Opinion Of Eminent Legal Luminaries On Controversial Issues

Reassessment – Share application money -Chargeability of share application money

QUERY: Share application money which is taxed as Undisclosed in the hands of a private company can also be taxed as undisclosed income in the hands of applicants by issuing notice u/s. 148?
ANSWER: The broad scheme of the Act is to charge all income to tax but only in the hands of the same person.
So share application money received by Private Limited Company has to be taxed in whose hands? The Supreme Court in CIT v. Steller Investment Ltd. [251 ITR 263] has given answer by stating that even if it be assumed that the subscribers to the increased capital are not genuine, under no circumstances could the amount of share capital be regarded as undisclosed income in the hands of the company.
Thereafter, the Supreme Court in CIT v. Lovely Exports (P) Ltd. [216 CTR 195] has held that, if share application money is received by assessee – company from alleged bogus shareholders, whose names are given to Assessing Officer, then Department is free to proceed to reopen their individual assessment in accordance with law but this amount of share money cannot be regarded as undisclosed income under section 68 of assessee-company.
However, from the facts, it is clear that it has been wrongly taxed in the hands of the company instead of in the hands of applicant shareholders. Therefore, Assessing Officer can tax undisclosed income in the hands of applicant shareholders by reopening the assessment as per law.
At this juncture, it is necessary to refer the judgement of the Supreme Court in ITO v. Ch. Atchaiah [218 ITR 239], wherein the Hon’ble Court has observed that “where a person is taxed wrongfully, he is no doubt entitled to be relieved in accordance with law but that is different matter altogether. The person lawfully liable to be taxed can claim no immunity because the Assessing Officer has taxed the said income in the hands of another person contrary to law”.
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