WEALTH TAX OFFICER/INCOME TAX OFFICER Vs. RADHABAI GOPALDAS BHAGWANDAS TRUST
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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George Cheriyan, Accountant Member -
(1.) THE WT appeals in the present case relate to the assessment years 1974-75 to 1976-77. THE IT appeals relate to the assessment years 1974-75 and 1975-76. All the appeals which are by the revenue, arise out of reassessment proceedings and are, hence, considered together and disposed of by this common order.
(2.) We briefly set out the background of the case. A deed of trust was executed on 28-10-1965 by Smt. Radhabai Gopaldas and Sri Raja Kishandas Gopaldas. By this deed, five persons were appointed as trustees of whom the authors of the trust, referred to above, were two of the trustees. The objects of the trust included worship, puja, utsav and observance of other festivals of Sri Mahaprabhuji and Sri Girirajji, the two deities. The trust also provided for the maintenance and residence for family people of the founders in certain circumstances.
For the assessment year 1966-67, an assessment was made to wealth-tax in the status of an individual on 23-7-1975. The WTO did not accept the contention that the trust was a public religious one. He held that it was a private religious trust and, thereafter, in his order, observed as under :
I treat the assessee as a private religious trust and assess it as 'individual' under Section 21(4) of the WT Act as the interest of the beneficiaries (i.e., family deities and members of the family of the authors of the trust) in the corpus and income of the trust is indeterminate.
The wealth assessed was Rs. 3,24,567 and the rate applicable thereto taking it as net wealth was applied.
(3.) IT would appear that sometimes later, the audit had scrutinised the wealth-tax assessment for the year 1966-67 to which we have referred and which was made in the status of an individual and audit gave a note dated 5-10-1977 which is applicable to this year as well as for the subsequent years up to 1975-76 and the relevant portion of which reads as under :
ii. As per Section 21(4) where the trust is treated and assessed as the assets belonging to an individual, the rates applicable are the rates as per Part I of the Schedule or at 1ï¿½per cent, whichever is beneficial to the revenue. Accordingly, in the present case, 1ï¿½ per cent would be beneficial to the revenue and the short demand would be as follows :
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