SECTION 191 – DIRECT PAYMENT
1. Iac vs. Tata Chemicals Ltd. (1999) 68 Itd 205 (Mum.)
After an assessment order in the case of the payee has been made, the person who was to
deduct tax at source, would not be liable to pay the tax and it shall be payable by that
2. Associated Cement Co. Ltd. vs. ITO TDS (2000) 74 ITD 369/111 Taxman 251
(Mag.)/68 TTJ (Mum) (SMC II) 220
Section 4(1) creates substantial charge on the person who earns the income and primarily it
is his duty to pay tax on that income. Thus, section 191 provides for recovery of tax which
is not deducted by the payer, only from the recipient of income and not from the payer of
income. Further, section 205 fortifies this view since the bar against a direct demand on the
assessee is only to the extent to which tax has been deducted by the payer of income. It
obviously means that there is no bar against a direct demand from the assessee in respect
of the tax which is not deducted by the payer of the income.
SECTION 192 – SALARY
1. John Patterson & Co. (India ) Ltd. vs. ITO (1959) 36 ITR 449 (Cal)
No arrangement or agreement privately arrived at between the employer and the employee
can affect or alter or modify the statutory liability of the employer under section 192 to
deduct tax at source at the appropriate rates from payments made to the employee.
2. Gwalior Rayon Silk Co. Ltd. vs. CIT  140 ITR 832 (M.P.) [See also Su-raj
Diamonds (India) Ltd. vs. ITO, 75 TTJ 766 (Mum); Lintas India Ltd. vs. Asst. CIT
 5 SOT 310 (Mum.); Nishith M. Desai vs. ITO (2006) 9 SOT 42 (Mum.)]
A duty is cast on an employer to form an opinion about the tax liability of his employee in
respect of the salary income. While forming this opinion, the employer is undoubtedly
expected to act honestly and fairly. But if it is found that the estimate made by the
employer is incorrect, this fact alone, without anything more, would not lead to the
inference that the employer has not acted honestly and fairly. It cannot be held that he has
not deducted tax on the estimated income of the employee. It could not therefore be held
that the assessee was assessee in default and therefore provisions of section 201(1A) was
3. ITO vs. Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd.  19 TTJ 482
At the stage of checking the deduction at source the ITO (TDS) could not enter into a
controversial question regarding the declaration of the value of perquisite in the case of a
particular employee, while examining the annual return of 'salaries' submitted by the
employer under section 206. This could be done only in the assessment of the employee
4. CIT vs. Kannan Devan Hill Produce Co. Ltd.  161 ITR 477 (Ker.)
The liability of the employer is not independent of the liability of the employee to pay tax.
Where assessment in relation to employee has been completed and has become final and
there is no further tax due from the employee; that puts an end to the liability of the
employer to deduct tax.
5. Executive Engineer, T.L.C. Division, A.P. State Electricity Board vs. ITO 
20 ITD 318 (Hyd.)
Where no tax was deductible by the employer in normal course but due to grant of ex
gratia, increments, and D.A., salaries of an employee exceeded taxable limit, it was held
that no interest could be levied under section 201(1A) for non-deduction in the initial
months since there was no default on the part of the assessee in terms of section 192(3)
and, unless there was default, section 201(1A) was not applicable.
6. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines vs. Asstt. CIT (1998) 62 TTJ 268 (Delhi)
Where assessee had since long been reimbursing transportation expenses of its employees,
without deduction of tax at source and filing return of tax deducted at source for year under
consideration it could justify its failure to deduct tax at source from such reimbursement on
the ground that it entertained a bona fide belief that no tax was to be deducted from such
reimbursement under section 192.
7. Grindlays Bank Ltd. vs. CIT  56 Taxman 213 (Cal.) / (1992) 193 ITR 457
Assessee bank had a number of expatriate officers working in India and these officers were
entitled to proceed on furlough on completion of specific period of service in India. While on
furlough they were entitled to furlough pay. Furlough pay which was paid in foreign
currency abroad, was held to be salary for services rendered in India and, therefore, it was
an income that accrued in India. Since assessee failed to deduct tax from furlough pay paid
to its employees, it was liable to pay interest under section 201(1A).
8. State Bank of Patiala vs. CIT (1999) 236 ITR 281 (Punj.)
Once the investments, qualifying for tax rebate under section 88 such as PPF, NSC, etc. are
found to be correct after verification, the employer has no further authority in law to
examine the source and record his satisfaction.
9. Shriram Pistons and Rings Ltd. vs. ITO (2000) 73 ITD 30 (Delhi)
In case of adjustment, either of increasing or decreasing TDS under section 192(3)
reference has to be made to the estimated income of 'the assessee'; i.e., an employee and
not all of them taken together deducting from some and refunding to others. Secondly,
under section 200 TDS is a statutory deduction which are held on behalf of the Government
till deposited and hence adjustments as regards employees as a whole was clearly outside
the legal mandate. Thus, adjustment of TDS among employees inter se is not permitted but
qua each employee adjustment of TDS between months is permitted.
10. Koti Enterprises (P) Ltd. vs. ITO (2000) 74 ITD 437 (Cal) (SMC)
It is the duty of the employer to ensure that the investments qualifying for rebate etc.
declared by the employees are actually made before the close of the financial year. Granting
of rebates merely on the basis of declaration furnished by employees is not justified and
short deduction of tax consequent thereto would attract penal provisions. [See also Major
General, Vinay Kumar Singh vs. Union of India (2000) Tax LR 234 (MP)].
11. Associated Cement Co. Ltd. vs. ITO TDS (2000) 74 ITD 369/111 Taxman 251
(Mag.)/ 68 TTJ (Mum) (SMC II) 220
Tax is to be deducted under the head 'Salaries' is always contingent subject to regular
assessment of income in the hands of the recipient. Hence, the point to be verified is
whether the employer had acted bona fide or not while computing the tax liability of its
employees for purposes of deducting tax at source.
12. Krishna Murthy (P) vs. CIT (1997) 224 ITR 183 (Kar.); CIT vs. M. K. Vaidya
(1997) 224 ITR 186 (Kar.); CIT vs. S. S. Khosla (1996) 220 ITR 69 (P & H); CIT vs.
P.R.S. Oberoi (1990) 183 ITR 103 (Cal.); Bharat Heavy Electricals vs. CIT (2001)
252 ITR 316 (AP)
Interest free housing loan/ interest subsidy to employee is not taxable perquisite.
