Section 273A(1) empowers the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner to grant waiver or reduction from penalty imposed or imposable under section 270A (i.e., penalty for under-reporting and misreporting of income) or under section 271(1)(c) (i.e., penalty for concealment of particulars of income or furnishing inaccurate particulars of income).
Initiation to be taken by Principal Commissioner or Commissioner or the taxpayer
The waiver or reduction under section 273A(1) can be granted by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner either on his own motion or otherwise, i.e., on an application made by the taxpayer.
Conditions for granting relief
Relief under section 273A(1) is granted if following conditions are satisfied :
(1) Prior to the detection by the Assessing Officer of the concealment of particulars of income or of the inaccuracy of particulars furnished in respect of such income, the taxpayer voluntarily and in good faith, makes a full and true disclosure of such particulars.
For the purpose of section 273A(1), a person shall be deemed to have made full and true disclosure of his income or of the particulars relating thereto in any case where the excess of income assessed over the income returned is of such a nature as not to attract penalty under section 270A or under section 271(1)(c).
(2) The taxpayer should have co-operated in any enquiry relating to the assessment.
(3) The taxpayer either should have paid or made satisfactory arrangements for paying any tax or interest payable in consequence of an order passed under the Act in respect of the relevant year.
Previous approval of Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner or Principal Director General or Director General
If the amount of income in respect of which the penalty is imposed or imposable for the relevant year or, where such disclosure relates to more than one year, the aggregate amount of such income for those years exceeds a sum of Rs. 5,00,000, no order reducing or waiving the penalty under section 273A(1) shall be made by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner, except with the previous approval of the Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner or Principal Director General or Director General, as the case may be.
Finality of the order
Every order made under section 273A shall be final and shall not be called into question by any Court or any other authority.
No relief if waiver claimed earlier
As per section 273A(3), where an order has been made under section 273A(1) in favour of any person, whether such order relates to one or more years, he shall not be entitled to any relief under section 273A in relation to any other year at any time after the making of such order.
Thus, if a person has claimed relief under section 273A(1) at any time, then he cannot claim relief under section 273A [i.e., 273A(1) as well as section 273A(4)] thereafter.