Tribute to All House Wives: ITAT deletes Addition for Cash Deposits below Rs. 2.5 Lakhs made during Demonetization [Read Order]

House Wives - ITAT - Cash Deposits - Demonetization - Taxscan

In a significant ruling granting major relief to all the house-wives in the country, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Agra bench consisting of Judicial Member Lalit Kumar and the Accountant Member Dr. Mitha Lal Meena has ruled that cash deposit made by the housewives during the demonetization scheme 2016, cannot be subject to addition if such deposits are below Rs. 2.5 lakhs and such amount shall not be treated as income of the assessee.

The Tribunal was considering an appeal filed by a housewife, the assessee who deposited the cash of Rupees 211500 /-in our bank account during the demonetization period. It was the case of the assessee that the assessee had collected/ saved the above-said sum from her previous saving, given by her husband, son, relatives for the purposes of her and her family’s future.

“Women all over the country had been accumulating cash that they had saved for themselves from household budgets, by haggling with vegetable sellers, tailors, grocers, and assorted traders, years of stashing in whatever little cash gifts they received from relatives during festival times and years of tucking away the change they found in the pants that they washed every day, however suddenly they were left with no option but to deposit the amount in the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in the banks on account of Demonetisation scheme 2016, these notes were no more legal tenders. Lots of concerns were raised by political and social organizations bring on fore the plight of women folks, on account of scheme of 2016.”

Allowing the appeal considering the facts in deep, the Tribunal observed that the assessee had duly explained the source of deposit i.e previous years saving and we have no hesitation to accept the same, as it would be presumed that this small amount of Rs 2,21, 000/ would have been accumulated or saved by her from various activities undertaken by her for and on behalf of the family in last many years.

“Further as mentioned hereinabove, in the decision of Kirti ( supra), women per se cannot be said to be not having income from any activities, as they are presumed to always been doing economic activities in the family for many years, hence in our view, the assessee had duly explained the source of her investment. Therefore no additions can be made by a lower authority. Further even if we ignore the explanation, for the sake of argument, then also it is for the assessing officer to bring on record some cogent evidence to prove that the amount deposited in the bank was undisclosed income arising from the business or from any other activities. No evidence has been brought on record by the lower authorities,” the Tribunal said.

Elaborating the invaluable contributions of the house-wives towards the growth of the country, the Tribunal said that this decision may be treated as a precedent in respect to proceedings arising out of the cash deposit made by the housewives during the demonetization scheme 2016, only up to the limit of Rs 2.5 lakhs only.

“The word “may” had been used by the statute under section 69A, as had been used by the statute under section 69 of the Income Tax Act 1961, therefore applying the same analogy as laid down by SC in the case of Smt. P.K. Noorjahan(supra), we are of the opinion that the amount deposited by the assessee during the demonetization. Cannot be treated as income of the assessee. Hence the appeal of the assessee is allowed,” the Tribunal said.

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