A brief on Section 148 of Income Tax Act, 1961
Paying your taxes is a good thing, although it does pinch to pay huge amounts in taxes from your hard earned money. Therefore, citizens sometimes resort to unfair means to not disclose all the income and pay lower taxes. The income tax authorities have the powers to assess or reassess your income if they are of the view that any of your income has escaped assessment. In this article, we discuss in detail about section 148 of Income Tax Act
What is section 148?
Section 148 of the Income Tax Act deals with the issuance of a notice wherein any income has escaped recomputation or assessment. Assessing Officer has a power to issue notice under section 148 of income tax act wherein any income has been escaped from being taxed which is subject to the provisions of Sec 147 to Sec 153. Notice u/s 148 gives a power to the A.O. to assess or reassess the Income which comes into notice before and during the assessment.
Reasons for getting the Notice u/s 148 of Income Tax Act
You can get notice u/s 148 if the assessing officer has a reason to believe that your income which was chargeable to tax has escaped assessment. If he has materials to support his belief, he will record his reasons in writing and send you a notice u/s 148. The AO cannot simply change his mind and decide to re-investigate your case without any valid reason.
If you have disclosed correct information and documents during the original assessment, the AO cannot send you a notice for the reassessment of the same documents. Some new documents / facts which indicate that income has escaped assessment must come into light. If some new information comes to light which shows that you have concealed some income, then he can take action against you under section 147 and 148.
Who is authorized to issue notice u/s 148 of Income Tax Act
If your case has been chosen for reassessment u/s 147, then an AO who holds the rank of Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner or higher can only send you a notice unless the reasons recorded by AO are found fit by Joint Commissioner for the issue of notice.
If the notice u/s 148 is to be sent after the expiry of 4 years or 6 years as the case maybe from the end of the relevant assessment year then it should be sent only after due approvals from Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner or Principal Commissioner or Commissioner.
Time Frame Provided For The Issuance Of Notice To An Assessee Under Section 148:
|Escaped income< Rs. 1 lakh||4 years from end of relevant AY|
|Escaped income> Rs. 1 lakh||6 years from end of relevant AY|
Duties and Rights of the Assessee Following the Receipt of Notice under Section 148:
Should an assessee be issued a notice by an Assessing Officer for the evasion of taxable income assessment then the assessee is duty bound to carry out the following:
- The assessee will be required to file his or her tax returns for the escaped income for the assessment year of relevance
- Following the filing of returns, the assessee can request for a copy, which states the reasons for the Assessing Officer to issue a notice to him or her under Section 148
- If the assessee find the reasons contained in the copy to be unsatisfactory or baseless, then the assessee has the right to file an objection challenging the issuance of such a notice
- The assessee should also provide valid reasons for filing an objection and for challenging the lawfulness of the issuance of the notice under Section 148
- The assessee also has the right to request the Assessing Officer to provide separate reasons should he or she dismiss the assessee’s claims
- The assessee can also file a writ petition with the relevant High Court, wherein the legal traits and lawfulness of the notice issued under Section 148 can be challenged even prior to the conclusion or completion of the assessment or re-assessment.
- The assessee can still file a writ petition with the relevant High Court, wherein the legal traits and lawfulness of the notice issued under Section 148 can be challenged even after the assessment has been completed and the matter is under appeal.
- The assessee will be required to provide proof that he or she has
- Requested for a copy of the reasons stated by the Assessing Officer for the issuance of notice under Section 148
- Filed an objection to the reasons stated by the Assessing Officer
- Requested the Assessing Officer to provide reasons for the dismissal of the assessee’s objections
- Challenged the lawfulness of the issuance of the notice.