New Delhi: An income tax defaulter cannot be absolved of paying penalty by just making a voluntary disclosure after being caught for hiding the income, the Supreme Court said Wednesday.
"It is trite law that the voluntary disclosure does not release the assessee from the mischief of penal proceedings. The law does not provide that when an assessee makes a voluntary disclosure of his concealed income, he had to be absolved from penalty," a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri said.
The apex court dismissed the plea of a company challenging the income tax department's penalty proceedings against it for not disclosing the income.
The company MAK Data P. Ltd.Contended it had "surrendered" the additional sum of Rs.40,74,000 after the assessing officer issued notice to it with a view to avoiding litigation.
The department had initiated penalty proceedings for concealment of income and not furnishing true particulars of its income.
The company contended "penalty proceedings are not maintainable on the ground that the AO had not recorded his satisfaction to the effect that there has been concealment of income/furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income by the assessee and that the surrender of income was a conditional surrender before any investigation in the matter".
The bench, however, was not satisfied and rejected the plea saying voluntary disclosure of concealed income cannot be a ground to absolve it from penalty.