AO Cannot Assess Share Premium As Income On The Ground That It is “Excessive”: ITAT Mumbai

In the case of DCIT vs. Varsity Education Management Pvt. Ltd, ITAT Mumbai has held that:

The AO cannot assess the share premium as income on the ground that it is “excessive”. The share premium worked out in the Valuation Certificate is the minimum amount that can be collected by the assessee under RBI regulations. There is no bar on collecting higher amount as share premium. There are several factors that are taken into consideration while issuing the equity shares to shareholders/investors, such as Venture capital funds and Private Equity funds. The premium is determined between the parties on the basis of commercial considerations and cannot be questioned by the tax authorities. The AO is not entitled to sit on the arm chair of a businessman and regulate the manner of conducting business (All judgements considered).

Once the AO was satisfied with the identity and credit worthiness of the investor and genuineness of transactions, the assessee can be said to have proved the “nature and source” of the cash credits. The amounts received as Share premium are in the nature of capital receipts as per the decision rendered by Hon’ble Bombay High Court in the case of Vodafone India Services P Ltd (supra) and the assessee has also discharged the onus placed upon it u/s 68 of the Act. In fact, the AO himself accepted the share premium to the extent of Rs.672/- per share as Capital receipt. Hence the “nature” of alleged excess share premium amount cannot be considered as receipt of income nature.

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