Penalty For Delay in Filing TDS Returns Cannot Be Levied If Delay Was Due To Requirement To Collect PAN Of Payees: ITAT Jaipur

In the case of Argus Golden Trades India Ltd vs. JCIT, ITAT Jaipur has held that:

The assessee has submitted that since there were large number of deductees scattered throughout the country, a fact not disputed by the Revenue, it took them some time to collect the PANs of these deductees and thereafter, it was able to upload the e-TDS returns in the IT system maintained by the Revenue. Further, the taxes have deducted and deposited at the prescribed rate with delay of few days. Hence, there is no loss to the Revenue which is caused due to the delay in filing of the e-TDS returns which is totally unintentional. Further, our attention was drawn to the decision of the Coordinate Benches in case Collector Land Acquisition v. ACIT (2012) taxmann.com 22(Chd.), CIT Branch Manager (TDS), UCO Bank vs. ACIT [2013] 35 taxmann.com 45 (Cuttack – Trib) and Branch Manager, State Bank of India v. ACIT [2014] 41 taxmann.com 268 (Cuttack – Trib) wherein non availability of PAN was held to be a reasonable cause for delay in filing of the e-TDS return. Given the peculiarity of the facts in the present case where there was a change effected in the IT system for mandatory requirement of PANs of all deductees before the returns can be validated and uploaded, the fact that there were large number of deductees spread throughout the country and efforts were made by the assessee to obtain their PANs numbers, the fact that taxes have been deducted and deposited, hence no loss to the Revenue, we find that assessee has a reasonable cause for delayed filing of its e-TDS returns in terms of section 273B and the penalty under section 272(A)(K) is hereby deleted.

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