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An omission to make a claim for deduction can be made good by way of revised return else this could mean long fight and litigation unless  and until the CBDT steps in by enforcing application of their 1955 Circular. 

It so happened that the assessee firm in  Indauto Filters vs. Assistant Director of Income tax [2023] 102 ITR (Trib) 403 (ITAT[Bang])  in their appeal before the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals), National Faceless Assessment Centre, Delhi (NFAC) , raised the subject of inadvertent omission in ITR to feed the details of depreciation in the schedule of “computation of income from business or profession”. The assessee also reminded him of the 1955 circular of the Board.

The Commissioner (Appeals) declined relief to the assessee by simply stating that the circular is not applicable inasmuch as the appellant failed to file the revised Income-tax return within the time period as stipulated under section 139(5) of the Act.

 As a result the assessee had to fight 5 yearlong battle to get relief from ITAT. The Tribunal taking note of the old age Circular No. 14(XI-35) of 1995 dated April 11, 1955 held that the assessee should be allowed the claim of depreciation under section 32 of the Act.

 It is very surprising that Commissioner (Appeals) are not observing to this old 1955 Circular.

It is therefore highly desirable for the Central Board of Direct Taxes to educate new officers at the time of their induction at the academy and more importantly all the present Commissioner (Appeals) to observe the following mandatory guidelines given in 1955 Circular:-


‘Officers of the Department must not take advantage of ignorance of an assessee as to his rights. It is one of their duties to assist a tax payer in every reasonable way particularly in the matter of claiming and securing reliefs and in this regard the officers should take the initiative in guiding a taxpayer where the proceedings or other particulars before them indicate that some refund or relief is due to him. This attitude would in the long run, benefit the Department ; for it would inspire confidence in him that he may be sure of getting a square deal from the Department. Although, therefore, the responsibility for claiming refunds and reliefs rests with the assessee on whom it is imposed by the law, officers should ;

 (a) draw their attention to any refunds or reliefs to which they appear to be clearly entitled but which they have omitted to claim for some reason or other ;

 (b) freely advice them when approached by them as to their rights and liabilities and as to the procedure to be adopted for claim ing refunds and reliefs.’

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