The Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has held that any expenditure, which is viewed as an offence or is prohibited by law, but is of a commercial nature incurred in the normal course of business, can be treated as an outgo at the time of calculating tax liabilities.
This issue came up before the ITAT in connection with an application filed by Western Coalfields, a subsidiary of the state-owned Coal India, which was liable to pay a penalty for overloading its wagons.
This, however, was in line with the rules of the Railways.
The I-T department had earlier disallowed Western Coalfields to charge the penalty as expenditure for estimating its tax liabilities. The Railways had framed the rules since it was eating into its revenues.