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Commissioner of Income-tax Vs. Sri K.M.A. Muthappa Chettiar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCase Referred No. 36 of 1947
Judge
Reported inAIR1950Mad638; [1950]18ITR328(Mad)
ActsIncome Tax Act, 1922 - Sections 4 and 4(1)
AppellantCommissioner of Income-tax
RespondentSri K.M.A. Muthappa Chettiar
Appellant AdvocateC.S. Rama Rao Sahib, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateT.V. Viswanatha Aiyar and ;C.R. Pattabhiraman, Advs.
Excerpt:
- - as the accounts clearly demonstrate that the profits of the accounting year were only rs......a. m. m. (joint) was rs. 6342 and that at tapah a. m. l. (sole) was rs. 19,783, so that the total accrued income came to rs. 26,125. the total remittances as shown in the accounts were : taiping a. m. m. (joint)--rs. 13,317 : tapah a. m. l. (sole) -- rs. 526, and the total was rs. 13,843. the total accrued income outside british india which is assessable under section 4 (1)(b) (ii), income-tax act, was rs. 26,125 and as the total remittances left an excess far over rs. 4500, under the proviso the assesses was entitled to a deduction of a sum of rs. 4500 from the accrued income. there cannot possibly be any dispute regarding the assessability to tax in respect of that amount. the income-tax officer inferred from the fact that the remittances from taiping in the year of accounting.....
Judgment:

Satyanarayana Rao, J.

1. The question referred to us under Section 66 (1), Income-tax Act is as follows :

'Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case the finding of the Appellate Tribunal that the Income tax Officer was not entitled in law to include under Section 4 (1) (b) the sum of Rs. 6799 as remittance of profits that accrued earlier than the 'previous year' in the Taiping A. M. M. (joint) business is correct?'

The assessee was carrying on money-lending business and is a resident in British India. He carried on money-lending business at Tapah and Taiping outside British India, The year of assessment is 1940-41 and the accounting year is the year ending 12th April 1940, corresponding to the year Pramadhi. During the accounting yean the accounts showed that the accrued income at Taiping A. M. M. (Joint) was Rs. 6342 and that at Tapah A. M. L. (Sole) was Rs. 19,783, so that the total accrued income came to Rs. 26,125. The total remittances as shown in the accounts were : Taiping A. M. M. (Joint)--Rs. 13,317 : Tapah A. M. L. (Sole) -- Rs. 526, and the total was Rs. 13,843. The total accrued income outside British India which is assessable under Section 4 (1)(b) (ii), Income-tax Act, was Rs. 26,125 and as the total remittances left an excess far over Rs. 4500, under the proviso the assesses was entitled to a deduction of a sum of Rs. 4500 from the accrued income. There cannot possibly be any dispute regarding the assessability to tax in respect of that amount. The Income-tax Officer inferred from the fact that the remittances from Taiping in the year of accounting amounted to Rs. 13,317 while the profit accrued in respect of the business at that place during the accounting year was only Rs. 6342, that the difference between the two figures is attributable to profits which accrued before the beginning of the accounting year but after 1st April 1933 and which were brought into British India during the accounting year. He, therefore, thought,--in our opinion, correctly--that this amount was assessable to income-tax under Section 4 (1) (b) (iii), Income-tax Act. The appellate Tribunal, however, took a different view and was of opinion that this sum of Rs. 6975 was not assessable to tax. It is difficult to follow the reasoning of the appellate Tribunal which seems to have been based upon proviso 3 to Section 4. Proviso 3 is not a charging section and has nothing to do with the liability to pay income-tax in respect of profits which were remitted to British India but which arose without British India before the accounting year and after 1st April 1933. All that the proviso lays down is that if in any year the amount of incoaccruing or arising without British India exceeds the amount that was brought to British India in that year, then the assessee should be entitled to relief to the extent of Rs. 4500. The reasoning of the appellate Tribunal based on this proviso therefore does not at all help the assessee to escape payment of income-tax on the difference between the sum of Rs. 13,317 which was remitted to British India during the year of account from Taiping and the actual profits attributable to that year, namely, Rs. 6342 which leaves a balance of Rs. 6975. The sub-clause of Section 4 (1) (b) does not raise any difficulty of construction and the only question is whether from the accounts an inference could legitimately be drawn that the balance left from the sum of Rs. 13,317 after deducting Rs. 6342 could or could not be presumed to be profits of a prior year, that is, prior to the beginning of the accounting year. As the accounts clearly demonstrate that the profits of the accounting year were only Rs. 6342 and the total remittances from that business far exceeded that amount, the only legitimate presumption that could be drawn is that the balance represented the profits, and that the profits must be referable only to a period prior to the beginning of the accounting year. There is no other explanation on the part of the assessee to rebut the presumption that arises in such circumstances and we have, therefore, no hesitation in holding that the sum of Rs. 6975 represents the profits of the previous year before the beginning of the accounting year and accrued after 1st April 1933. The answer, therefore, to the question which has been referred to us must be in the negative and against the assessee. We may, however, observe that the correct figure which must be substituted for the figure Rs. 6799 in the question is Rs. 6975.

2. The Income-tax Officer is entitled to his costs which will be fixed at Rs. 250.


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