Section 158AB of Income Tax Act for AY 2023-24

Provisions and rules related to section 158AB of Income Tax Act. Procedure where an identical question of law is pending before High Courts or Supreme Court.

Amended and updated notes on section 158AB of Income Tax Act 1961 as inserted by the Finance Act 2022 and Income-tax Rules, 1962. Detail discussion on provisions and rules related to procedure where an identical question of law is pending before High Courts or Supreme Court.

Chapter XIVA (Sections 158A to 158AA) of the Income Tax Act 1961 deals with the provisions related to special provision for avoiding repetitive appeals. Section 158AB of IT Act 1961 provides for procedure where an identical question of law is pending before High Courts or Supreme Court.

Recently, we have discussed in detail section 158AA (Procedure when in an appeal by revenue an identical question of law is pending before Supreme Court) of IT Act 1961.

Today, we learn the provisions of section 158AB of Income-tax Act 1961 as amended by the Finance Act 2022. The amended provision of section 158AB is effective for financial year 2022-23 relevant to the assessment year 2023-24.

In this article, you will learn detail of the provisions of section 158AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961 Bare Act read with the Income-tax Rules, 1962 as provided by Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.

Section-158AB: Procedure where an identical question of law is pending before High Courts or Supreme Court

[Section 158AB newly inserted w.e.f. 1-April-2022 by the Finance Act 2022]

Section 158AB (1):

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, where the collegium is of the opinion that—

(a) any question of law arising in the case of an assessee for any assessment year (such case being herein referred to as the relevant case) is identical with a question of law arising,—

  • (i) in his case for any other assessment year; or
  • (ii) in the case of any other assessee for any assessment year; and

(b) such question is pending before the jurisdictional High Court under section 260A or the Supreme Court in an appeal under section 261 or in a special leave petition under article 136 of the Constitution, against the order of the Appellate Tribunal or the jurisdictional High Court, as the case may be, which is in favour of such assessee (such case being herein referred to as the other case), the collegium may, decide and inform the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner not to file any appeal, at this stage, to the Appellate Tribunal under sub-section (2) of section 253 or to the jurisdictional High Court under sub-section (2) of section 260A in the relevant case against the order of the Commissioner (Appeals) or the Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be.

Section 158AB (2):

The Principal Commissioner or the Commissioner shall, on receipt of a communication from the collegium under sub-section (1), notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of section 253 or clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 260A, direct the Assessing Officer to make an application to the Appellate Tribunal or the jurisdictional High Court, as the case may be, in such form as may be prescribed within a period of one hundred and twenty days from the date of receipt of the order of the Commissioner (Appeals) or of the Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be, stating that an appeal on the question of law arising in the relevant case may be filed when the decision on such question of law becomes final in the other case.

Section 158AB (3):

The Principal Commissioner or Commissioner shall direct the Assessing Officer to make an application under sub-section (2) only if an acceptance is received from the assessee to the effect that the question of law in the other case is identical to that arising in the relevant case; and in case no such acceptance is received, the
Principal Commissioner or Commissioner shall, notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of section 253 or clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 260A, proceed in accordance with the provisions contained in sub-section (2) of section 253 or in clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 260A.

Section 158AB (4):

Where the order of the Commissioner (Appeals) or the order of the Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be, referred to in sub-section (1) is not in conformity with the final decision on the question of law in the other case, as and when such order is received, the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner may direct the Assessing Officer to appeal to the Appellate Tribunal or the jurisdictional High Court, as the case may be, against such order and save as otherwise provided in this section all other provisions of Part B and Part CC of Chapter XX shall apply accordingly.

Section 158AB (5):

Every appeal under sub-section (4) shall be filed within a period of sixty days to the Appellate Tribunal or one hundred and twenty days to the High Court, as the case may be, from the date on which the order of the jurisdictional High Court or the Supreme Court in the other case is communicated to the Principal Commissioner or the Commissioner (having jurisdiction over the relevant case), in accordance with the procedure specified by the Board in this behalf.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section, “collegium” means a collegium comprising of two or more Chief Commissioners or Principal Commissioners or Commissioners, as may be specified by the Board in this behalf.


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