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Friday, April 26, 2013

Interest on refund could not be denied / delayed unless same is due to assessee’s failure to submit details

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Metso Minerals (I) (P.) Ltd.
Deputy Commissioner of Income-tax
IT Appeal Nos. 3785 & 3786 (Delhi) of 2011
[ASSESSMENT YEARS 1994-95 & 1995-96]
Date of Pronouncement- 23.11.2012
In this case the assessee’s contention for interest under section 244A was not accepted by the Assessing Officer. The Assessing Officer observed that according to section 244A(2), if the proceedings resulting in refund are delayed for reasons attributable to the assessee, whether wholly or in part, the period of the delay so attributable to him shall be excluded from the period for which interest is payable. The Assessing Officer held that from the records it is seen that the above condition was directly applicable to the assessee’s case. He observed that the assessee-company was not able to produce the original documents and these were procured by the assessee-company much later to assessment proceedings. Accordingly, the Assessing Officer held that no interest under section 244A was to be granted.
The proceedings before the Assessing Officer, the learned Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) and the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal is a continuous process. In the facts and circumstances of the present case there is no cogent basis to hold that the assessment proceedings got delayed due to the assessee’s failure to submit the details before the Assessing Officer and learned Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals).
Under the circumstances, we hold that the assessee should be granted interest on refund also from the date of payment of tax to the date of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal order.

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