CA Pratibha Goyal | May 18, 2023 |
Income Tax Penalty of Rs. 3,80,900 levied on Non-Filing of SFT: ITAT affirms same
Relevant Text of the Course:
4. Brief facts qua the issue are that assessee before us is a Private Limited Company. The competent authority, Addl. DIT(I&CI), Ahmedabad in his order held that during the course of spot verification conducted in the case of the assessee, on 11.12.20219, it was noticed that the assessee had not filed Statement of Financial Transaction (‘SFT’ for short). During the penalty proceedings, the assessing officer issued notices to the assessee thereby providing him opportunity of being heard in order to provide any explanation for the delay in filing SFT, but the assessee did not furnish any explanation, before the assessing officer. That is, assessee did not appear during the penalty proceedings before assessing officer despite of issuance of notices for hearings. Accordingly, assessing officer [the Addl. DIT(I&CI)] levied a penalty of Rs. 3,80,900/- u/s 271FA of the Act.
5. On appeal, ld CIT(A), confirmed the penalty imposed by the assessing officer. Aggrieved, the assessee is in further appeal before us.
6. None appeared on behalf of assessee nor filed any application for adjournment despite of issuing of notice of hearing. These appeals have been listed for hearing on several occasions in the past, however assessee did not appear, except adjournment taken by assessee on 31.03.2022 by way of letter sent through post to the registry. However, today (18.04.2023) when the case was called for hearing, neither assessee nor its authorized Representative appeared before the Tribunal. It means the assessee is not interested in prosecuting these appeals. Therefore, we left no option, but to decide these appeals on the basis of materials available on record and after hearing Ld. Sr.DR for the Revenue.
7. We have heard ld DR for the Revenue. We note that assessee also filed written submission through Dak(post), which we have gone through. In the written submission, the assessee has reiterated the same facts/arguments which were made before ld CIT(A), during the appellate proceedings. The Assessee stated in his written submission that they have filed statement of Financial Transactions for the year under consideration when SFT filing option was available in e-filing portal. Later on, facility to file the statement of financial transaction has been shifted to New Reporting Portal, hence there was delay. However, the assessee did not submit and supporting evidence to prove this stand. On the other hand, ld DR for the Revenue supported the findings of lower authorities and stated that since the assessee did not appear before assessing officer during the penalty proceedings, hence matter may be remitted back to the file of the Assessing Officer. During the appellate proceedings it was observed by ld CIT(A) that nothing has been mentioned by the competent authority, Addl. DIT(I&CI), regarding the filing of SFT by the assessee on the old, e-filing portal in the penalty order under consideration. During the appellate proceedings, notices u/s 250 of the Act were issued to the assessee in order to provide it opportunities to substantiate its grounds of appeal. The assessee submitted its reply dated 10.05.2022, before ld CIT(A) wherein the assessee has only mentioned that it had filed the relevant SFT on e-filing portal and that it was filing it again on the new portal, based on which the penalty under consideration has been levied. However, the assessee has not furnished any documentary evidence or details corresponding to the SFT filed by it for the period under consideration on the e-filing portal before the deadline. The assessee is merely stating that the SFT for the period under consideration was already filed by it at the e-filing portal. Since the assessee has not furnished any specific evidence in support of its claim, it cannot be established that the SFT for the period under consideration was filed by it before due date on the e-filing portal. In view of the above facts, the ld CIT(A) confirmed the penalty imposed by the Assessing Officer. We have gone through the above findings of ld CIT(A) and noted that there is no infirmity in the conclusion reached by ld CIT(A). Hence, these appeals deserve to be dismissed by upholding the orders passed by the CIT(A) and they are dismissed.
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