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Section 14A of Income Tax Act


Section 14A of Income Tax Act

Section 14A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is a legal provision which lays down the law in relation to expenses incurred by a taxpayer to earn an income which does not form a part of total income as per the provisions under the Act. In such cases, the particular expenditure may not be allowed as a deduction while computing taxpayer Gross Total Income. In this article, we briefly discuss the concept of disallowance of expenses under Section 14A of the Act.

Disallowance of Expenses

The income tax department does not levy tax on certain incomes in India. Agricultural Income is an example of income which does not fall within the ambit of tax. However, there is a possibility of taxes incurring expenses on such incomes, e.g., interest paid on loan taken to invest in tax-free bonds or business shares. Hence, for a prolonged time, there has been a dispute between the officers of the Income Tax department and the taxpayers regarding the disallowance of the specified expenditure. While the taxpayers have been requesting on the deduction of such spending, the IT department has stated that disallowance of expenses, as the income is entirely free of tax and by deducting expenditure incurred on the income, will result in reduced tax liability on non-taxable income. To solve the dispute, the Government of India has introduced Section 14A in the Act.

Applicability For Section 14A

This section applies when an individual qualifies for the following below-mentioned conditions:

  • Section 14A is applicable only if the assessee has made an investment to earn income which does not form part of total income.
  • Section 14A is applicable if assessee claims that expense has been incurred and the Assessing Officer is not satisfied with the rightness of the claim of the assessee having regards to the accounts of the assessee.
  • Section 14A is applicable if an assessee claims that no expenditure has incurred.

Requirements of Section 14A

The section 14A consists of the following subsections are as follows:

Section 14A(1) of Income Tax

  • If the assessee has incurred expenditure for earning tax-free income, then subsection 1 of section 14A is applied.
  • Subsection 2 is applicable when the assessee claims the amount incurred about exempt income.
  • Subsection 3 is when the assessee claims that there is no expense incurred.

Section 14A(2) of Income Tax

Subsection 2 of Section 14A provides if an assessee claims that the expenditure incurred on exempt income then the Assessing Officer needs to verify the rightness of this claims having regards the books of accounts of the assessee. The Assessing Officer needs to explain the expenditure in the books of accounts after verifying, if satisfied then the Assessing Officer shall disallow the expenses under section 14A. If the assessee’s claim does not satisfy the Assessing Officer, then the taxpayer should report disapproval and proceed with the application of rule 8D for calculating the disallowance amount.

Section 14A(3) Of Income Tax

Subsection 3 of Section 14A applies if an assessee claims that the taxpayer has not incurred any expenditure on the tax-free income then Assessing Officer can directly apply rule 8D to determine the expenditure to be disallowed under section 14A. In this event, the Assessing Officer is not required to report any dissatisfaction.

Rule 8D of Income Tax

Rule 8D applies where the Assessing Officer, having considered the accounts of the assessee, is not satisfied in the below-mentioned events.

  • The claim made by assessee regarding the amount of expense incurred on tax-free income.
  • The claim made by the taxpayer that no profit has been incurred on exempt income for the previous year.

Rule 8D(2) – The expenditure incurred to earn the income not forming part of total taxable income shall be reckoned in the following manner:

  • The amount of expenditure directly relating to income which does not form part of total income and,
  • An amount equal to 1% of the average monthly value of the investment, yielding exempt income, but not exceeding the actual expenditure claimed.