file a revised return.
 However, the assessee’s application for condonation of delay under section 119(2)(b) was rejected because the same was filed beyond the period of 6 years.
The CBDT vide Circular No. 014 (XL-35), dated 11-4-1955, had issued administrative instructions for the guidance of Income-tax Officers on matters pertaining to assessment.
 It was clarified in the circular that the tax officers should not take advantage of an assessee’s ignorance to collect more tax out of him than is legitimately due to him.
Accordingly, considering the facts, it seems to be a fit case for considering the revised return on its merits.
Thus, the delay was to be condoned, and the application under section 119(2)(b) was allowed.
This is a good and interesting order. A claim/ exemption/ deduction not claimed in the return filed but later on assessee becomes entitled to because of judgement/ circular etc , such claim/ exemption or deduction if not allowed by rectification can be claimed by filing belated revised return with request for condonation of delay in filing revised return.

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