CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a writ petition moved by actor Suriya in 2018 seeking waiver of interest for the income tax for assessment years 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
The issue pertains to a writ petition filed in 2018 by Suriya to quash the proceedings dated May 31, 2018, of the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Circle-2 in Nungambakkam and direct him to waive the interest for the two assessment years. In October 2010, the Income Tax department conducted searches at the office and residence of Suriya and passed an assessment order a year later for the years 2007-08 and 2008-09.
“The case is not one where regular assessment has been passed. There was a search operation conducted in the actor’s premises, based on which the assessment orders were passed. There was non co-operation on the part of the petitioner. Even in such circumstances, the petitioner had no intention to pay the interest based on the demand,” the IT department counsel submitted.
The counsel also argued that the assessment orders were passed in the year 2011 and the actor moved the court seeking a waiver only in 2017. “Once the tax demand was not complied with, the department is entitled to claim interest under section 220 (2A) of Income Tax act,” the counsel for the department argued.
Justice S M Subramaniam noted all three conditions stipulated under the provisions of the Act must be fulfilled for availing waiver of interest. Citing a report submitted by the officials which showed that the actor took more than 45 days to file return of income after the search, the court pointed out that the actor had not co-operated in completion of the assessment.
The court said, "Co-operation of the assessee during enquiry relating to the assessment or any proceedings for recording any amount due from the assessee, the records are to be verified and assessee if had sufficient reasons are at liberty to revert the same."
“The conduct of the assessee throughout the income tax proceedings are vital for claiming waiver of interest,” the court observed and dismissed the petition.