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An opinion formed during regular Assessment proceedings bars the Assessing Officer to reopen the same on account of a different view: Bombay High Court

Queries raised during the assessment proceedings for which the assessee has replied duly, non-discussion of the same and non-rejection of the same shall be construed as acceptance of the response by the Assessing Officer. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court before Hon’ble Justice K. R. SHRIRAM AND Justice AMIT B. BORKAR in the matter of Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax-15, Mumbai vs EPC Industries Ltd.[INCOME TAX APPEAL NO.1858 OF 2017]. 

Facts of the matter were that an appeal was brought to the Hon’ble Bombay High Court by the Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax-15, Mumbai against an order of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) in which the ITAT held that the reopening the assessment only on account of mere change of opinion when there was no discussion on the issue in the original assessment order.

The Hon’ble High Court held that where an query waiver of loan on account of One Time Settlement with the banks in respect of the present appeal was raised in the Original Assessment and the assessee has submitted detailed submission as to why principal amount was waived by the bank on account of One Time Settlement is not taxable it must follow that the Assessing Officer has applied his mind and taken a view as portrayed in the assessment order.

Furthermore, the Hon’ble High Court  referred to the case of Marico Ltd. vs. Assistant Commissioner of Income -tax 12(3)(2) [(2019) 111 Taxmann.com 253 (Bombay)] in which it was held that “Therefore, it must follow that where queries have been raised during the assessment proceedings and the assessee has responded to the same, then the nondiscussion of the same or non-rejection of the response of the assessee, would necessarily mean that the Assessing Officer has formed an opinion accepting the view of the Assessee, Thus an opinion is formed during the regular Assessment proceedings, bars the Assessing Officer to reopen the same only on account of a different view”.

Finally, the Hon’ble High Court dismissed the appeal taking into account the fact that the order of co-ordinate Bench of this Court on similar issues is binding on them.

Click here to read Judgment.

Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur

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