Assessee can’t be Penalized for the Limitations in Dept’s Online Portal : ITAT [Read Order]

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In an assessee-favor ruling, the Delhi bench of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) ruled that the Assessee cannot be penalized due to limitations of the online portal provided by the department.

The assessee in the present case is an individual duly filed her return of income for the relevant assessment year and claimed deduction under section 54F of the Income Tax Act 1961.

While completing the assessment the Assessing Officer (AO) made additions to the income of the Assessee and also denied the claim of the Assessee under section 54F of the Act.

Thereafter, the Assessee filed an appeal before the CIT(A) and complied regarding the addition made by the AO. The authority dismissed the appeal filed by the Assessee on the ground that the appeal filed manually had to be filed electronically which despite opportunity was held to have not been complied with or explained.

However, the Assessee approached the Tribunal on further appeal against the order passed by the authority and counsel for the Assessee submitted that the facts have been incorrectly appreciated by the CIT(A) as return was also manually filed thus in terms of the circular there was no requirement in these circumstances of the Assessee to e-file the appeal.

After analyzing the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal bench comprising of Judicial Member Diva Singh and Accountant Member B.R.R.Kumar observed that in the present case the online platform was not permitted to the Assessee to register as a legal heir in order to e-file the appeal, thus the Assessee cannot be penalized for non-compliances which are a result of limitations of the platform provided.

The division bench further held that the procedures are necessarily required to have adhered to however was the platform itself does not facilitate entry to a legal heir the dismissal of its appeal manually filed cannot be said to be in accordance with law. Therefore the bench directed the CIT(A) to address the issues and pass a speaking order in accordance with law after giving the Assessee the reasonable opportunity of being heard.

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