No Reassessment Notice if Issued on Secondary Email Despite Availability of Primary Email before AO

 ​    Case Details: Lok Developers Registered … Continue reading “No Reassessment Notice if Issued on Secondary Email Despite Availability of Primary Email before AO”
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Case Details: Lok Developers Registered Partnership Firm v. DCIT – [2023] 149 taxmann.com 93 (Bombay)

Judiciary and Counsel Details

Dhiraj Singh Thakur & Kamal Khata, JJ.
Rahul K. Hakani for the Petitioner.
Akhileshwar Sharma & Ms Shilpa Goel for the Respondent.

Facts of the Case

Assessee was a registered partnership firm engaged in real estate development. During the reassessment proceedings, a show cause notice for the proposed variation in the draft assessment order was issued to the assessee. Also, a penalty order under section 271(1)(c) was also passed.

The said orders were issued by the Assessing Officer (AO) on the secondary e-mail address as per PAN Card instead of the registered primary e-mail id or updated e-mail id filed with the last Return of Income.

Considering that the AO did not issue the notice on the e-mail address mentioned in the latest return of income, the assessee filed a writ petition to the Bombay High Court.

High Court Held

The High Court held that the AO clearly erred in issuing a notice on the secondary e-mail address when the assessee duly gave its primary e-mail address. There is no prudence in issuing an e-mail to the secondary e-mail address.

It is common knowledge that a secondary e-mail address has to be used as an alternative or in such circumstances when the authority is unable to effect the service of any communication on the primary address.

The AO should have sent the notice under section 148 to both the primary address and the e-mail address mentioned in the last Return of Income filed to preempt a jurisdictional error on account of valid service. There was neither any cost to it nor any prejudice to any party for sending it on more than one e-mail in a given circumstance as in the instant case.

Therefore, notice issued to the assessee was to be set aside. All consequential proceedings were quashed, including the show cause notice for proposed variation and assessment order under section 144B.

List of Cases Referred to

Mrs. Chitra Supekar v. ITO [Writ Petition No. 15580 of 2022, dated 15-2-2023] (para 6).

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