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Often a manufacturer for want of quota ties up with a third party for shipping goods. The export incentives are then shared between them. In the case of Assistant Commissioner of Income-tax vs. Aswini Fisheries Ltd. (77ITD561) the supporting manufacturer recovered an additional sale consideration over and above the f.o.b value of the export. The assessing officer denied deduction u/s 80HHC with reference to such additional sum and held that is not part of the business profits derived by the assessee from the sale of goods to the Export House.

The Madras Tribunal held that when once the Export House gives a disclaimer certificate, it is not necessary that the assessee (supporting manufacturer) should show the profit that is claimed under section 80HHC results in the receipt of convertible foreign exchange. The Legislature itself extends the benefit to a supporting manufacturer who does not receive any convertible foreign exchange directly. But in respect of the transactions the Export House definitely receives the convertible foreign exchange. In the normal circumstances the Export House would have claimed relief under section 80HHC in respect of such exports. But the Legislature in its wisdom thought it fit to extend such relief to the supporting manufacturer who has made enormous investments in the plant and machinery, which enabled the Export House to export the goods and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country. The department is, therefore, not justified in not treating the additional sale price consideration as part of the business profit derived by the assessee from the sale of goods to the Export House. It is equally wrong in treating it as part of the brokerage, commission etc. specified in the Explanation (baa) to section 80HHC(4A) of the Act.

Further the Bench held that processing charges are profits of business for the purpose of relief under section 80HHC of the Act. In further explaining its point of view it observed that the processing charges received by the assessee involves utilization of the entire resources of the assessee like manpower, machinery and power, other manufacturing and administrative set up. The only difference between the regular manufacturer and the processing for others is that the assessee did not own the goods in respect of which processing has been carried out. Nonetheless, the entire set up of the assessee was engaged in processing the goods belonging to others. Such profits cannot be excluded as charges falling under Explanation (baa) to section 80HHC(4A) of the Act.

Also in an interesting note the Bench held that export incentives being earned apparently from the export business are to be considered for the purpose of claim of deduction under section 80HHC, even in cases of supporting manufacturers, if received.

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