New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear Vodafone’s petition seeking directions to the income tax department to expeditiously process its claim for a refund of around Rs4,759 crore for returns filed for assessment years 2014-15 to 2017-18.
A bench comprising justices U.U. Lalit and Ashok Bhushan sought the central government’s response on the matter within four weeks.
The telecom company had approached the Supreme Court challenging the 14 December order of the Delhi high court rejecting its tax refund petition on finding merit in the tax department’s argument that a substantial outstanding demand was pending against the company and there was the likelihood of more demands being made after the assessment for the years in question were scrutinized.
The Supreme Court had noted the tax department’s right to adjust the demands against the refunds that may arise but have not yet been determined because of the ongoing scrutiny of proceedings.
The court had also noted that the assessments for the years in question were either facing special audit or pending before the assessment officer for scrutiny.
As scrutiny assessment of the earlier years had led to the raising of substantial demand, the tax department had decided not to process the company’s returns, the court noted.