Uber gets Interim Relief: ITAT stays Demand for Non-Deduction of Tax on Payment to Drivers [Read Order]


In a major relief to Uber India, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has stayed the demand made by the Revenue against the company for not deducting TDS on making payments to drivers.

The assessee is providing marketing and support services to a foreign company, Uber B.V, which is incorporated in the Netherlands. The assessee is collecting the payments on behalf of the said company and making disbursements to Driver-Partners as per the directions of Uber B.V, a Netherland company.

The assessing officer entertained a view that the said payment would attract the provisions of section 194C of the Act and accordingly demanded tax of and interest thereon of Rs.24,92,16,591/- and Rs.84,13,13,665/- for Assessment Years 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively.

The appellants denied tax liability by stating that they are not the  “person responsible for making payment” to the Driver-Partners as the contract is between Uber B.V and Driver-Partners.

According to them, they are merely working on the directions of the said company and passing on payments to the Driver-Partners as per the directions of Uber B.V. During the course of hearing, the assessee submitted that the modus operandi of collecting the payments by the assessee on behalf of the Netherland company which are made by way of debit or credit cards or collecting by the Driver-Partners directly from the customers. It was also stated that there are practical difficulties as it is not possible for the assessee to collect TDS on the cash payments received by the Driver-Partners directly.

Before the Tribunal, the appellants pleaded for the stay of demand and penalty proceedings initiated against them.

While grating a conditional stay, the Tribunal held that “We earnestly of the view that the demand raised by the revenue should have stayed subject to deposit of Rs. 20.00 Cr till the disposal of appeal by the tribunal so that the business of the assessee is not adversely impacted. We, therefore, are staying the demand for both the years subject to payment of Rs.20 crores to be paid in three instalments two Rs. 6.5 Cr on 15.10.2018 and 15.11.2018 and Rs. 7.00 Cr on 15.12.2018.”

“The case of the assessee is also listed on an out-of-turn hearing on 11.12.2018. Subject to the above conditions the demand has stayed for a period of 180 days and the assessee would not seek adjournment without any sufficient reason failing which the stay is subject to vacation by the bench hearing the appeals,” the Tribunal added.

To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE