A carbon credit score certificates is a allow that enables an business, that holds it, to emit a specific amount of carbon dioxide or different greenhouse gases with equal mass as that of carbon credit. One carbon credit score permits the emission of a mass equal to 1 ton of carbon dioxide or equal quantities of one other greenhouse fuel. Carbon credit score buying and selling has seen a surge lately as local weather change continues to be one of many greatest worldwide agendas. The McKinsey report means that the worth of worldwide carbon markets grew by 20% in 2020.

There’s, nevertheless, an ambiguous place as as to if to tax these commodities as a Income Receipt or in no way contemplating its related character as that of a Capital Receipt. Income Receipts are taxable below the Revenue Tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter ‘the Act’) whereas the Capital Receipts aren’t because the Income Receipts are within the earnings assertion of an organization and are instantly taxable below the Act, nevertheless, the Capital Receipts are generated on account of switch of a capital asset of an organization.

The Revenue-tax Division has been treating such earnings, as obtained from the sale of carbon credit, as Enterprise Revenue below the Act which is topic to a tax charge of 30%. Divergent choices, nevertheless, have been given by a number of courts on the problem of whether or not to think about earnings obtained or receivable on the switch of carbon credit as Income Receipt or Capital Receipt. To convey readability to this query, Part 115BBG has been included within the Act, nevertheless, the end result was not as supposed, resulting in extra ambiguity.

This query has been just lately highlighted within the case of The Principal Commissioner of Revenue Tax v. M/S. Lanco Tanjore Energy Co. Ltd, which is but to be determined. Nonetheless, the authors have evaluated on this article the earlier and the present place of the sale of carbon credit in lieu of taxability regarding the nature of receipt, by evaluating the traits of such a sale with Income Receipt and Capital Receipt respectively.


The sale of Carbon Credit is contested by the Income Division to be lined below the top of earnings and positive factors of enterprise below Part 28(iv) of the Act, since Carbon Credit qualify as a profit, as has been acknowledged below Part 28(iv ), and additional have a transparent nexus with enterprise they usually come up in the middle of enterprise solely. Part 28(iv) of the Act defines earnings and positive factors arising out of enterprise exercise as the worth of any profit or perquisite, whether or not convertible into cash or not, arising from enterprise or the train of a occupation. Subsequently, the sale of carbon credit additionally possesses the identical traits since they’re advantages that come up out of enterprise solely when the holding firm might have employed such sustainable means as are requisitioned by the United Nations Framework Conference on Local weather Change (hereinafter ‘UNFCCC’) or upgraded their enterprise mannequin to be made eligible for buying such credit. These contentions have been asserted within the case of Apollo tires Ltd. v. ACIT and have been upheld by the Cochin bench of the Revenue Tax Appellate Tribunal (hereinafter ‘ITAT’). They could even be thought of as a profit to be arising out of enterprise primarily based on the same traits that they maintain with Import Entitlements which have been determined by the Kerala Excessive Courtroom as Income Receipts within the case of DK Industries & Others v Commr. of Revenue tax. That is how Carbon Credit maintain related character as that of a Income Receipt and should be taxed in the identical means.


Alternatively, the contentions raised above have all the time been opposed by the assessee arguing that such a sale possesses the traits of capital positive factors as outlined below Part 45 of the Act as a result of carbon credit aren’t a circulating asset of an organization as having been established in lots of instances comparable to by the Hyderabad bench of the ITAT in CIT v. My Dwelling Energy Pvt. Ltd. and due to this fact is a capital asset whose sale would produce a capital acquire. This acquire, nevertheless, is barred from being taxed below that the sale of carbon credit holds the traits of Capital Features below Part 45 of the Revenue Tax Act, 1961. Nonetheless, since they haven’t been included in Part 55 of the Act regardless of being self-generated, they can’t be taxed as Capital Features.

Additionally, since, Carbon Credit are entitlements offered to an organization for emitting fewer Greenhouse Gases into the ambiance, the sale is an offshoot of environmental concern, which makes it exempt from taxation. The identical view is supported by the catena of judicial precedent together with the landmark judgment of My Dwelling Energy Pvt. Ltd. v. DCIT.

