S. 234E: High Court grants ad-interim stay against operation of notices levying fee for failure to file TDS statement
S. 234E of the Income-tax Act, 1961 inserted by the Finance Act, 2012 provides for levy of a fee of Rs. 200/- for each day’s delay in filing the statement of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) or Tax Collected at Source (TCS). A Writ Petition to challenge the validity of s. 234E has been filed in the Bombay High Court. The Petition claims that assessees who are deducting tax at source are discharging an administrative function of the department and that they are a “honorary agent” of the department. It is stated that this obligation is onerous in nature and that there are already numerous penalties prescribed for a default. It is stated that the fee now levied by s. 234E is “exponentially harsh and burdensome” and also “deceitful, atrocious and obnoxious“. It is also claimed that Parliament does not have the jurisdiction or competence to impose such a levy on tax-payers.
The Bombay High Court has, vide order dated 28.04.2014, granted ad-interim stay in terms of prayer clause (d) i.e. stayed the operation of the impugned notices levying the fee.