IFB Industries Ltd. Vs. State of Kerala (Supreme Court)
In this case a division bench of the Kerala High Court has held that unless the discount was shown in the invoice itself, it would not qualify for deduction and further that any discount that was given by means of credit note issued subsequent to the sale of the article was in reality an incentive and not trade discount eligible for exemption under rule 9(a) of the Rules.
On Appeal Supreme Court has observed and held as follows:-
Rule 9(a) provides as follows – “9. Determination of taxable turnover – In determining the taxable turnover, the amounts specified in the following clauses shall subject to the conditions specified therein, be deducted from the total turnover of the dealer: – (a) All amounts allowed as discount, provided that such discount is allowed in accordance with the regular practice in the trade and provided also that the accounts show that the purchaser has paid only the sum originally charged less the discount.” (emphasis added)
It is significant to note that the rule does not speak of invoices but stipulates that the discount must be shown in the accounts. On a plain reading of the provision it is clear that the exemption is allowable subject to two conditions; first, the discount is given in accordance with the regular practice in the trade and secondly, the accounts should show that the purchaser had paid only the sum originally charged less the discount. We find nothing in rule 9(a) to read it in the restrictive manner to mean that a discount in order to qualify for exemption under its provision must be shown in the invoice itself.
The Supreme Court further observed, “So far as the special discount is concerned, all that the authorities have to look into whether as a matter of fact, the petitioner received only the sum originally charged less the discount. It is the look out of the traders to see that the trade increase and it is for that purpose the trade discount is given. Hence, a person may not be able to clearly prove as to why the special discount was given. But if there has been a consistent practice of giving special discount, that has to be accepted by the assessing authority. The Assessing Authority shall not reject the appellants’ claim for exemption of the amounts of trade discount solely on the ground that the discount amounts were not shown in the sale invoices.”