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Income to be assessed in the same previous year - circumstances

Income Tax Act 1961 is the comprehensive act which talks about income and taxability aspects. Calculation of income , types of income, expenses allowed , heads of income etc are covered in detail in the act and rules, regulations, notifications, circulars etc.

As per the normal provisions of the act, the income earned in the previous year is assessed or charged to tax in the immediately succeeding assessment year. For example the income earned in the previous year 2019-2020 is assessed in 2020-2021.

But there are some exceptional circumstances the income earned in the previous year will be assessed in the same year. This will help the government to collect the revenue in time, as if waited for the assessment year, the assessee may not be traceable or may not pay the taxes. So these provisions are for preventing any chance to escape the payment of taxes.

Let us understand the exceptional circumstances

1 Shipping business of non-residents

2 Assessment of persons leaving India

3 Assessment of association of persons or body of individuals or artificial juridical person formed for a particular event or purpose

4 Assessment of persons likely to transfer property to avoid tax

5 Discontinued business

1. Non-Resident Shipping Business ( Section 172)

Section 172 is a self-contained code for the levy and recovery of the tax, ship-wise, and journey-wise, and requires the filing of the return within a maximum time of thirty days from the date of departure of the ship.

The provisions of section 172 are to apply, notwithstanding anything contained in other provisions of the Act. Therefore, in such cases, the provisions of sections 194C and 195 relating to tax deduction at source are not applicable. The recovery of tax is to be regulated, for a voyage undertaken from any port in India by a ship under the provisions of section 172.

Section 194C deals with work contracts including carriage of goods and passengers by any mode of transport other than railways. This section applies to payments made by a person referred to in clauses (a) to (j) of subsection (1) to any “resident” (termed as contractor). It is clear from the section that the area of operation of TDS is confined to payments made to any “resident”. On the other hand, section 172 operates in the area of computation of profits from shipping business of non-residents. Thus, there is no overlapping in the areas of operation of these sections.

There would, however, be cases where payments are made to shipping agents of non-resident ship-owners or charterer for carriage of passengers, etc., shipped at a port in India. Since, the agent acts on behalf of the nonresident ship-owner or charterer, he steps into the shoes of the principal. Accordingly, provisions of section 172 shall apply and those of sections 194C and 195 will not apply.

2. In cases of persons leaving India

In case I.T.O. has the reasons to believe that an individual will leave India with no intention to return during the current assessment year, the total income of such individual for the period between the expiry of last previous year and till the date of his departure, will be taxable in the current assessment year.

3. Assessment of any association of persons, body of individuals or Artificial Juridical person formed or established only for a limited period

In case an Assessing Officer finds that any association of persons, body of individuals or Artificial Juridical person has been formed or established only for a limited period or for a particular event and it is likely to be dissolved or discontinued in the same year after the accomplishment of such event or purpose, the assessment of such person can be made in same year.

4. In case of persons who are likely to transfer their assets to avoid tax

If it appears to the I.T.O. that any person is likely to sell, transfer, dispose of or to part with any of his assets with the intention to avoid payment of any tax liability, he may commence proceeding to assess the income for the period between the expiry of last previous year and the date of commencement of such proceedings.

5. In case of discontinued business

In case any business or profession is discontinued during an assessment year, the income of the period from the expiry of last previous year till the date of discontinuation may be assessed to tax in the current assessment year at the discretion of the assessing officer.

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