The assessee is engaged in the business of paper and boards. During the course of assessment proceedings, the AO found that the assessee has claimed interest payment of Rs. 3,12,600 to M/s. Sinermas Pulp & Papers Ltd. without deducting tax at source. The assessee contended that the amount of Rs. 3,12,600 was paid as interest on the overdue bills and that the payment of interest was not on a deposit or loan but on purchases. Therefore, it is not required to deduct tax at source. The AO however, did not accept the explanation of the assessee and disallowed the sum of Rs. 3,12,600 u/s. 40(a)(ia) on the reasoning that whether the assessee paid the interest in respect of delayed payment of purchases or deposits or loans it has to deduct tax at source as per the provisions of the Act.
CIT(A), came to held that the definition of the term interest as given in section 2(28A) of the Act would mean interest payable in any manner in respect of any monies borrowed or debt incurred and held that the definition of interest is wide enough to take within its ambit the debt owed by the assessee on account of overdue bills.
- Interest paid of Rs. 3,12,600 is not for any loan or debt incurred by the assessee but for the delay in payment of bills for purchases effected from M/s. Sinermas Pulp & Papers Ltd.
- The ITAT Ahmedabad ruling in the case of Parag Mahasukhlal Shah  46 SOT 302, has held that a payment which has direct link and immediate nexus with the trading liability being connected with the delayed purchase payments will not fall within the category of interest as defined in section 2(28A) of the Act.
- The payment made by the assessee in the present appeal being of similar nature also cannot be termed as interest as defined u/s. 2(28A) of the Act.
- The assessee is also bound to succeed on its alternative argument that the entire payment having been made during the previous year relevant to the assessment year under dispute no disallowance could be made u/s. 40(a)(ia) in view of the ITAT Special Bench decision in the case of Merilyn Shipping & Transports  136 ITD 23
Sri Venkatesh Paper Agencies (Hyd.) (P.) Ltd.