ITAT allows sec. 54F exemption on purchasing a residential floor in a building with commercial shops on other floors

Ashok Kureja v. Income – tax Officer-[2021](Indore-Trib.)

The assessee was an individual running the business of grinding of spices, wholesale trading of spices, Kirana items. During the assessment proceedings, the Assessing Officer (AO) observed that the assessee had claimed exemption under section 54F for purchasing house property located on the first floor of a complex having shops constructed on the ground floor.
The assessee claimed it to be residential property, but the AO considered it commercial, which cannot be used for residential purposes. Accordingly, the AO had denied the exemption and made additions to the income of the assessee. Assessee preferred appeal before the CIT(A) but couldn’t succeed. He filed the instant appeal before the Tribunal.
The Tribunal has ruled that as per the permission granted by the Municipal Corporation, the ground floor was to be utilized for commercial activities. Thus, shops were constructed on the ground floor, and the first floor was utilized for residential purposes.
The assessee had purchased the property as a residential property, and registering authority had also registered the said purchase after charging expenses valuing the said property for stamp duty value as a residential property. Municipal authorities have charged the property tax treating it as a residential property.
It is noteworthy that Electricity Department had also considered the use of the said premises as residential use and had charged the electricity rates accordingly. The AO failed to place any contrary material to prove otherwise. Accordingly, the findings of CIT(A) were liable to be set aside.

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