No s. 271(1)(c) penalty if income not offered to tax due to “bona fide mistake”
The assessee, a renowned professional international tennis player, received an award of Rs. 30 lakhs. This was disclosed in the statement of affairs filed with the ROI though not offered to tax. The AO accepted the ROI u/s 143(1). He later reopened the assessment u/s 147 at which stage the assessee offered the said amount to tax. The AO & CIT levied penalty u/s 271(1)(c) on the ground that the assessee had furnished inaccurate particulars of her income and concealed her income. However, the Tribunal cancelled the penalty on the ground that a “bona fide mistake” had been made on her behalf by her Advocate/Chartered Accountant and there was no concealment of income was a furnishing of inaccurate particulars. On appeal by the department to the High Court, HELD dismissing the appeal:
There is nothing to suggest that the assessee acted in a manner such as to lead to the conclusion that she had concealed the particulars of her income or had furnished inaccurate particulars of income. As the amount of Rs.30,63,310 was shown by her in the return, it cannot be said that there was any concealment. As the amount was correctly mentioned, there is also nothing inaccurate in the particulars furnished by her. The only error that seems to have been committed was that it was not shown as a capital (sic) receipt. But as soon as this was pointed out, the error was accepted and the amount was surrendered to tax. This is not a fit case for imposition of penalty.