Pr. CIT vs. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (Delhi High Court)
August, 06th 2016
S. 80IA(2A): As the words "derived from" are absent, there is no requirement to prove "first degree nexus" of the receipts with the eligible business. All receipts of the undertaking are eligible for 100% deduction
(i) The common question that is sought to be urged in all these appeals by the Revenue is whether the ITAT has erred in interpreting Section 80-IA (2A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (“Act”)? The Revenue is aggrieved by the decision of the ITAT that the first degree nexus implicit in the words “derived from” used in section 80 IA is not required for computation of deduction in the case of undertaking engaged in providing telecommunication services since the words “derived from” do not occur in sub-section (2A) of Section 80 IA. According to the Revenue, the ITAT erred in reading the sub-section (2A) in isolation, and thereby carved out a separate scheme with regard to the nature and extent of deduction for undertaking engaged in providing telecommunication services.
(ii) With sub-section (2A) beginning with a non-obstante clause, the legislative intention of making available to an undertaking, providing telecommunication services, the benefit of deduction of 100% of the profits and gains “of the eligible business” was explicit. Indeed, the legislature appears to have made a conscious departure in adopting for sub-section (2A) a wording different from that appearing in sub section (1). Under Section 80IA (1), what is available for deduction are profits and gains “derived by an undertaking or an enterprise from any business referred to in sub-section (4)” whereas in Section 80-IA (2A) what is available for deduction is “hundred percent of the profits and gains of the eligible business”.
(iii) The legislature being alive to providing tax deductions to business enterprises and undertakings, it wanted to curtail the time line during which deduction can be claimed and also addressing the extent upto which it can be claimed has consciously carved out an exception to specified undertakings/enterprises whose needs and priorities differ has taken care to expand the time line for claiming deductions. It has consciously enabled those undertakings/enterprise who fall under sub-section (2A) to claim 100% deduction of profits and gains of eligible business for the first five years and upto 30% for the remaining five years in the ten consecutive assessment years out of the fifteen years starting from the time the enterprise started its operation.
(iv) The legislature having ousted applicability of sub-section (1) and (2) in the opening sentence brought in for the purposes of time line sub-section (2) into play but made no efforts whatsoever to put the assessee under sub-section (2A) to meet the stringent requirements that the profits so contemplated were to be “derived from”. The requirements of the first degree nexus of the profits from the eligible business has not been brought into play.