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Recently on 26th April 2013, ITAT bench held that under Transfer of Property Act twin conditions - It is not necessary that both conditions should be satisfied in one year but at the same time only upon satisfying the second condition also it would amount to transfer.

 

Article 265 of the Constitution of India postulates that there cannot be levy of tax without authority of law. It is not in dispute that capital gains tax can be levied only in the year when the transfer of immovable property takes place. If the AO is of the firm view that the transfer had taken place on 16.03.2005, for capital gains tax purpose, then it is mandatory to bring to tax, the said income, in A.Y. 2005-06 in which event he ought to have excluded the income offered to tax in A.Y. 2006-07, having observed that reckoned from the date of transfer the assessee has not invested, within six months, the sale proceeds in the long term specified assets. The first appellate authority, impliedly accepts that in the instant case the date of agreement is different from the date of possession; in his opinion the moot point is whether the date of agreement, i.e. 16.03.2005 or the date of possession, i.e. 20.09.2005 is the relevant date for computing capital gains tax. It is well settled that in order to bring the sale proceeds to tax under the head “Capital Gains” transfer of the property has to take place in the relevant previous year and in order to come to the conclusion that the transfer has taken place within section 2(47)(v) of Income Tax Act r.w.s. 53A of Transfer of Property Act twin conditions have to be satisfied, i.e. execution of the agreement and handing over of possession. It is not necessary that both conditions should be satisfied in one year but at the same time only upon satisfying the second condition also it would amount to transfer. In this case also there is no dispute that the agreement is dated 16.03.2005 whereas with regard to the date of possession the learned CIT(A) assumed that it took place on 20.09.2005, which falls in the financial year relevant to A.Y. 2006-07. In the peculiar nature of this case, if at all the plea of the AO has to be accepted, it would amount to holding that the transfer had not taken place in this year and consequently the sale proceeds cannot be assessed in this year, but the AO having not initiated any proceedings with respect to A.Y. 2005-06 till date the impugned income would escape taxability even in A.Y. 2005-06 and it would really be prejudicial to the interest of the Revenue. Under this peculiar circumstance we have to rationally interpret the findings of the AO as well as the CIT(A) in the backdrop of the clauses in the agreement. As rightly pointed out by the learned counsel for the assessee, the Hon'ble High Court in the case reported in (2003) 174 TAXATION 243 (BOM) has decided the issue by reading the terms of the contract as a whole and by specially taking note of the fact that in the guise of agreement of sale a development agreement was contemplated whereby the developer was held to have taken possession on account of the irrevocable licence granted to him to enter upon the property whereas in the instant case no such finding was given by the tax authorities. In fact the learned CIT(A) opined that the date of handing over of possession in the instant case was 20.09.2005, and based on this factual premise it has to be held that the transfer had taken place in the previous year relevant to A.Y. 2006-07. Reckoned from the date of possession, i.e., 20.09.2005, the assessee having invested the money within six months in long term specified asset, the benefit of exemption under section 54EC deserves to be extended to the assessee in the instant case. In substance, we hold that the assessee is entitled to exemption under section 54EC of the Act in the year under consideration.

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Disclaimer: The contents of this document are solely for informational and for knowledge purpose and for non commercial use. Reader shall check contents with original government publication and notification. Neither have I accepted any liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any inaccurate or incomplete information in this document nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

 

Rupesh Srivastava

Emailropsrivastava@gmail.com, rupesh@thetaxcorp.com

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