N.B. Under the present Rule 3 of the Income Tax Rules, 1962 interest free or concessional
loans are taxable as perquisite.
13. Y.S.C. Babu & A.V.S. Raghavan vs. Chairman & Managing Director, Syndicate
Bank and Others  253 ITR 1 (A.P.)
The deduction of income tax u/s. 192 has to be made at the time of payment of salary but
the calculation of tax deductible will have to be made on the estimated salary income of the
employee for the relevant financial year computed according to the provisions of the
Income-tax Act. Thus TDS has to be worked out after estimating the annual income
chargeable under the head “Salaries” and also arriving at the average rate of income-tax
computed on the basis of the rates in force on the said estimated income of the assessee.
14. Babcock Power (Overseas Projects) Ltd. vs. ACIT (2002) 81 ITD 29 (Del.)
In this case the appellant a foreign company deputed its employees to the Indian project
office for execution of a contract. It paid salaries in foreign currency outside India but did
not deduct tax at source u/s. 192. The Tribunal held that by virture of S. 9(1)(ii) read with
the Explanation thereto if the salary is paid for the services rendered in India then such
payments become chargeable to tax in India under the head ‘Salaries’ and consequently,
the provisions of section 192 become applicable. The fact that the employees as well as the
employer were non-resident, the fact that the payment was made outside India and the fact
that the contract of employment was also out of India, are not relevant for deciding the
15. CIT vs. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.  254 ITR 121 (Guj.)
Allowance granted by employer to meet the conveyance expenditure was treated as exempt
u/s. 10(14) for purpose of calculation of TDS u/s. 192. This stand of the employer would not
be jeopardized by the fact that ultimately on assessment of the employees they have been
found not utilizing the full amount of conveyance allowance and hence a part of the
allowance is taxed as income from salary.
16. Infosys Technologies Ltd. vs. Dy. CIT (Bang) (2003) 78 TTJ 598 (Bang) [See
also ITO vs. Television Eighteen India Ltd. (2006) 101 TTJ (Delhi) 669; CIT and
Another vs. Infosys Technologies Ltd. (2007) 293 ITR 146 (Karn); CIT vs. Infosys
Technologies Ltd. (2008) 297 ITR 167 (SC)]
On facts it was held that no perquisite arises to an employee on the exercise of stock
options. Accordingly, the assessee company was not liable to deduct tax at source u/s. 192
on ESOP benefit.
17. Savani Financials Ltd. vs. ITO  1 SOT 111 (Mum.)
The taxability of the allowance in the hands of the recipient does not ipso facto lead to the
conclusion that the employer is liable to deduct tax at source on the said allowance. Thus,
where the assessee was under a bona fide belief that conveyance allowance paid to the
employee was not taxable in the hands of the employee more so considering the fact that
the allowance was not unreasonable or excessive as to be called payment of salary in the
garb of allowance, the employer cannot be treated as an assessee in default u/s. 201(1) if
he has excluded the conveyance allowance from the estimate considered for tax deduction.
18. Kinetics Technology (India) Ltd. vs. JCIT  94 ITD 63 (Del.) – 94 TTJ 1
[See also CIT vs. Woodward Governor India P Ltd. (2007) 295 ITR 1 (Del.); CIT
(TDS) vs. Eli Lilly and Co. I.P. Ltd. (2008) 297 ITR 300 (Del.); CIT vs. Marubeni
India P. Ltd. (2007) 294 ITR 157 (Del.); CIT vs. Alcatel India Ltd. (2007) 159
Taxman 332 (Del.)]
An employer is required to deduct TDS only on the salary income paid by him to the
employee. If an employee is in receipt of the salary from more than one employers, it is not
the duty of the employer to consider the salary paid to the employee by other employers
unless the employee has submitted details in the prescribed manner u/s. 192(2).
19. Thai Airways International Public Co. Ltd. vs. ACIT  98 ITD 123 (Del.) –
(2005) 2 SOT 389 (Del.)
Amounts paid by the appellants an international airline company, towards refreshment
expenses, shift allowance, transport allowance (to office staff and sales staff) was held to be
salary taxable u/s. 17. The said expenditure it was held could not be treated as
reimbursements since the allowances were not paid against an actual expenditure. Further
they were not specifically exempt u/s. 10(14) except transport allowance to sales staff
which was specifically exempt vide notification 606 dated 9-6-1989 [178 ITR (St.) 43]. As
regards free or concessional air tickets of other airline companies enjoyed by employees, no
TDS was deductible by the appellants. But, as regards free or concessional air tickets
provided to employees by the appellants, tax was deductible. The Tribunal concluded by
allowing the appeal u/s. 201(1) and directed that the recovery of tax may not be made
against the assessee within the meaning of section 201(1). However, it held that interest is
mandatory u/s. 201(1A).
20. DCIT vs. HCL Infosystems Ltd.  4 SOT 428 (Delhi) – 95 TTJ 109
Leave travel allowance paid to employees was considered as exempt u/s. 10(5) while
making salary estimate for deducting tax at source u/s. 192 after satisfying that the
concerned employees had availed leave of minimum five days for the purpose of their travel
and obtaining declarations from them to the effect that the allowance, so granted, was
actually spent by them on such travel though the actual proof / evidence of having incurred
the LTA was not verified. On facts the Tribunal held that the obligation u/s. 192 has been
discharged by the assessee. [See Also State Bank of India vs. ASST. CIT (2007) 12 SOT
174 (Mum.) for reimbursement of wages and cleaning material cost to maintain furniture;
Business India Television Ltd. vs. ASST. CIT (2007) 11 SOT 486 (Del.) for reimbursement of
news gathering, readership and telephone expenses]
21. National Federation of Insurance Field Workers of India and Another vs. Union
of India and Others  276 ITR 127 (Jharkhand)
Tax is required to be deducted at source u/s. 192 on the conveyance allowance and
additional conveyance allowance granted to its Development Officers. It is not for the
employer to decide that how much could be claimed by an individual assessee as the
expenses incurred wholly and exclusively in the performance of his duties and therefore
exempt u/s. 10(14). That is to be decided at the time of assessment of each employee who
has to substantiate his claim for exemption. [Contra CIT vs. Branch Manager LIC (2006)
154 Taxman 76 (P & H) and LIC vs. UoI (2003) 260 ITR 40 (Raj). (See also Sl. No. 15)]
22. CIT vs. Tej Quebeccor Printing Ltd. (2006) 281 ITR 170 (Del.)
Obligation to deduct tax at source u/s. 192 arises only when salary is paid and not when it
23. CIT vs. NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation (2007) 291 ITR 331 (Del.)
Where citizens tax which is a statutory payment required to be made by Japanese citizens
was deducted by the assessee, a Japanese organization, from the salary paid to its
employees, and paid to the Government, it was held that since the amount never reaches
the hands of employees it is not part of the employees’ income and accordingly not liable for
TDS u/s 192.
