13 November 2014

FD in Court- NO TDS

No TDS liability of bank under sec. 194A on interest accrued on FD made by litigant on directions of Court

November 13, 2014[2014] 51 taxmann.com 253 (Delhi)

IT: Where litigant deposit FD with the bank on directions of Court, he ceased to have any control or proprietary right over those funds. Although FD was drawn in the name of the Registrar General, he was neither the recipient of the amount credited to that account nor the interest accruing thereon. There was no assessee to whom interest income from the FD could be ascribed, thus, bank was not liable to deduct tax under section 194A on interest accrued on such FD.

Facts:

(a)   The petitioner ('UCO Bank') accepted a Fixed Deposit ('FD') made by litigant as per directives of the Court. The bank did not deduct tax on accrued interest on such FD as it was in name of Register General of Court as custodian and the actual beneficiaries were not known, as the matter was sub-judice.
(b)   Thus, the issue that arose for consideration of the High Court was:

  • Whether the bank would be liable to deduct tax under section 194A on interest accrued on such FD where the assessee was not ascertainable and the person in whose name the interest was credited was also not a person liable to pay tax under the income-tax Act ('the Act')?

The High Court held in favour of assessee as under:

(1)   The words "credit of such income to the account of the payee" occurring in section 194A of the Act necessarily imply that deduction of tax bears nexus with the income of an assessee. In absence of an assessee, the machinery provisions for deduction of tax to his credit were ineffective. The expression "payee" under section 194A of the Act would mean the recipient of income whose account was maintained by the person paying interest.
(2)   In the instant case, although FD was made in the name of the Registrar General, the account represented funds which were in custody of the Court and the Registrar General was neither the recipient of the amount credited to that account nor the interest accruing thereon. Thus, the Registrar General could not be considered as payee for the purpose of section 194A of the Act.
(3)   There was no assessee to whom interest income from the FD could be ascribed; no person could file return claiming the interest payable by bank as income. The machinery provisions of recovering tax by deduction of tax at source would not be applicable in absence of an ascertainable assessee.
(4)   The litigant who was asked to deposit the money in the court ceased to have any control or proprietary right over those funds. The amount deposited vested in the Court and the depositor ceased to exercise any dominion over those funds. It was also not necessary that the litigant who deposited the money would be the ultimate recipient of income. The person to whom funds would be granted was to be determined by orders passed subsequently. Thus, petitioner-bank was not required to deduct tax under section 194A on interest accrued on FD made by the litigant.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think about this? Please write your comment.

Empanel as Concurrent Auditors

BANK OF MAHARASHTRA invites online applications from practicing firms of Chartered Accountants, in the prescribed format, who are willing to...