Section 35ABB of Income Tax Act for AY 2023-24

Section 35ABB of Income Tax Act amended by Finance Act and Rules. Expenditure for obtaining licence to operate telecommunication services.

Amended and updated notes on section 35ABB of Income Tax Act 1961 as amended by the Finance Act 2022 and Income-tax Rules, 1962. Detail discussion on provisions and rules related to expenditure for obtaining licence to operate telecommunication services.

Chapter IV (Sections 14 to 59) of the Income Tax Act 1961 deals with the provisions related to computation of total income. Section 35ABB of IT Act 1961-2023 provides for expenditure for obtaining licence to operate telecommunication services.

Recently, we have discussed in detail section 35ABA (expenditure for obtaining right to use spectrum for telecommunication services) of IT Act 1961. Today, we learn the provisions of section 35ABB of Income-tax Act 1961. The amended provision of section 35ABB 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 35ABB of the Income Tax Act, 1961 Bare Act read with the Income-tax Rules, 1962, regulations, notifications, circulars, orders and Press Release by CBDT, Income Tax Department and the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.

Section-35ABB: Expenditure for obtaining licence to operate telecommunication services

Section 35ABB(1) of Income Tax Act

In respect of any expenditure, being in the nature of capital expendi- ture, incurred for acquiring any right to operate telecommunication services either before the commencement of the business to operate telecommunication services or thereafter at any time during any previous year and for which payment has actually been made to obtain a licence, there shall, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of this section, be allowed for each of the relevant previous years, a deduction equal to the appropriate fraction of the amount of such expenditure.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section,—

(i) “relevant previous years” means,—

  • (A) in a case where the licence fee is actually paid before the commencement of the business to operate telecommunication services, the previous years beginning with the previous year in which such business commenced;
  • (B) in any other case, the previous years beginning with the previous year in which the licence fee is actually paid,

and the subsequent previous year or years during which the licence, for which the fee is paid, shall be in force;

(ii) “appropriate fraction” means the fraction the numerator of which is one and the denominator of which is the total number of the relevant previous years;

(iii) “payment has actually been made” means the actual payment of expenditure irrespective of the previous year in which the liability for the expenditure was incurred according to the method of accounting regularly employed by the assessee.

Section 35ABB(2) of Income Tax Act

Where the licence is transferred and the proceeds of the transfer (so far as they consist of capital sums) are less than the expenditure incurred remaining unallowed, a deduction equal to such expenditure remaining unallowed, as reduced by the proceeds of the transfer, shall be allowed in respect of the previous year in which the licence is transferred.

Section 35ABB(3) of Income Tax Act

Where the whole or any part of the licence is transferred and the proceeds of the transfer (so far as they consist of capital sums) exceed the amount of the expenditure incurred remaining unallowed, so much of the excess as does not exceed the difference between the expenditure incurred to obtain the licence and the amount of such expenditure remaining unallowed shall be chargeable to income-tax as profits and gains of the business in the previous year in which the licence has been transferred.

Explanation: Where the licence is transferred in a previous year in which the business is no longer in existence, the provisions of this sub-section shall apply as if the business is in existence in that previous year.

Section 35ABB(4) of Income Tax Act

Where the whole or any part of the licence is transferred and the proceeds of the transfer (so far as they consist of capital sums) are not less than the amount of expenditure incurred remaining unallowed, no deduction for such expenditure shall be allowed under sub-section (1) in respect of the previous year in which the licence is transferred or in respect of any subsequent previous year or years.

Section 35ABB(5) of Income Tax Act

Where a part of the licence is transferred in a previous year and sub-section (3) does not apply, the deduction to be allowed under sub-section (1) for expenditure incurred remaining unallowed shall be arrived at by—

  • (a) subtracting the proceeds of transfer (so far as they consist of capital sums) from the expenditure remaining unallowed; and
  • (b) dividing the remainder by the number of relevant previous years which have not expired at the beginning of the previous year during which the licence is transferred.

Section 35ABB(6) of Income Tax Act

Where, in a scheme of amalgamation, the amalgamating company sells or otherwise transfers the licence to the amalgamated company (being an Indian company),—

  • (i) the provisions of sub-sections (2), (3) and (4) shall not apply in the case of the amalgamating company; and
  • (ii) the provisions of this section shall, as far as may be, apply to the amalgamated company as they would have applied to the amalga-mating company if the latter had not transferred the licence.

Section 35ABB(7) of Income Tax Act

Where, in a scheme of demerger, the demerged company sells or otherwise transfers the licence to the resulting company (being an Indian company),—

  • (i) the provisions of sub-sections (2), (3) and (4) shall not apply in the case of the demerged company; and
  • (ii) the provisions of this section shall, as far as may be, apply to the resulting company as they would have applied to the demerged company if the latter had not transferred the licence.

Section 35ABB(8) of Income Tax Act

Where a deduction for any previous year under sub-section (1) is claimed and allowed in respect of any expenditure referred to in that sub-section, no deduction shall be allowed under sub-section (1) of section 32 for the same previous year or any subsequent previous year.


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