Decided on March 18,2013

Era Buildsys Ltd. Appellant


- (1.) These two revision applications address almost identical issue on identical facts and, accordingly, these are decided together. There is no dispute that in terms of the rules, revisionist was required to submit return within a month in respect of turnover for the previous month. In other words, for the turnover for the month of April, the return was required to be submitted by the last date of the succeeding month of May. The rules required the return to accompany challans showing the amount of tax payable under the Uttarakhand VAT Act (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") in respect of such turnover has been paid. In the instant case, though the returns were filed on time, but they were not accompanied by the challans showing deposit of tax payable under the Act. Later on, however, tax was deposited together with interest. Because, the revisionist failed to deposit tax before furnishing returns or along with the returns, proceedings were initiated against it for imposition of penalties. The revisionist, in response to the notice, held out that there was reasonable cause for failure to deposit tax on time. It stated that the tax due in respect of the subject monthly turnovers were in relation to sales effected to southern States and due to calamity, their payments were delayed by the buyers, resulting in non-availability of appropriate funds for meeting the tax liabilities on time. Attempt made by the revisionist to obtain additional working capital loan from its bankers to tide over the situation, also did not materialize within time and, accordingly, there was reasonable cause for failure to deposit tax on time. The assessing authority did not, at all, take notice of the plea that was urged by the revisionist. The appellate authority held that while purchases could be made by the revisionist, failure to pay tax on time cannot be accepted as a reasonable excuse. There is no finding that payment in respect of the turnover for the month in question was used during the month in question or even in the subsequent months, but prior to payment of tax due in regard thereto for purchase of goods. We think, this factual aspect is required to be ascertained and, at the same time, it has to be ascertained, whether due to natural calamity, there was, in fact, delay on the part of the buyers to pay the dues of the revisionist on time and, whether delay in receipt of payment in the backdrop of natural calamity can be treated as reasonable cause for failure to deposit tax on time. While this aspect of the matter was not gone into by the appellate authority, the Tribunal has also failed to go into that aspect of the matter.
(2.) We, accordingly, while allow the revision applications, and thereby, set aside the order of the Tribunal as well as the order of the appellate authority, remit back the matter to the assessing authority with a direction upon him to ascertain the factual aspects dealt with above and thereupon, to come to a conclusion, whether there was or was not reasonable cause for failure to deposit tax on time.;

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