In absence of convincing material that supply has actually taken place; ITC cannot be claimed only on basis of invoice: SC

In absence of convincing material that supply has actually taken place; ITC cannot be claimed only on basis of invoice: SC

ITC cannot be claimed only on basis of invoice

CA Pratibha Goyal | Mar 14, 2023 |

In absence of convincing material that supply has actually taken place; ITC cannot be claimed only on basis of invoice: SC

In absence of convincing material that supply has actually taken place; ITC cannot be claimed only on basis of invoice: SC

That the respondent herein – M/s Tallam Apparels (hereinafter referred to as the ‘purchasing dealer’) purchased readymade garments from other dealers for the purposes of further sale.

The purchasing dealer claimed the ITC on such sale to the extent of Rs. 4,18,818/-. Vide order dated 26.12.2014, the Assessing Officer disallowed the ITC claim for the Assessment Year 2012-2013 on the ground that the dealers from whom M/s Tallam Apparels have purchased the readymade garments have either got their registration cancelled or have filed ‘NIL’ returns. Thus, the Assessing Officer doubted the sale and the payment of tax on such sale of which the ITC was claimed. An Appeal was filed by the purchasing dealer. The Appellate Authority dismissed the same by holding that the burden under section 70 of the KVAT Act, 2003 has not been discharged.

However, the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal reversed the orders passed by the Assessing Officer as well as the first Appellate Authority on the ground that the purchasing dealer should not suffer due to default of seller.

Contention of Department:

6.1 It is vehemently submitted that the High Court has not properly appreciated that when the Assessing Officer doubted the genuineness of the transactions/sales and when it was found that the sale transactions were only paper transactions and even in some of the cases, the registration of the sellers were cancelled and nothing was on record that any tax was paid by the seller, the purchasing dealers shall not be entitled to the Input Tax Credit.

6.2 It is vehemently submitted by Shri Nikhil Goel, learned AAG appearing on behalf of the State that the High Court ought to have appreciated that as such a duty is cast upon the purchasing dealers to prove the transactions/financial transfers, which in the present case, the purchasing dealers failed to discharge. It is submitted that for the purposes of Section 70 of the KVAT Act, 2003, the burden required to be discharged is slightly higher than showing financial transfers and should show actual movement of goods. It is submitted that mere production of invoices or even payment to the seller by cheque cannot be said to be sufficient and may not be said to discharging the burden to claim Input Tax Credit, to be discharged under Section 70 of the KVAT Act, 2003. It is submitted that actual movement of goods is required to be established and proved, over and above the invoices, payment by cheques and actual payment and even the demand of tax by the seller.

6.3 Shri Goel, learned AAG has heavily relied upon the decision of the Karnataka High Court in the case of M/s. Bhagadia Brothers Vs. Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, STA No. 4 of 2018 dated 29.01.2020, against which the special leave petition has been dismissed as well as the decision of the Gujarat High Court in the case of Madhav Steel Corporation Vs. State of Gujarat, Tax Appeal No. 742 of 2013 and other allied tax appeals against which also the special leave petition has been dismissed, however, keeping the question of law open and has also relied upon another decision of the Gujarat High Court in the case of Shreeji Impex Vs. State of Gujarat, Tax Appeal No. 330 of 2014, 2014 SCC OnLine Guj 8074, in support of his above submissions.

6.4 It is further submitted by Shri Nikhil Goel, learned AAG appearing on behalf of the State that the High Court has failed to appreciate that the revenue cannot recover from the seller who is not registered or who has filed ‘NIL’ returns, thereby denying sale. It is further submitted that the High Court has materially erred in observing and holding that once the purchases are made by the purchasing dealer by account payee cheque, the purchasing dealer is deemed to have discharged his burden. It is submitted that the High Court has also materially erred in observing that if the seller of the goods from whom the dealer has purchased does not deposit such tax, the dealer (purchasing dealer) cannot be held liable for that. It is submitted that as such the purchasing dealer is entitled to the Input Tax Credit on the tax paid by the seller and/or on the tax paid. It is submitted that therefore, for the purposes of Input Tax Credit, the purchasing dealer has to prove the actual payment of tax and actual transfer of goods and mere paper transaction is not sufficient.

