AO needs to physically issue notices, in case, the address of assessee is not available: Bombay HC
Muffadal Contractor vs. National Faceless Assessment & Ors. –  156 taxmann 168 (Bombay)
- AO passed reassessment order under section 147, read with sections 144B and made huge additions. Against such an order, the assessee filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court.
- Assessee contended that no notice was issued to her before passing the assessment order.
- AO stated that no e-mail was registered in the PAN Database of the assessee. Further, it cannot be ascertained whether the assessee had registered her e-mail ID before or during the reassessment proceedings.
Hon Bombay HC held as below:
- The assessment order made an addition of a large sum. The assessee should be allowed to explain her case by serving the notice. If the e-mail ID was unavailable in the portal, notice should have been served physically upon the assessee, at least by courier or speed post.
- There have been SOPs in place; the last one in force before the assessment order was passed was dated 23-11-2020. After the assessment order was passed, a revised SOP was released on 03-08-2022 for assessment units under the Faceless Assessment provisions of Section 144B.
- Clause G.3 of the SOP dated 03-08-2022 states explicitly the procedure to improve compliance with the notices served, including sending notices to the latest addresses through speed post and sending SMS about the non-responsiveness on the latest mobile number of the assessee.
- Accordingly, the AO is directed to strictly comply with the SOPs and not just be restricted to Faceless Assessment Proceedings under Section 144B. Thus, the matter is remanded for denovo consideration.