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ITO vs. Karnavati Petrochmem Pvt. Ltd (ITAT Ahmedabad)
August, 02nd 2013

S. 14A/ Rule 8D: Interest expenditure has to be netted against interest income and only the difference, if any, can be considered for disallowance

In AY 2008-09, the assessee invested Rs. 95 lakhs in shares on which it earned Rs. 300 as dividend. The AO applied Rule 8D and made a disallowance of Rs. 15 lakhs. The assessee claimed that no expenditure had been incurred to earn the dividend income on the basis that while the interest expense was Rs. 1.83 crore, the interest income was Rs. 1.86 crore and there was a net surplus interest income of Rs. 3.79 lakh. The CIT(A) held that the AO had not established a nexus between the expenditure incurred and the tax free income and that as the assessee had net positive interest income, there could be no disallowance of the interest expenditure u/s 14A read with Rule 8D. He sustained the disallowance at 0.5% of the average investment. On appeal by the department HELD dismissing the appeal:

No nexus has been established by the AO between the expenditure incurred by the assessee and the tax free income earned by him. Further, as the interest income was more than interest expense and the assessee was having net positive interest income, the interest expenditure cannot be considered for disallowance u/s 14A and Rule 8D (Trade Apartment (ITAT Kol) & Morgan Stanley (ITAT Mum) (both included in the file) followed)

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