Notice through Affixture served after Office Hours not Valid: ITAT quashes Re-Assessment [Read Order]

Notice through Affixture served after Office Hours not Valid: ITAT quashes Re-Assessment [Read Order]

Notice - Affixture served - Office Hours -ITAT - Re-Assessment - Taxscan

The Delhi bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) on Friday quashed a re-assessment under section 147 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 by observing that the notice for the same under section 148 of the Act, though served through affixture (a valid mode for serving notice under the law) cannot be deemed as valid since the same was served after the office hours without competent witnsesses.

In the present case, the Assessing Officer served a notice under section 148 dated 31.03.2015 was served on the assessee through affixture in presence of Inspector of the Ward. The said notice was handed over to the notice server and the area inspector on the very same date and the notice was served through affixture on the same date instead of first attempting to serve the same in person or through post.

The Accountant Member R K Panda, while upholding the contentions of the assessee, held that no notice under section 148 of the Act was ever served to the assessee.

“Even if it is accepted that such a notice is served through affixture even then also the same is not valid service being served after office hours and the notice so affixed does not bear the name of any witness of the localities other than the Ward Inspector who accompanied the notice server. The chronology of events that has taken place clearly shows that no notice u/s 148 was ever served upon the assessee before 31.03.2015 and therefore, I find force in the arguments of the learned counsel for the assessee that since no notice under section 148 of the Act was served on the assessee before 31.03.2015, therefore, such reassessment proceedings are not in accordance with law and has to be quashed.”

“In this view of the matter, I quash the reassessment proceedings. Since, the assessee succeeds on the above two legal grounds i.e. giving approval by the Addl. CIT in a mechanical manner and non-service of notice u/s 148 of the Act before the specified date, the other plank of arguments made by the assessee challenging the validity of reassessment proceedings as well as the addition on merit become academic in nature and therefore, the same are not being adjudicated,” the Tribunal added.

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