24. State Bank of India vs. Asst. CIT (TDS) (2007) 12 SOT 174 (Mum.)
Furniture and other appliances made available to its employees by the assessee bank at an
uniform rate based on their grade and standing without any concession in favour of any
particular employee vis-à-vis other employees similarly placed would not amount to
providing furniture at a concessional rate and accordingly there would no perquisite u/s.
17(2)(iii) requiring TDS u/s 192.
25. CIT vs. Marubeni India P. Ltd. (2007) 294 ITR 157 (Del.)
Performance incentive paid to employees which is based on the performance of a company
in a given financial year, being varying and uncertain in nature, cannot be included in the
“estimated income” of the assessee and hence the assessee cannot be held to be an
assessee in default due to short deduction of the TDS related to performance incentive.
26. CIT vs. Max India Ltd. (2007) 163 Taxman 225 (Del.)
Where the assessee-company sold the cars and other items to its employees at prices
mutually agreed, which in some cases was less than the written down value, the difference
cannot be considered as perquisite for the purpose of S. 192.
27. RBF RIG Corporation vs. Asst. CIT (2008) 297 ITR (AT) 228 (Del.) (SB)
[disapproving BJ Services Company Middle East Ltd. vs. Asst. CIT (2008) 297 ITR
(AT) 141 (Del.)]
The taxes paid by the employer on behalf of the employee are a perquisite within the
meaning of section 17(2) of the Income-tax Act, which is “not provided by way of monetary
payment”. Such tax payment is exempt u/s 10(10CC). Accordingly taxes paid would not
form the part of total income of the employee and hence not requiring multiple grossing up
for the purpose of TDS.
28. Cit vs. Nicholas Piramal India Ltd. (2008) 299 Itr 356 Bom
Employees of the assessee had given declarations and filed affidavits that they had incurred
expenditure on childrens’ education and on leave travel, after scrutiny of which assessee
had not deducted tax on the allowances which were exempt. Tribunal considered these
declarations and affidavits and recorded findings that the assessee had fairly estimated the
income for deducting tax u/sec 192.
29. Cit vs. Coastal Power Co. 296 Itr 433 (Del)
Assessee having entered into consultancy agreements with consultants on a temporary
basis stipulating relationship of customer and independent contractor, which were extended
from time to time. However the temporary nature of the consultancy remained. Also, the
consultants had agreed to indemnify the company (assessee) and its officers, directors,
employees, agents, etc. against all liabilities as provided for in the agreement. Hence, there
is no employer-employee relationship between the parties, and therefore, provisions of
s.192 are not applicable.
30. Birla Vidya Niketan vs. ITO (2008) 166 Taxman 492
The assessee, a public school, charged concessional fees from the children of its
teachers/employees who were studying in the school. It was not providing free educational
facilities and therefore, concession given by the assessee has to be included in the income
of the teachers/employees as perquisite for the purpose of calculated TDS. Proviso to Rule
3(5) of provision of free education is not applicable in this case.
31. CIT vs. Reliance Industries Ltd. (2008) 308 ITR 82 (Guj)
Non-transferable meal coupons distributed by the assessee company to its employees of the
value Rs.50/- per day which were usable only at specified eating joints not being taxable as
perquisites in the hands of the employees in view of proviso to Rule 3(7)(iii), no default can
be ascribed to the assessee for not deducting tax at source in respect of said meal coupons
merely because some employees misused the facility.
SECTION 193 : INTEREST ON SECURITIES
1. IDBI vs. ITO (2006) 10 SOT 497=104 TTJ 230 (Mum.)
Where the assessee made a provision of ‘interest accrued but not due’ in its books of
accounts but the identity of payee could not have been ascertained at the time of making
the provision since the bonds were freely transferable, the Tribunal held that no tax was
required to be deducted at source. However, the Tribunal also observed that if the assessee
knows the identity of lenders, whether the assessee credits the ‘interest accrued but not
due’ in the account of the assessee or in some other suspense account, tax would continue
to be deductible u/s. 193 by the virtue of deeming fiction set out in the Explanation to
section 193. But, the Explanation to section 193 cannot be invoked in a case where the
person who is to receive the interest cannot be identified at the stage at which the provision
for interest accrued but not due is made.”
SECTION 194A – INTEREST OTHER THAN INTEREST ON SECURITIES
1. Rishikesh Balkishandas vs. Manchanda I.T.O. (1987) 167 ITR 49 (Delhi)
Section 194A(4) allows increase/reduction of amount of tax to be deducted for adjusting
excess/deficiency during a financial year. This provision for adjustment in subsequent
payments in same year applies to cases where interest is paid more than once in the same
year and not in different financial years.
2. M. L. Family Trust vs. State of Gujarat (1995) 213 ITR 152 (Guj) [See also Food
Corporation of India vs. ITO (2007) 18 SOT 289 (Del.); NTPC Ltd. Employees
Provident Fund Trust vs. ITO (2008) 2 DTR (Del) (Tri) 140]
Where the beneficiaries of a trust are individuals the status of the trustees would be that of
individuals and hence no tax would be deducted from interest income since the provisions of
section 194A do not apply to payments made by individuals. [see also ITO vs. Arihant Trust
(1995) 214 ITR 306 (Mad.); ITO vs. S. K. Family Trust (1991) 36 ITD 351 (Ahd.) ; ITO vs.
K. C. Trust (1992) 42 TTJ 141 (Ahd.)].
3. Sudershan Auto & General Finance vs. CIT (1997) 60 ITD 177 (Delhi)
Specific date must be ascertained before deciding whether the assessee committed default
of failure to deduct tax since Form 15-H must precede the date of credit/payment.
