Without providing any time-line for action in the Vodafone tax case, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), on Thursday, said tax officials would not do a “rash job” and move ahead after taking into account the Supreme Court ruling and legal opinions.
“The amount of taxes involved is not small and, therefore, much due diligence has to be done by him (Assessing Officer) ... there are so many legal opinions to be taken and considered,” CBDT Chairperson Poonam Kishore Saxena told reporters.
On the time-line for action by the AO in the Vodafone tax case, she said, “I do not think that anybody can give you any time-line. These (time-lines) are internal how we choose to go about it. If the AO needs some time to study the entire matter, it is for him. We are not going to rush him.”
She was replying to questions as to when the I-T Department would send notice to Vodafone for collection of tax following amendment in the Income-Tax Act with retrospective provisions during the Budget session of Parliament. The I-T Department, on October 22, 2010, passed an order determining a tax liability (including interest) of Rs.11,218 crore on Vodafone on acquisition of Hutchinson’s stake in Hutch-Essar through a deal in Cayman Islands in 2007. The Supreme Court, however, quashed the order in January this year. After the apex court’s ruling, the Income-Tax Act was amended with retrospective effect to bring into tax net such deals.
“The AO and the supervisory officers will take a decision in accordance with law taking into consideration, among other things, the decision of the Supreme Court, the Amendments made in the I-T Act, 1961, Section 119 of the Finance Act, 2012, and the opinion of the Attorney-General,” Ms. Saxena said.
Section 119 of the Finance Act, 2012, seeks to validate the October 2010 order of the Income-Tax Department.