ITR filed without Financials is a defective return but not necessarily an invalid return: SC

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ITR filed without Financials is a defective return but not necessarily an invalid return: SC

Let us have a short overview of the case Mangalam Publications Vs CIT (Civil Appeal Nos. 8580-8582 of 2011):

Facts:
1. The assessing officer passed the reassessment order on 21.03.2002 under Section 144/147 of the Act determining the total income of the assessee at Rs.25,06,660.00. Thereafter allocation of income was made amongst the partners in the manner indicated in the order of reassessment.

2. The AO took cognizance of the profit and loss account and the balance sheet filed by the assessee before the South Indian Bank on the basis of which assessment of income for the assessment years 1988 – 1989 and 1989 – 1990 were completed.

3. Objection of the assessee that the aforesaid balance sheet was prepared only for the purpose of obtaining loan from the South Indian Bank and therefore could not be relied upon for income tax assessment was brushed aside. The reassessment was made on the basis of the accounts submitted to the South Indian Bank.

4. AO also held that in the absence of submission of books of accounts along with the ITR, the assessee had not furnished the documents and particulars required under Section 139 (9)

Hon SC held as below:
1. On the basis of the “balance sheet” submitted by the assessee before the South Indian Bank for obtaining credit which was discarded by the CIT(A) in an earlier appellate proceeding of the assessee itself, the assessing officer upon a comparison of the same with a subsequent balance sheet of the assessee for the assessment year 1993-94 which was filed by the assessee and was on record, erroneously concluded that there was escapement of income and initiated reassessment proceedings

2. Once the primary facts are disclosed by the assessee, the burden shifts onto the assessing officer. It is not the case of the revenue that the assessee had made a false declaration.

3. It is only when the defective return is not accepted by the AO , that it can be held as invalid and not otherwise and in the instant case when the return was accepted even without balance sheet, the return could not have been treated as invalid.

4. If he does not exercise the discretion, the return of income cannot be construed as a defective return. As a matter of fact, in none of the three assessment years, the assessing officer had issued any declaration that the returns were defective.

5. Once the primary facts are disclosed by the assessee, the burden shifts onto the assessing officer. It is not the case of the revenue that the assessee had made a false declaration.

 

 

The copy of the order is as under:

 

25389_2010_7_1501_49749_Judgement_23-Jan-2024 (1)

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