4. Vijay Hemant Finance & Estate Ltd. vs. ITO (1999) 238 ITR 282 (Madras)
It is the duty of the ITO to give an opportunity to rectify the defects in the declarations in
Form No. 15-H and imposition of tax liability, without giving an opportunity to the petitioner
to rectify the defects in the declarations in spite of the petitioner asking for an opportunity
to rectify the defects, is not justified in the eye of law.
5. A and M Agencies vs. CIT (1999) 239 ITR 136 (Mad)
Penalty for non-payment of the value of goods in time paid by the assessee agent to whom
goods have been supplied by his principal was a charge relatable to the debt incurred by the
assessee and therefore, has to be regarded as interest within the meaning of section 2(28A)
of the Income-tax Act with the consequent liability to deduct tax on that account.
6. CIT vs. S. K. Sundararamier & Sons (1999) 240 ITR 740 (Mad)
Deduction of tax has to be made from gross amount and not the net interest payable after
mutual set-off between parties.
7. Viswapriya Financial Services and Securities Ltd. vs. CIT  258 ITR 496
On facts the Court held that monthly payments being “minimum guaranteed return”
@ 1.5% p.m. on funds with the assessee company pursuant to a scheme floated by the
company is “Interest” u/s. 2(28A) and hence, is subject to TDS u/s. 194A.
8. Kedarnath Jute Manufacturing Co. Ltd vs. Prasad Ranjan Ray (2004) 266 ITR
Where the order of the court directed the respondents to make all calculations and pay the
appropriate amount to the petitioners, tax deducted from the payments is not a contempt of
the court order.
9. CIT vs. Century Building Industries (P.) Ltd (2007) 163 Taxman 188 (SC)
Where the assessee company’s directors took loan in their individual capacities but the
directors routed the transactions of receipt and repayment of loan through the assessee
company and the interest was debited by the assessee to the ‘Interest Account’ for a
specific amount calculated with reference to the deductor’s liability to a creditor, there was
no resolution of the assessee-company placed before the Assessing Officer whereby the
company had agreed to act as a medium for routing the borrowings and repayments. It was
held that the assessee company was liable for TDS u/s. 194A.
SECTION 194B – WINNINGS FROM LOTTERY AND CROSSWORD PUZZLES
1. Om Prakash Gattani vs. ACIT and Others (1996) 222 ITR 489 (Gauh.)
Prize winner cannot be asked to make payment of tax to the extent tax has been deducted
at source by person paying the prize under section 194 B. [See also ACIT vs. Om Prakash
Gattani (2000) 242 ITR 638 (Gauh)].
2. ITO vs. Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd.  277 ITR 133 (AT) = 94 ITD 195
To bring a scheme into the field of lottery two ingredients are required – (i) distribution of
property by chance or lot among the participants (ii) consideration paid for the privilege of
participation in the scheme. Thus, contests [“World Cup Football Forecast” and “Lok Sabha
Election Forecast”] where prizes were distributed based on the skills of the participants
without a participation fee, were held as not amounting to “lottery” [even if the ultimate
winner was selected by a lot amongst various preliminary winners] and therefore the
assessee is not liable to deduct tax before distribution of prizes u/s. 194B.
3. Hind Motors India Ltd. vs. ITO (2006) 9 SOT 556 (Chd.)
Where the assessee conducted a “Tata Sumo Lucky Draw” whereby it distributed coupons
for Rs. 200 to the participants and the winner was selected by a lucky draw and winning did
not require any personal skill of the participants, the scheme was held amounting to
“lottery” and assessee was liable to deduct tax u/s 194B on the prizes distributed.
SECTION 194C – PAYMENTS TO CONTRACTORS AND SUB-CONTRACTORS
1. ITO vs. Rama Nand & Co. and Others (1987) 163 ITR 702 (HP)
The respondent firm purchased certain quantity of scants of timber. It was held that, the
contractor would be a person who enters into a contract for carrying out any work including
supply of labour for carrying out any work with any of the specified persons mentioned in
section 194C(1) and a sub-contractor would be a person who enters into a contract with a
contractor for carrying out any work including supply of labour for carrying out wholly or
partly any work undertaken by the contractor. Since in the instant case the respondent firm
had not entered into any contract for carrying out any work including supply of labour for
carrying out any work with the specified persons, but it was only a contract for purchase of
timber, they are not “contractors” and the payments made by the respondent firm to any
person cannot be treated as payment made to “sub-contractors” so as to attract the
provisions of section 194C(2).
2. CIT vs. Kumudam Publications P. Ltd. (1991) 188 ITR 84 (Mad.)
Activity of printing periodicals on materials supplied by the clients of printers is work and
section 194C is attracted.
3. CBDT Circular No. 681 dated 8-3-1994 struck down by various courts as ultra
vires and unenforceable
The extension of the definition of 'work' by the CBDT Circular No. 681 was struck down as
ultra vires and unenforceable by various High Courts in the context of applicability of section
194C vis-à-vis various contracts such as contract for goods transport, advertising contracts,
brokerage and commission, contract for payment of fees for professional services, etc.
Some of the citations of the court judgements setting aside the Circular No. 681 are :
1. Tour Operator Indian Association of Tour Operators
vs.Central Board of Direct Taxes (1995)
81 Taxman 340 (Del.)
2. Payment to
Advertising Agency Association of India
and Agencies1 Another vs. CBDT and
Others (1994) 210 ITR 152 (Bom.)
3. Transport1 Birla Cement Works vs. CBDT (2001)
248 ITR 216 (SC) / 115 Taxman 359
(SC); Bombay Goods Transport
Association and another vs.CBDT and
Others (1994) 210 ITR 136 (Bom);
Calcutta Goods Transport Association
and another vs. Union of India and
219 ITR 486 (Cal.)
Chamber of Income Tax Consultants and
others vs. CBDT and Others (1994) 209
ITR 660 (Bom); Madras Bar Association
and others vs. CBDT and Others (1995)
216 ITR 240 (Mad).
5. Advertising1 and
All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants
and Others vs. CBDT and Others (1995)
214 ITR 276 (Guj)
6. Brokerage and
S.R.F. Finance Ltd. vs. Central Board of
Direct Taxes and Others — (1995) 211
ITR 861 (Del)
1. Specifically covered by Explanation III to section 194C w.e.f. 1-7-1995.
2. Now covered under section 194J w.e.f. 1-7-1995.
3. Now covered under section 194H w.e.f. 1-6-2001.
4. S.R.F. Finance Ltd. vs. CBDT (1995) 211 ITR 861 (Del) [SLP dismissed by
Supreme Court (1995) 212 ITR 375 (SC) (Stat.)] see also All Gujarat Federation of
Tax Consultants vs. CBDT (1995) 214 ITR 276 (Guj)
The expression “any work” occurring in section 194C cannot include a contract for rendering
5. V.M. Salgaocar & Bros. Ltd. vs. ITO (1999) 237 ITR 630 (Karn.); Birla Cement
Works vs. CBDT (2001) 248 ITR 216 (SC)/115 Taxman 359 (SC)
It has been held that the newly inserted Explanation III to section 194C with effect from 1-
7-1995 cannot be considered procedural. The inclusive definition given by that Explanation,
therefore, is to be made applicable only from 1-7-1995.
