Condition requiring manual filing of audit report by 30.09.2013 in notification dated 26.09.2013 is ultra vires and Void

Notification issued on 26.09.2013 has mandated that the Audit report must be furnished manually to the jurisdictional Assessing Officer by 30.09.2013.
However the condition in notification is contrary to the Rules which have not been consequently modified.

Rule 12(2) of Income tax Rules provides that the return of income required to be furnished in Form SAHAJ (ITR-1) or Form No. ITR-2 or Form No. ITR-3 or Form SUGAM (ITR-4S) or Form No. ITR-4 or Form No. ITR-5 or Form No. ITR-6 14a[or Form No. ITR-7, shall not be accompanied by form or report of audit required to be attached with the return of income under any of the provisions of the Act

Further proviso to Rule 12(2) of Income tax Rules inter alia provides that where an assessee is required to furnish a report of audit specified under section 44AB, he shall furnish the same electronically.

As can be seen from above that the Provisions under Rules and under Notification are contrary to each other. In this regard attention is invited to the decision in case of V.K. Ashokan v. Asstt. Excise Commnr. and Ors.[2009 (4) SCALE 225] it was held that that rules framed or other terms and conditions imposed under an Act should not be contrary to the other provisions of the Act and must not be framed in contravention to the constitutional or statutory scheme. Accordingly the Notification mandating additional condition of manual filing without modifying the existing Rules is Ultra-vires, Void and invaild.

Further the Notification requiring altogether new requirement of manual filing by 30.09.2013 has been introduced on 26.09.2013 which is very short and unreasonable period and is against the principles of natural justice. In State of Orissa v. Dr. (Miss) Binapani Dei and Ors, it was held that when by reason of an action on the part of a statutory authority, civil or evil consequences ensue, principles of natural justice are required to be followed. In case of denial of principles of natural justice in a particular statute, the same may also be held ultra vires to Article 14 of the Constitution.

What for all this? There is no loss to the revenue on extending the uploading date. The requirement of manual filing with the jurisdictional A.O. has caused undue hardship, double jeopardy.

Double Standards of the Department is more noticeable from the fact that this notification will hit small and medium enterprises and common man assessee and not Larger Assessee’s as in case of Bigger Assessee’s where Domestic and International Transfer Pricing is applicable an extra two months period is granted to file Income Tax Return and Audit Reports.

(These are personal views of author and due professional advice be taken before acting on it)

Source : TEAM GLOBALCA Dt.03-10-2013