Dear Professional Colleague,
As you must be aware, recently the ICAI had represented before Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) seeking tax audit data based on returns e-filed during the year 2010-11. I would like to inform you that in response to the representation made to CBDT, the ICAI has been provided with the data relating to number of tax audits conducted by the members along with the membership numbers of the tax auditors.
As per the data provided, the total number of tax audit returns filed in respect of the financial year 2010-11 was 16, 16,096 which were conducted by 59,472 auditors. The data so provided is being further processed with regard to fake membership numbers, membership numbers which exceeded the specified number (ceiling) of tax audit assignments, etc. In order to prevent misuse of membership numbers of tax auditors, we have been given assurance that from next year onwards the uploading of tax audit report along with digital signatures would be made mandatory.
Further, the ICAI has also suggested that on the basis of data of practicing Chartered Accountants provided by ICAI, a user id and a password may be made available to all practicing members so that they can view all the tax audit reports uploaded in their name, which in turn would further curb the malpractice of misusing the details of member by the assessee. A tax audit not done by the member may be then reported by him to the Income-tax Department for the action at its end.
The said suggestion found favor with the Department which has assured that the idea would be taken forward for further consideration. I would also request you to kindly provide your valuable suggestion(s) to curb the malpractices being followed further in this regard.
As regards the data being processed, we would keep you posted.
CA. G. Ramaswamy
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India