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In AY 2001-02 etc, the assessee claimed a deduction for payment of (employees’ contribution) to GPF, CPF and ESI u/s 36(1)(va) read with s. 43B of the I.T. Act. The basis of the claim was that though the amount was not paid on or before the due date under the respective Act, the same was deposited on or before the due date of furnishing of the Income-tax returns u/s 139 of the I.T. Act and, therefore, in view of s. 43B read with s. 36(1)(va), the entire amount was allowable. The AO rejected the claim for deduction though the Tribunal allowed it. On appeal by the department to the High Court HELD dismissing the appeal:

No substantial question of law arise out of the orders of the ITAT as it is an admitted fact that the entire amount was deposited by the assessee at least on or before the due date of filing of the returns u/s 139 of the I.T. Act. If the amount has been deposited on or before the due date of filing the return u/s 139 then the amount cannot be disallowed u/s 43B or u/s 36(1)(va) of the Act

See the contrary view in Gujarat State Road Transport Corp (Guj). For a listing of all cases see forum post. In Pradip J. Mehta 300 ITR 231 (SC) it was held that the benefit of doubt should invariably go to the taxpayer.

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