6. Wadilal Dairy International Ltd. vs. Asstt. CIT (2001) 70 TTJ (Pune) 77 [see also
Dy. CIT vs. Reebok India Co. (2006) 100 TTJ (Delhi) 976; Bangalore District Co-op.
Milk Producers Societies Union Ltd. vs. ITO (2007) 11 SOT 539 (Bang.); Dy. CIT vs.
Seagram Manufacturing (P.) Ltd. (2008) 19 SOT 139]]
In this case the assessee purchased packing material for its products from various
manufacturers which was manufactured as per assessee's specifications. It was held that
the main purpose in buying packing material was to obtain goods for the purpose of packing
and the fact that incidentally some printing was required to be done by the supplier as per
his specification was of no consequence. Essentially it was a contract for purchase/ sale and
not a works contract and accordingly, provisions of section 194C are not applicable. [See
also Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation vs. DCIT (2002) 74 TTJ (Hyd.) 531]
7. U. P. State Industrial Development Corpn. Ltd. vs. Income-Tax Officer (2002) 81
ITD 173 (Lucknow)
The assessee-corporation appointed a company as a consultant for a construction job at a
fee of 11% of the actual cost of construction. The consultant company made payments
towards the construction job on behalf of assessee-corporation and deducted tax u/s. 194C
wherever applicable. Thereafter it received payment made towards the job from assesseecorporation.
Held that TDS procedure have been complied with and assessee-corporation
was under no obligation to deduct TDS from payment made to construction company for
onward payment to various parties.
8. Datta Digambar Sahakari Kamgar Sanstha Ltd. vs. Asstt. CIT  83 ITD 148
The assessee society, engaged in the business of transporting milk of the Government milk
schemes, hired tankers from its members, who were paid at a fixed rate for mileage
covered. The Assessing Officer treated this payment as a payment to sub-contractor u/s
194C(2) and raised a demand on the assessee society for failure to deduct tax. Repelling
this contention, the Tribunal held that the basic requirement of section 194C(2) is that the
sub-contractor has to carry out whole or any part of the work undertaken by the contractor.
In this case, the tanker owners merely entrusted their tankers to the society, which carried
out the transport of milk. Further, in this case, it was the collective effort of the members
that the contract with various milk schemes were carried out and therefore, there is no
question that the co-operative society had given further sub-contracts to its own members.
Hence no tax u/s 194C(2) is deductible from payments made by the society to its members.
9. Sunsel Drive-in-Cinema (P.) Ltd. vs. ITO, (TDS)  5 SOT 64 (Ahd.)
Sharing of proceeds of film distribution between a film exhibitor and film distributor would
not attract provisions of s. 194C since a distributor who has acquired rights of the
distribution of the films in particular area only gets his share and no work is carried by him
for which the payment is made.
10. National Panasonic India (P.) Ltd. vs. DCIT, TDS Circle-50(1)  3 SOT 16
(DELHI) / 94 TTJ 899 [See also Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Healthcare Ltd. vs.
ITO (2007) 12 SOT 221 (Del.)]
Payments made to clearing and forwarding agents are liable for TDS u/s. 194C. [See also
Sl. No. 10 under section 194-I]
11. ITO vs. Dr. Willmar Schwabe (I) P. Ltd.  3 SOT 71 (DELHI) / 95 TTJ 53
[See also Jindal Photo Films Ltd. vs. ITO  5 SOT 272 (Delhi); Balsara Home
Products vs. ITO  94 TTJ (Ahd) 970; BDA Ltd. vs. ITO (TDS)  281 ITR
99 (Bom.); CIT vs. Dabur India Ltd. (2006) 283 ITR 197 (Delhi); ITO vs. Millan
Dairy Foods (P.) Ltd. (2006) 7 SOT 901=105 TTJ 252 (Delhi)
Payment made towards supply of printed packing materials manufactured by the suppliers
as per the specific requirements given by the assessee was held not amounting to works
contracts but it was considered as a contract of sale of goods since the raw materials for the
said manufacture was purchased by the suppliers on their own account. Hence no TDS is
deductible u/s. 194C. [See also Sl. No. 6 above].
12. ITO vs. Freight Systems (India) (P.) Ltd. (2006) 6 SOT 473 = 103 TTJ 103
Inland haulage charges paid to authorised agents of non-resident shipping lines is
chargeable to tax u/s 172(8) and no tax is deductible u/s. 194C.
13. Senior Accounts Officer (O & M), Haryana Power Generation Corp. Ltd. vs. ITO
(2006) 103 TTJ (Delhi) 584
Where an assessee placed one common purchase order for supply of plant and for erection
and commissioning of plant, the Tribunal held that the dominant intention of the contract is
the purchase of the plant and the erection and commissioning was only incidental. However,
the Tribunal held that the two contracts are separable contracts and hence TDS was
deductible on the amount attributable to the erection and commissioning and not on the
gross sum paid by the assessee.
14. Whirlpool of India Ltd. vs. Jt. CIT (2007) 16 SOT 435 (Del.)
Where the assessee got goods manufactured to its specification and quality from outside
agencies who purchased the raw material, produced the goods and supplied it to the
assessee by affixing the assessee’s trademark after the assessee was satisfied with the
quality, the contract was held to be contract of sale and not a works contract and therefore
not liable for TDS u/s. 194C.
15. Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. vs. Asst. CIT (2007) 13 SOT 347 (Hyd.)
