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CIT vs. Hemal Raju Shete (Bombay High Court)
April, 15th 2016

S. 45/ 48: Deferred consideration dependent on a contingency does not accrue unless the contingency has occurred and is not liable to capital gains tax in year of transfer

Assessing Officer on perusal of the agreement dated 25th January, 2006 was of the view that under the agreement, the assessee as well as other co-owners (Shete family) of M/s. Unisol were to receive in aggregate a sum of Rs.20 crores and proceeded to tax entire amount of Rs.20 crores in the subject assessment year in the hands of all co-owners. The Commissioner of Income-Tax (Appeals) observed that the agreement dated 25th January, 2006 also provided for deferred consideration which was capped at Rs.20 crores, which had to be paid in terms of formula prescribed in the agreement dated 25th January, 2006. The working out of the formula could lead and in fact had led to a situation where no amount on account of deferred consideration for the sale of shares was receivable by the assessee in the immediate succeeding assessment year i.e. assessment year 2007-08. On the analysis of agreement, the Commissioner of Income-Tax (Appeals) concluded that the amount of Rs.20 crores is the maximum amount that could be received by all co-owners under the agreement from M/s. RKHS. However, on working of the formula there was no guarantee that this amount or for that matter any amount would be received.

The Tribunal further held that what amount has to be brought to tax is the amount which has been received and/or accrued to the assessee and not any notional or hypothetical income as the revenue is seeking to tax the assessee in the subject assessment year 2006-07… learned counsel for the Revenue urged that in terms of section 45(1) of the Act that transfer of capital asset would attract the capital gains tax. It is further submitted that the amount to be taxed under section 45(1) is not dependent upon the receipt of the consideration. In support of the above he invites our attention to Section 45(1)(A) and section 45(5) of the Act which in contrast brings to tax capital gains on amount received… in the subject assessment year no right to claim any particular amount gets vested in the hands of the assessee. Therefore, entire amount of Rs.20 crores which is sought to be taxed by the Assessing Officer is not the amount which has accrued to the assessee. The test of accrual is whether there is a right to receive the amount though later and such right is legally enforceable… contention of the Revenue that the impugned order is seeking to tax the amount on receipt basis by not having brought it to tax in the subject assessment year, is not correct. This for the reason, that the amounts to be received as deferred consideration under the agreement could not be subjected to tax in the assessment year 2006-07 as the same has not accrued during the year.

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