COMPLEXITY OF THE SUBJECT OF TAXATION
The poet, James Jeffrey Roche, in one of his poem ‘The net of law’ wrote:
“The net of law is spread so wide, No sinner from its sweep may hide.
Its meshes are so fine and strong, They take in every child of wrong.
O wondrous web of mystery!
Big fish alone escape from thee! ”
This poem has become a “Mantra” for the revenue. The Supreme Court in the case of Tekchand Vs. Competent Authority (201ITR658) in reading this poem also reminded the revenue to ensure that the Act is utilized in all proper cases, more so where “big fish ” are involved. The Government is making an incessant effort in this direction be it to plug loopholes, discourage incentive schemes, elimination of deductions and exemptions, punitive levy of penalties, use of coercive methods to collect taxes, and so on. There is therefore a vital need to gain awareness of the changing law, the changing insights of the Government and above all the legal jurisprudence to ensure compliance with the law.
The subject of taxation as we all know is very vast though of considerable importance and cannot be overlooked in any circumstance. It, therefore, becomes very important to keep track of the latest in the tax laws. Businesses sometimes face great adversities due to obliviousness to law, the changing perceptions of the revenue authorities, and above all the current decisions of the Tribunal & Courts that may have bearing on any past arrangement that may even perforce review of business plans.
Our current Income-tax Act is as old as of 1961. Innumerable judgments are pronounced by the High Courts and the Tribunal from time to time in the last 52 years. In many cases even after the Apex Court ruling, the issue is dragged into a controversy either by the Revenue or the assessee till the law is resettled by a larger Bench of the Apex Court or after a forced amendment by the Parliament. Several Courts hold differently on the same issue at different times. Also, it is very important to know the view held by the Jurisdictional Tribunal or the High Court to measure the strength and the risk involved in litigation. Many a time it is found better to withdraw litigation even in the absence of any Government scheme based on cost-benefit analysis for which purpose it is relevant to know the latest on the subject in the world of taxation.
Many times the Government issues guidelines and instructions for the benefit of assessing officers to investigate a certain class of assessments or a certain class of transactions. Expert groups are made to report on grey areas of tax planning and loopholes in taxation. It is therefore very relevant to have knowledge of such instructions to either avoid such transactions or take proactive steps and precautions to avoid any litigation. It is therefore utmost importance to ensure compliance with the latest law
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