Contract for design, manufacture and supply of conductors, insulators, towers and
substations including erection thereof was held on facts to be a contract of sale and not a
works contract, erection being only incidental, and accordingly not liable for TDS u/s 194C.
16. City Transport Corporation vs. ITO (2007) 13 SOT 479 (Mum.)
Where the assessee did not own any trucks but hired them as and when required, it was
held on facts that no tax u/s 194C [as it stood at the relevant time] was required to be
deducted from the freight paid since each trip was a separate contract and payment in
respect of each trip did not exceed Rs. 20000/-.
[Note: For the change in law w.e.f. 1-10-2004, refer Chapter 3 para No 3.6]
17. ITO vs. Bhasin Motors India (P.) Ltd. (2007) 16 SOT 319 (Del.)
Where the assessee who was an authorised dealer of motor cars made payments to M/s W
pursuant to a business collaboration agreement wherein M/s. W who was in possession of a
premises used the same in mutual interest, decorated the same for display, repair, parking
of vehicles; employed qualified staff, paid their salaries and serviced the vehicles, it was
held that the payments to M/s W even though quantified as a percentage of vehicles sold
was liable for TDS u/s 194C and not 194-I or 194H.
18. CIT vs. Prasar Bharti (Broadcasting Corporation of India) (2007) 292 ITR 580
Amounts paid to producers for production of programmes for broadcasting and telecasting
would attract TDS u/s 194C and not u/s 194J since Explanation III to S. 194C is more
specific than S. 194J which is more general vis-à-vis the production activity.
19. CIT Vs. Deputy Chief Accounts Officer, Markfed (2008) 304 ITR 17 (P&H)
Purchase of printed packing material for which raw material was not supplied by the
assessee was a contract for sale and outside the purview of s. 194C.
20. Kurukshetra Darpans (P) Ltd. vs. CIT (2008) 169 Taxman 344 (P&H)
Assessee, a cable network operator, having entered into a contract with the licensor of
various TV channels for receiving telecast signals in order to further distribute the same to
the customer(s), the contract involves broadcasting and telecasting and, therefore, the
assessee was required to deduct tax at source on such payments made to licensor for
obtaining TV signals.
SECTION 194-H – COMMISSION OR BROKERAGE
1. Assistant CIT vs. Samaj (2001) 77 ITD 358 (Cuttack)
In this case, the assessee sold newspapers through its agents to whom the newspapers
were given at a discount of 25% on the printed price. The assessee also booked
advertisements through various advertisement agencies for which the assessee billed the
advertisement agencies. The agencies paid the assessee after deducting a specified
percentage of the bill as their commission. In both these cases, the Tribunal held that the
transaction did not attract section 194H since
i) in the first case it was in the nature of contract for sale of newspapers and not a contract
ii) in the second case the agreement was on a principal to principal basis and not on
principal to agent basis.
2. Ahmedabad Stamp Vendors Association vs. Union of India (2002) 257 ITR 202
(Guj.) [See also Kerala State Stamp Vendors Association vs. Office of the
Accountant General (2005) 150 Taxman 30 (Ker.)]
The definition of “commission or brokerage” in the Explanation (i) to section 194H is not so
wide as to cover any payment receivable, directly or indirectly, for services in the course of
buying or selling of goods. The element of agency is essential to attract Explanation (i) to
section 194H. Hence discount given by the Government to licensed stamp vendors on sale
of stamp paper to them, is not “commission” or “brokerage” u/s. 194H.
3. Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (P.) Ltd. vs. ITO, TDS Range-7  97 ITD
Where the assessee was engaged in manufacture and distribution of non-alcoholic
beverages through distributors’ the Tribunal on facts found that the relationship between
the assessee and the distributors was that of a principal and agent and accordingly the
assessee was held liable for TDS u/s. 194H in respect of payments made to distributors
towards their commission.
4. National Panasonic India (P.) Ltd. vs. DCIT, TDS Circle-50(1)  3 SOT 16
(Delhi) / 94 TTJ 899
Commission payment, in order to attract the provisions of s. 194H, must have been
received by a person who is acting on behalf of another, that is, in other words, he must be
acting as an agent of another person. Thus, where it was found on facts that the
arrangement between the assessee manufacturer and the distributors/dealers was on a
principal to principal basis several incentives and discounts paid to distributors/dealers was
held not liable to TDS u/s. 194H.
5. Govt. Milk Scheme vs. Asst. CIT (2006) 281 ITR (AT) 88 (Pune)
In order for a payment to be called “commission” u/s. 194H, there must be a relationship of
a principal and agent between the payer and payee. Thus, where the assessee procured
milk from various milk federations at 90 paise per litre and sold them to various milk booths
and centres at Rs. 11.10 per litre who further sold it to retail customers at Rs. 12 per litre it
was held that neither was the relationship between milk federation and assessee that of a
principal and agent nor was the relationship between the assessee and the milk booths /
centres that of a principal and agent. Accordingly, no tax was deductible at source u/s.
194H on the payment made to the Government as well as the margin of 90 paise which
accrued to the milk booths/centres. [Contrast Delhi Milk Scheme vs. ITO (2006) 8 SOT 344
(Delhi) where it was held that the relationship between Delhi Milk Scheme and its
booths/centres was that of principal and agent and hence TDS was applicable on the
commission earned by agents.]
6. All India Radio Commercial Broadcasting Service/Prasar Bharti Broadcasting
Corp. of India vs. ITO (2006) 8 SOT 513 (Delhi)
The assessee, a broadcasting agency, entered into a contract with accredited advertisement
agencies for broadcasting advertisements. The amount was billed by the assessee to the
agencies after giving a discount/commission of 15% to the agency. The agency billed the
entire amount of broadcasting charges to its clients (advertisers) for whom it had booked
the slots but paid the assessee after deducting its discount. The AO and the CIT(A) held that
the discount retained by the advertisement agencies is commission paid by the assessee
and is liable for TDS u/s 194H. The Tribunal negatived the contention and held as follows:
(i) The advertising agencies are not ‘agents’ of the assessee. The fact that they are
accredited with the assessee would not make them ‘agents’.
(ii) The amount deducted by the agency out of the amount paid to it by the advertiser,
cannot be treated to be payment of commission by the assessee. At the most it could be
treated as commission paid by the advertiser for services rendered to the advertiser.
