Budget 2023 & Amendment related to Search and Seizure
- Section 132 of the Income Tax Act contains provisions related to Income Tax search and seizure.
- The section provides that during the course of search, the authorised officer may requisition the services of any police officer or any officer of the Central Government, to assist him for any of the actions required to be performed during the course of such search, and it shall be the duty of such officer to comply.
- It is proposed to amend Section 132 of the act to provide that during the course of search the authorised officer, may requisition the services of any other person or entity, as approved by the Principal Chief Commissioner or the Chief Commissioner, the Principal Director General or the Director General, in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Board in this regard, to assist him for the purposes of the search.
- The timelines for completing assessment or reassessment in search cases is linked to the execution of the last of the authorisations during such procedure, in order to establish the day of conclusion of search proceedings, and what constitutes as last authorisation is provided in section 153B. As the provisions of section 153B are no longer applicable, it is proposed to provide the meaning of execution of last authorisation under section 132 itself.
- Last authorisation is deemed to have been executed on the conclusion of search as recorded in the last panchnama drawn in relation to any person in whose case the warrant of authorisation has been issued; or in the case of requisition under section 132A, on the actual receipt of the books of account or other documents or assets by the authorised officer.
- In case of a search action or requisition and cases for which information emanates from the above proceedings are deemed to be information under section 149, which provides the period of limitation for issuance of notice under section 148.
- It has been seen that in the cases where the aforementioned search, requisition or survey proceedings are conducted after 15th March of a financial year, there is extremely little time to collate this information and issue a notice under section 148 or show cause notice under section 148A(b) of the Act.
- In cases where a search is initiated or a search for which the last of the authorization is executed or requisition is made, or where the information deemed to be with the Assessing Officer emanates from a statement recorded or documents impounded under summons or survey after the 15th March of any financial year a period of fifteen days shall be excluded for the purpose of computing the period of limitation for issuance of notice under section 148 and the notice so issued shall be deemed to have been issued on the 31st day of March of such financial year.