Friday, January 27, 2017

S. 45/48: The AO is not bound to accept the consideration stated in the sale deed. In a case where property is sold between arm’s length parties at a gross undervaluation, the onus is on the assessee to explain and if there is no explanation, the AO is entitled to draw an inference. The presumption against the value being understated (not undervalued) is greater where parties are connected or related. However, if the AO does not allege that the assessee received more consideration than is stated in the sale deed, he cannot made an addition to the stated consideration (George Henderson 66 ITR 622 (SC) & Gillanders Arbuthnot 87 ITR 407 (SC) explained)

Pr. CIT vs. Quark Media House India Pvt. Ltd (P&H High Court)

The judgments in CIT v. George Henderson & Co. Ltd. (1967)66 ITR 622, Commissioner of Income Tax, Calcutta v. Gillanders Arbuthnot & Co. (1973) 87 ITR 407 undoubtedly hold that the expression “full value of the consideration” cannot be construed as the market value but as the price bargained for by the parties to the sale. It is necessary for the Assessing Officer to ascertain as to what was the price bargained for by the parties to the sale. The judgment, however, does not support the further submission of the assessee that the price stated in the sale-deed must irrespective of anything also be considered to be the sale price for the purpose of computing the capital gain. In our view this absolute proposition is not well founded. The Assessing Officer must determine whether the price stated in the agreement for sale is in fact the price bargained for by the parties thereto. In other words, the full value of the consideration is neither the market value nor necessarily the price stated in the document for sale but the price actually arrived at between the parties to the transaction. If therefore it is found that the price actually arrived upon between the parties is not the price reflected in the document, it is the price bargained for by the parties to sale that must be considered for determining the capital gain under section 48. The Supreme Court did not hold that inferences cannot be drawn by the Assessing Officer from the facts established. In fact in paragraph-5 the Supreme Court observed that there was no inferential finding that the shares were sold at the market price of ` 620/- per share. This read with the operative part of the order in paragraph-6 remanding the matter to record a finding as to the actual price received makes it clear that the finding can be based on inferences as well. In paragraph-6 the assessee is given an opportunity to explain the unusual nature of the transaction. It cannot be suggested that even if there was no explanation by the assessee, the Assessing Officer was bound not to draw an adverse inference

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