(iii) The assessee is not liable to deduct TDS on the discount/commission retained by the
7. Asst. CIT vs. Bharti Cellular Ltd. (2007) 294 ITR (AT) 283 (Kol.)
The assessee company sold SIM and Prepaid cards to its distributors/ franchisees at a fixed
rate below market price for onward sale to its ultimate customers. The difference was held
as commission and not discounts as contended by the assessee and liable to TDS u/s. 194H
(i) all rights, title, ownership and property rights in such cards would always rest with the
(ii) the agreement between the assessee and the franchisee revealed that they were
commission agents acting on their behalf for margins.
SECTION 194-I – RENT
1. Gulf Oil India vs. ITO (2000) 75 ITD 172/67 TTJ (Mum) 182
The legal proposition that what is attached to land belongs to the land is a principle not
applicable to India and hence storage tanks, though happen to be erected on land cannot be
considered as either land or building. Thus hire charges paid for storage tank fails to attract
the provisions of section 194-I since they are considered as 'plant'.
N.B. : W.e.f. 13-7-2006 tax is deductible even for the use of ‘plant’.
2. Enterprise International Ltd. vs. Income Tax Officer  77 ITD 189 (Cal.)
Refundable deposits against tenancy agreements though adjustable against rent will not be
considered as advance rent and hence will not attract TDS under section 194-I.
3. Kamat Hotels (I) Ltd. vs. Income-tax Officer  78 ITD 241 (Mum.)
In this case the assessee had an arrangement to conduct and manage the restaurants and
food outlets of the payee for which the assessee paid a royalty/ commission as a percentage
of the sales. On facts, the Tribunal held that the consideration was for allowing the assessee
to manage or conduct the business and not for the use of land or building together with
furnitures and fixtures, etc. and the very fact that the royalty/commission was fixed as a
percentage of sales proceeds which were of a fluctuating nature the payment is not
regarded as rent and hence TDS under section 194-I would not be attracted.
4. Krishna Oberoi vs. Union of India  257 ITR 105 (A. P.)
Payment made to hotels for use and occupation of hotel rooms is to be regarded as “Rent”
for section 194-I. [See also CBDT Circular No. 5/2002 dated 30-7-2002, which clarifies that
section 194-I would not apply to payments made to hotels towards accommodation taken
pursuant to a rate contract agreement.]
5. Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages (P) Ltd. vs. JCIT (2004) 90 ITD 720 (Del.)
On facts the Tribunal held that warehousing charges would attract TDS @ 20% u/s. 194-I
and not @2% u/s. 194C even if the recipient gives a declaration that the income is a
business receipt and is being treated as business income in his hands and not property
6. Ganesh Alu Bhandar vs. ITO (2003) 87 ITD 588 (Rajkot)
Payment for use of cold storage is not subject to TDS u/s. 194-I since the definition of rent
u/s 194-I does not include a payment for use of a plant, and cold storage is a plant and not
N.B. : Circular No: 1/2008 dated 10-1-2008 clarifies that cooling charges paid by the
customers of cold storage are liable for TDS u/s. 194C and not u/s 194-I even after 13-7-
2006 from which date tax is deductible even for use of plant.
7. Amalendu Sahoo and others vs. ITO & others (2003) 264 ITR 16 (Cal.)
In this case, the tenant bank agreed to pay a rent of Rs. 6,20,512/- on December 16, 1998
to the petitioners who were undivided owners of the property. With effect from January 13,
1999 the petitioners individually agreed to rent out the specified portions of the properties
to the Bank. The court held that the liability to deduct tax is foisted at the time of payment
but the rate is different for an individual viz., 15% and body of individuals viz., 20%. The
Court further held that the bank correctly proposed to deduct tax of Rs. 99,198 while
agreeing to pay a sum of Rs. 6,20,512 to the petitioners jointly as and by way of rent.
Inasmuch as with effect from January 13,1999, the petitioners individually have let out
specified areas of the property to the bank, the rent payable is required to be apportioned
and accordingly if upon such apportionment the petitioners are not individually entitled to
receive a sum in excess of Rs. 1,20,000 per annum, the bank is not entitled to make any
deduction of tax at source.
8. P.S Cars (P) Ltd. vs. Income Tax Officer (2005) 92 TTJ (Del) 71
Interest-free security deposit paid to the lessor at the inception of the lease which was
being renewed on a year to year basis and which was adjustable only at the end of the
lease period was not rent paid in advance but a refundable deposit and accordingly does not
attract TDS u/s. 194-I.
9. Dy. CIT vs. Japan Airlines (2005) 92 TTJ (Del.) 687 [See also Singapore Airlines
Ltd. v. ITO (2006) 7 SOT 84 (Chennai); Contra : United Airlines vs. CIT (2006) 287
ITR 281 (Delhi High Court)]
Services provided by the Airport Authority of India to the respondents for landing and
parking of its aircrafts does not amount to lease of the property and therefore the payments
by the respondents to the authority towards landing and parking fee are not in the nature of
rent as envisaged u/s. 194-I of the Act nor is the payment fees for professional or technical
services u/s. 194J of the Act but are covered u/s. 194C of the Act.
10. National Panasonic India (P.) Ltd. vs. DCIT, TDS Circle-50(1)  3 SOT 16
(DELHI) / 94 TTJ 899 [See also Eli Lilly & Co. (India) (P.) Ltd. vs. Dy. CIT (2006)
99 TTJ (Delhi) 461]
An agreement or arrangement which gives rise to the payment of rent must necessarily be
an agreement or arrangement predominantly for use of land or building. However, where
the agreement is not predominantly for use of land or building but for something else, then
payment under that agreement will not constitute rent even if that ‘something else’ involves
the use of land or building as an integral part of or incidental to the predominant objective
of the agreement. Payment to a C&F agent by a manufacturer, who receives the goods,
‘stores’ the goods and forwards the same to various wholesalers or stockists for onward
movement to retailers and consumers would not amount to a payment for use of land or
building merely because the C&F agent ‘stores’ the goods in the intervening period between
their receipt and forwarding. Accordingly, no tax is deductible u/s. 194-I. The said payments
made to C&F agents are liable for TDS u/s. 194C.
11. ITO vs. Roshan Publicity (P.) Ltd.  4 SOT 105 (Mum.)
Payment of charges for acquiring a right of display of advertisements on hoarding sites
belonging to others is not “rent” and accordingly not liable for TDS u/s. 194-I. The Tribunal
held that in order for a payment to be called “rent”, there should be a live link between
payment of compensation known as “rent” and the use of land or building and this live link
is by the lease, sub-lease, tenancy, etc. In this case such live link was held to be absent.
