The Amritsar bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) ruled that 60% Depreciation is not allowable on iPad as it is not a PC.
Facts of the case:-
The assessee, M/s Kohinoor Indian raised the issue of whether the iPad falls in the definition of computer or mobile phone. If an iPad falls in the definition of computer then a high rate of depreciation is allowable however if it falls within the definition of mobile phone then the lower rate of depreciation is allowable.
Interpretation of law:-
The Coram of Accountant Member, Dr. M.L.Meena, and Judicial Member, Lalit Kumar admitted that an assessee is entitled to depreciation on building, machinery plant, or furniture if it is wholly or partly owned by the assessee and is used by the assessee for the purpose of business or profession. The Tribunal noted that the predominant purpose of the iPad is communication and not a computing device, as its main features are email, WhatsApp, Facetime calls, calls, music, films, etc through the iPad may discharge some of the functions of computers. In our view, the iPad is not a substitute for a computer/ laptop, which has various utilities/functions, though some functions may be common with Ipad. In common parlance also, the iPad is considered as a communicating device with some additional features of computer and lastly, Apple store does not sell Ipad as a computer device rather it is selling it as communicating/entertainment device
The Tribunal further added that the iPad is a communication device, as it is having an IMEA number, though the assessee had denied having the IMEI number, in the subject matter of the iPad, however, no concrete evidence has been produced on record in this regard.
“We are also of the opinion that in case the assessee wishes to claim that iPad is a computer and is required to have depreciation the higher rate, then in our opinion, the onus is on the assessee to prove that the assessee is entitled to higher depreciation and merely on the basis of deduction/assumption it cannot be held that the iPad is a computer,” the ITAT said, while ruling that iPad is not a computer hence depreciation at low rate is applicable.