Due to this fact, carbon credit should be, as contested by the assessees, handled as a Capital Receipt and should not be taxed.


The introduction of Part 115BBG has made the complicated place of the carbon credit much more complicated by placing them below the chapter head of Dedication of Tax below Sure Particular Circumstances. Due to this fact, questions are being raised from each the edges of the Income Division in addition to the Assessee as to how these receipts should be handled in instances previous to the introduction of Part 115BBG. Nonetheless, Income has been contending on the purpose that although, the carbon credit maintain the twin nature of each environmental considerations and earnings and positive factors of enterprise, with the introduction of the part 115BBG, the intention of the legislature has been cleared that the mentioned transaction should all the time be taxed as a income receipt by nonetheless charging a sure share of tax. This rivalry is argued to be flawed since, if the Legislature was to think about such a sale as Income Receipt, they’d have cleared it by way of together with such a transaction below the above-mentioned part as has been argued by the Income Division and wouldn’t have included a brand new part that’s Part 115BBG within the first place.


Carbon Credit little doubt maintain the twin character as a) they’re generated because of the Clear Improvement Mechanism employed by the UNFCCC and b) they’re additionally arising out of enterprise considerations in lieu of their commerce within the commodity trade, producing income for a corporation and incentivising these firms to undertake such means and would produce further earnings for them.

The actual query nevertheless lies with the intention of the legislature as as to if to think about the sale of Carbon Credit as a Income Receipt or a Capital Receipt and the reply to this may someplace lie among the many two factors mentioned additional.

firstit should be famous and has been established in lots of instances by many courts together with the Hon’ble Supreme Courtroom within the case of Padmaraje R. Kadambande v. CIT that each one the Income Receipts which aren’t expressly excluded should be taxable whereas all of the capital receipts until expressly debarred should be ineligible to be taxed. Due to this fact, to tax a capital receipt, it should both be included below the definition of earnings below Part 2(24) or should be expressly included below capital positive factors outlined below Part 45 of the Act. Therefore, since on this case, both of them did not happen, due to this fact, the intention of the legislature should have been to think about such receipts as income receipts.

Secondly, the apex courtroom within the current case of VVF (India) Restricted v. State of Maharashtra, whereas discussing the strict interpretation of taxation statutes, reaffirmed Justice Bhagwati’s stand within the case of AV Fernandez v. The State of Kerala, that in a taxation statute nothing is to be construed, what’s written should be adopted strictly and actually and due to this fact, it can’t be construed, primarily based on what’s written, that these receipts have been supposed by the legislature to be handled as income receipt. Additional, to show {that a} explicit receipt is of a income nature, the burden of proof lies on the Income Division, which on this case they’ve failed to offer for therefore far, due to this fact, the receipt generated from the sale of carbon credit might be handled as capital receipts not liable to tax.


Judgments by totally different courts, together with the Hon’ble Supreme Courtroom, have to date failed the dedication of the kind of receipt that the transaction at hand could be encompassed. Though, a concessional charge of 10% has been offered to tax such eventualities, nevertheless, such standards could also be evaluated primarily based on the truth that the substantial query of legislation, that what may need been the intention of the legislature, was being ignored. Nonetheless, within the current case, this query has been raised and could be materials within the dedication of the long-awaited rhetorical. Due to this fact, to cease such a state of affairs from arising sooner or later, the controversy should be settled by the courts of legislation as quickly as attainable as a result of if this debate stays unsettled, it should proceed to contribute to an erred system of taxation.

Key phrases: Taxation, Carbon Credit, Direct Taxation, Finance Act.

(Govind Gupta and Roshi Surele are 4th-year legislation college students from the Institute of Regulation, Nirma College. The writer(s) could also be contacted by way of mail at [email protected]).

Cite as: Govind Gupta and Roshi Surele, ‘Conundrums Involving Taxability of Carbon Credit Beneath Part 115bbg’ (The Rmlnlu Regulation Evaluate Weblog15 September 2022) date of entry.

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