12. Oriental Bank of Commerce vs. TDS/TRO Kaithal (2006) 150 Taxman 1 (Mag.)–
(2006) 99 TTJ 1235 (Chd.)
Where the rent paid by the assessee to co-owners of a property, each having a definite and
ascertainable share in the property, was below Rs. 1.20 lakhs, the Tribunal held that the
limit of Rs. 1.20 lakhs would apply for each co-owner separately and no tax is deductible.
13. ITO vs. Lally Motors Ltd. (2006) 102 ITD 271 (ASR) – 104 TTJ 963 (Asr.)
affirmed in CIT vs. Lally Motors (2007) 164 Taxman 510 (P & H) [See also Vijaya
Enterprises vs. ITO (2006) 7 SOT 883 (Bang.)]
Where the payees were ‘individual’ co-owners and their shares were definite and
ascertainable, tax is required to be deducted at source @15% u/s. 194-I(a) and not @20%
u/s. 194-I(b). S. 194-I(b) would be triggered where there is a tenancy-in-common standing
in the name of the landlords who would be considered as a ‘composite conglomeration’.
14. CIT vs. Reebok India Company (2007) 291 ITR 455 (Del.)
Where the assessee company entered into an agreement to take on lease certain premises
on rent and paid an amount as “security deposit” which was to be reduced every six months
by the amount of rent which became payable in accordance with the agreement, it was held
that the amount was not security deposit but was “advance rent” since:
(i) if it was a deposit, it would have been refundable at the time of termination of lease and
there would no reduction in the security amount; and
(ii) unadjusted portion was refundable to the lessee.
Thus, the assessee was required to deduct TDS upfront on payment of the amount and not
when it was adjusted.
SECTION 194J – FEES FOR PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL SERVICES
1. Skycell Communications Ltd. vs. Dy. CIT (Mad.) (2001) 251 ITR 53 (Mad.)
In this case the court laid down the following propositions —
1. Having regard to the fact that the term “fees for technical services” is required to be
understood in the context in which it is used, “fee for technical services” could only be
meant to cover such things technical as are capable of being provided by way of service for
a fee. The popular meaning associated with “technical” is “involving or concerning applied
and industrial science”.
2. Installation and operation of sophisticated equipments with a view to earn income by
allowing customers to avail of the benefit of the user of such equipment does not result in
the provision of technical service to the customer for a fee.
3. “Technical service” referred in section 9(1)(vii) contemplates rendering of a “service” to
the payer of the fee. Mere collection of a “fee” for use of a standard facility provided to all
those willing to pay for it does not amount to the fee having been received for technical
4. Subscription paid to cellular telephone companies for cell phone connections are not “fees
for technical services” u/s. 9(1)(vii) r.w. section 194J of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
2. United Hotels Ltd. vs. ITO  2 SOT 267 (Delhi)
Where certain payees deputed their personnel ranging from chief engineer to accounts
executive to housekeepers, etc. to the assessee and charged separate and distinct amounts
for reimbursement of salaries and fees for deputation of personnel, it held that the
reimbursement of salaries was not liable for deduction of tax at source u/s. 194J.
3. ITO vs. Dr. Willmar Schwabe (I) P. Ltd.  3 SOT 71 (Delhi)/95 TTJ 53
Where separate charges were made for professional fees and reimbursement of car
maintenance expenses [with no element of profit] it was held that no tax is required to be
deducted u/s. 194J from the amount paid towards reimbursement of car maintenance
expenses. Q. 30 of Circular No. 715 was held to be applicable only in case where the bills
are raised for the gross amount inclusive of professional fees and reimbursement of actual
4. Singapore Airlines Ltd. vs. ITO (2006) 7 SOT 84 (Chennai)
Payments made by the assessee to International Airport Authority of India for navigational
facilities which consisted of several technical services required to fly the aircraft over the
Indian Territories would attract TDS u/s 194J.
5. HFCL Infotel Ltd. vs. ITO (2006) 99 TTJ (Chd.) 440 [Contra : Hutchison Telecom
East Ltd. vs. ASST CIT (2007) 16 SOT 404 (Kol.)]
Interconnect charges paid to BSNL for using the network [consisting of highly technical and
sophisticated equipments and infrastructure] for routing calls is not payment for technical
services attracting the provisions of S. 194J.
6. Ultra Entertainment Solutions Ltd. vs. ITO (TDS) (2007) 17 SOT 249 (Mum.)
The assessee appointed one M/s. ‘P’ for sale of online lottery tickets. It entered into two
agreements – one for marketing, collection of proceeds, maintenance of books, etc. for a
consideration of 2% of the total revenue and another for provision of infrastructural facilities
to sell online lotteries like hardware, network backups, standby arrangements including
carrying through its personnel all activities related to selling of lottery tickets for an
operating fee. The assessee deducted tax from the commission but not from operating fee.
The Tribunal held that the two agreements when read together clearly envisage that the
role of P was not merely to provide infrastructure facilities for hire but to provide a service
to the customer and was accordingly liable to deduct TDS u/s 194J on the operating fee, the
services being a “technical service”.
7. Tecumseh Products (I) Ltd. vs. Dy. CIT  13 SOT 489 (Hyd.)
The amounts paid by the assessee to its holding company for assisting in fields of accounts,
finance, human resource development, taxation are fees for managerial/technical services
and accordingly liable for TDS u/s 194J.
8. CIT vs. Sara International Ltd. (2008) 217 CTR 491 (Del)
Agreement between assessee and PEC showed that PEC transferred foreign buyers’ letters
of credit in favour of assessee against commission charge, PEC rendered agency services to
assessee and not professional or technical services, hence assessee was not liable to deduct
tax at source under s.194J.
9. Kotak Securities Ltd. vs. Addl. CIT (2008) 25 SOT 440 (Mum)
Transaction fee paid by Brokers to the Stock Exchange is not paid in consideration of any
service provided by the stock exchange. It is a payment for use of facilities provided by the
stock exchange and such facilities are available for use by any member. Therefore, the
transaction fee paid could not be said to be a fee paid in consideration of any technical
services rendered by the stock exchange to the assessee. The provisions of S.<