You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

I-T survey to be conducted only after approval of senior officers: CBDT

The income tax department on Friday issued new guidelines to restrict intrusive or coercive action for recovery of tax demand by Assessing Officer (AO)/Tax Recovery Officer

Income tax | IT dept

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 


surveys to collect information for scrutiny assessment will be undertaken by the tax deducted at source (TDS) directorate only after approval from principal chief commissioner or chief commissioner level officer, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has said.

The CBDT has issued directions to the officers that where any survey action is required by officers of "Central Charge" (involving search/ seizure), international charge, NeAC (National e-Assessment Centre)/ NFAC (National Faceless Assessment Centre), the same shall have to be first approved by a collegium comprising high-ranked officers.

Pursuant to 'The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Act, 2020', the apex direct tax body CBDT has issued an internal order on exercising the power of survey by tax officers under Section 133A of the I-T Act.

In an I-T survey, tax officers visit business premises of the taxpayer to gather information by way of examination of books of accounts, data stored electronically and also access e-mail communication.

"Any verification or survey u/s 1A of the Act by the TDS charge shall be conducted by its own officers.

"Where the TDS charge is headed by the Pr. CCIT (Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax) of the region or by the CCIT (TDS), the verification or survey action shall be approved by the Pr.CCIT of the region or the CCIT (TDS), as the case may be and shall be conducted by the officers of the TDS charge," the CBDT said.

ALSO READ: Not verifying your income tax returns might have serious consequences

It further said urveys can be conducted only by the officers of the investigation wing or the TDS charge and "any such action shall be taken only as a last resort when all the other means of verification/obtaining details online/recovery are exhausted."

The CBDT also directed that the principal commissioner of I-T or commissioner of I-T of the TDS charge or the investigation wing should monitor and ensure that the survey does not go beyond the scope as approved.

The department on Friday issued new guidelines to restrict intrusive or coercive action for recovery of tax demand by Assessing Officer (AO)/Tax Recovery Officer (TRO). The new guidelines have come into effect immediately.

Nangia Andersen LLP Director Neha Malhotra said, "This shows that the government intends to ensure that only deserving cases are subject to the survey procedure. After the approval, the survey proceedings shall be conducted by a team of officers."

The approval process and the team-based approach shall ensure high level of transparency, functional specialisation, efficiency and improvement in quality of assessment. The new directions shall also help check the powers of the officers and create an accountable tax administration system, she said.

"Further, Principal Commissioners have been directed by the CBDT to ensure that the survey does not go beyond the scope covered. The directions make it clear that the CBDT wants to keep a check on the powers of the overzealous tax officers who resort to harsh steps without making due effort required as per law," Malhotra added.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, October 20 2020. 19:28 IST