6.5 Making above submissions and relying upon the above decisions, it is prayed to allow the present appeals.

Contention of Taxpayer:

7. While opposing the present appeals, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respective assessees/dealers, who claimed the Input Tax Credit have vehemently submitted that in the present case, as such, the purchasing dealers have discharged the burden of proof cast under Section 70 of the KVAT Act, 2003 and proved the genuineness of the transactions by producing the genuine invoices and even the payment made through cheques. It is submitted that therefore once the dealer has discharged the burden cast under Section 70 of the KVAT Act,2003, the purchasing dealer is entitled to the Input Tax Credit and if at all it is found that a tax is not paid by the seller, the same can be recovered from the seller. However, so far as the purchasing dealer is concerned, they are entitled to the ITC, once having discharged the burden under Section 70 of the KVAT Act, 2003.

7.1 It is further submitted by learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respective dealers that in fact they have discharged the burden of proof cast under Section 70 of the KVAT Act, 2003 by producing the valid invoices and making the payment online to the supplier. It is submitted that registration of the dealer and online payments were never disputed. It is further submitted that apart from Section 70 of the KVAT Act, 2003, the Karnataka Value Added Tax Rules, 2005, namely Rules 27 and 29 provide for the details and obligations upon the dealer to issue the tax invoice and also the particulars of the tax invoices. It is submitted that neither the KVAT Act nor the Rules provide for any other document or any other obligation, which are statutorily required for the purposes of establishing the claim for seeking refund towards Input Tax Credit.

7.2 It is submitted that therefore the decision of the adjudicating authority was beyond the Act and Rules. It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respective assessees / dealers that the only requirement of law, as far as the purchasing dealers wanting to avail the benefit of Input Tax Credit is concerned, is that he has to make sure that the selling dealer is a registered dealer and has issued the tax invoice in compliance with the requirement of the KVAT Act and the Rules made thereunder. It is submitted that once the purchasing dealer demonstrates that he has complied with such requirement, he cannot be denied the ITC only because the selling dealer fails to discharge his obligation under the KVAT Act.

7.3 It is submitted that in the present case, the respondents are purchasing dealers, who have complied with the requirement of KVAT Act and have ensured that the purchases made by them are in compliance with the requirements of the KVAT Act and Rules for claiming ITC. Reliance is placed on the decision of this Court in the case of Corporation Bank Vs. Saraswati Abharansala, (2009) 19 VST 84 (SC). It is further submitted that the ITC could be denied where the purchasing dealer has acted without due diligence, i.e., by proceeding with the transaction without first ascertaining if the selling dealer is a registered dealer having a valid registration. It is submitted that denial of ITC to a purchasing dealer who has taken all the necessary precautions fails to distinguish such a diligent purchasing dealer from the one that has not acted bonafide. It is submitted that in the case of The Additional Commissioner of commercial Taxes Zone – II and Ors. Vs. M/s. Transworld Star Manjushree, Civil Appeal Nos. 216-217 of 2023 @ SLP (Civil) No. 6337-6338 of 2022, both the seller and dealer were registered.

7.4 Making above submissions, it is prayed to dismiss the present appeals.

What Supreme Court said?

Sureme Court held that mere production of the invoices and/or payment by cheque is not sufficient and cannot be said to be proving the burden as per section 70 of the Act, 2003.

Burden of proof that the ITC claim is correct is squarely upon the assessee who has to discharge the said burden. Merely because the dealer claiming such ITC claims that he is a bona fide purchaser is not enough and sufficient. The burden of proving the correctness of ITC remains upon the dealer claiming such ITC. Such a burden of proof cannot get shifted on the revenue. Mere production of the invoices or the payment made by cheques is not enough and cannot be said to be discharging the burden of proof cast under section 70 of the KVAT Act, 2003. The dealer claiming ITC has to prove beyond doubt the actual transaction which can be proved by furnishing the name and address of the selling dealer, details of the vehicle which has delivered the goods, payment of freight charges, acknowledgement of taking delivery of goods, tax invoices and payment particulars etc.

For Official Judgment Download PDF Given Below:

StudyCafe Membership

Join StudyCafe Membership. For More details about Membership Click Join Membership Button
Join Membership

In case of any Doubt regarding Membership you can mail us at [email protected]

Join Studycafe's WhatsApp Group or Telegram Channel for Latest Updates on Government Job, Sarkari Naukri, Private Jobs, Income Tax, GST, Companies Act, Judgements and CA, CS, ICWA, and MUCH MORE!"




Author Bio
My Recent Articles
GSTR-1 Due date extended amid GST portal Glitches karresults.nic.in 2nd PUC Results 2024 Out: Know List of Official Websites to Check Karnataka KSEAB 12th Class Results Online GSTN allows Revision of GST Returns for Some Taxpayers CBIC waives interest for specified class of Late GSTR-3B fillers due to GSTN Glitches CBDT: No special Income Tax Drive for HRA Reopening CasesView All Posts