Assessee cannot be denied credit for TDS on the ground of Form 26AS mismatch because he is not at fault. Non-grant of TDS credit causes harassment, inconvenience & makes the assessee feel cheated. Dept to pay interest + costs of Rs. 25,000
The assessee filed a return in which he claimed a refund of Rs. 2.32 lakhs on account of excess TDS by the Government department. The return was processed by the Central Processing Centre (CPC) of the Income-tax Department at Bangalore and a refund of only Rs.43,740 was issued. No intimation was given to the assessee as to why the balance amount of Rs.1.88,630 was not refundable. The assessee filed an application u/s 154 for rectification of the mistake and asked for refund of the balance amount. As there was no response from the department despite several reminders, the assessee filed a writ petition in the High Court. HELD by the High Court allowing the Petition:
(i) The difficulty faced by the tax payers relating to credit of TDS was considered by the Delhi High Court in Court On its Own Motion vs. CIT 352 ITR 273 and the CBDT was directed to issue directions with regard to giving credit of unmatched and mismatched TDS certificates. Pursuant thereto, the CBDT issued Instruction No.5 of 2013 dated 8.7.2013 directing that where the assessee approaches the AO with requisite details and particulars in the form of TDS certificate as evidence against any mismatch amount the AO would verify whether or not the deductor had made payment of the TDS in the government account and, in the event, the payment had been made, credit of the same would be given to the assessee.
(ii) On facts, no effort has been made by the AO to verify whether the deductor had made the payment of the TDS in the government account. On the other hand, the Income-tax department has shown helplessness in not refunding the amount on the sole ground that the details of the TDS did not match with the details shown in Form 26AS. There is a presumption that the deductor has deposited TDS amount in the government account especially when the deductor is a government department. By denying the benefit of TDS to the Petitioner because of the fault of the deductor causes not only harassment and inconvenience, but also makes the assessee feel cheated. There is no fault on the part of the Petitioner. The fault, if any, lay with the deductor. The mismatching is not attributable to the assessee. The department must refund the amount within 3 weeks with interest. The department must also pay costs of Rs. 25,000 to the Petitioner.