Friday, October 26, 2012

liability of company to pay income tax shifted to directors in case of default

Liability of the director(s) u/s 179 of the Income Tax Act is towards the amount of “tax” only and not towards “interest” and “penalty”

SANJAY GHAI Vs. ASSTT. CIT & ORS. in W.P.(C) 2303/2012 & 5175/2012 Dated 11.10.2012 (DHC)
Decided in favour of : Assessee
Issue Involved: In this case, the issue involved was that if there is a default on the part of a private limited company in payment of its income tax dues to the Income Tax Department then the liability of the company can be shifted to its director(s) u/s 179 of the Income Tax Act and accordingly, the Income Tax Department can hold the said director(s) liable to pay income tax dues of the company. The question arose as to whether it is the amount of “tax” only that can be shifted upon the director(s) or even other components of income tax demands such as “interest” and “penalty” can also be recovered from the director(s) u/s 179 of the Income Tax Act.
Held : Hon’ble Delhi High Court after analyzing Section 179 and other provisions of the Income Tax Act held that it is the amount of “tax” only which can be recovered form the director(s) u/s 179 and no other demand i.e. “interest” or “penalty” can be recovered from director(s) u/s 179 of the Income Tax Act.

This judgment would provide some relief and mental peace to the director(s) in case their companies have defaulted in payment of income tax dues because in many cases the portion of “interest” and “penalty” becomes much larger than the amount of tax. It is because of the reason that due to time lag the amount of interest becomes very large and penalty can be levied upto 300% of the amount of tax.

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