Section 44AE, inter alia, provides that, the profits and gains shall be deemed to be an amount equal to Rs. 7,500 per month (or part of a month) for each goods carriage or the amount claimed to be actually earned by the assessee, whichever is higher. This presumptive income scheme of computation of income at the rate of Rs. 7,500 per month is applicable uniformly to all classes of goods carriages irrespective of their tonnage capacity. The only condition which needs to be fulfilled is that the assessee should not have owned more than 10 goods carriages at any time during the previous year. Accordingly, the transporters who owns (less than 10 goods carriages) large sized goods carriages are also availing of the benefit of section 44AE. Even though the profit margins of large capacity goods carriages are higher than small capacity goods carriages, the tax consequences are similar, which is against the principle of tax equity.
Amendment - Section 44AE(2) has been substituted (with effect from the assessment year 2019-20) so as to provide that for a heavy goods vehicle, the profits and gains shall be an amount equal to Rs. 1,000 per ton of gross vehicle weight (or unladen weight) for every month (or part of a month) during which the heavy goods vehicle is owned by the assessee in the previous year or an amount claimed to have been actually earned from such vehicle, whichever is higher.
In the case of a goods carriage other than heavy vehicle, the profits and gains shall be an amount equal to Rs. 7,500 for every month (or part of a month) during which the goods carriage is owned by the assessee in the previous year or an amount claimed to have been actually earned from such goods carriage, whichever is higher.
For this purpose, “heavy goods vehicle” means any goods carriage the gross vehicle weight of which exceeds 12,000 kilograms.