The Delhi High Court directed the Income Tax Department to remit the refund along with requisite interest to Ingenico International India.
The singular grievance of the petitioner, Ingenico International India was that despite the fact that the amount to be refunded as determined by the Revenue in October 2019, the amount, so determined, has not been remitted, as yet.
The division bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh asked Mr. Kunal Sharma, who appears for the Revenue, as to how that date was endorsed on the order. His candid reply was that although he was not aware as to why the said order bore October 2, 2019, as the date, there was no dispute about the genuineness of the order.
The order has quantified the refund amount at Rs.5,89,14,434. This amount concerns the assessment year 2018-2019. The intimation received vide order by the petitioner was sent by the Revenue pursuant to return being filed qua the Assessment Year and the same being processed under Section 143(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
In the month preceding the intimation of refund, the petitioner was served with scrutiny notice under Section 143(2) of the Act.
It appeared, since the refund amount was not being released to the petitioner; it entered into a correspondence on the issue with the Revenue. The letters sent to the Revenue on this behalf.
These efforts bore no fruit. Exasperated with the approach of the Revenue, the petitioner uploaded a complaint on the E-Nirvan Grievance Portal of the Revenue. This complaint was addressed to the AO and the complaint was lodged.
The AO in response to the complaint wrote back to the petitioner wherein, he indicated that since the Income-tax return for Assessment Year 2019-2020 disclosed that the petitioner’s total income amounted to Rs.18,01,18,140/-, he no longer had jurisdiction in the matter.
The court held that if a scrutiny notice is issued as is the case in the present matter, then, the Revenue can stall the grant of refund, if the release of the refund amount is likely to adversely affect its interests.
“However, before the A.O. embarks on this route, he is required to cross two hoops. First, the A.O. is required to record his reasons in writing as to how grant of refund is likely to adversely affect the interest of the Revenue. Second, the A.O. is obliged to obtain the previous approval of his superior, i.e., the Principal Commissioner or the Commissioner as the case may be,” the court clarified.
The High court directed the Revenue to remit the amount as determined in the order dated October 2, 2019, along with requisite interest as payable under the extant provisions of the Act. The payment determined shall be released within 10 days.