Granting of power to the assessing officer to extend the time for completion of special audit under sub-section (2A) of section 142  

Sub-sections (2A) to (2D) of section 142 deal with power of Assessing Officer to order a special audit. Such power is required to be exercised by the Assessing Officer having regard to the nature and complexity of the accounts of the assessee and the interest of the revenue.

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Sub-section (2C) of the said section specifies the period within which the audit report is to be furnished. The proviso to said sub-section empowers the Assessing Officer to extend this period of furnishing of audit report. Further, it is also provided that the aggregate of the originally fixed period and the period(s) so extended shall not exceed 180 days from the date of issuance of direction of special audit. Further, such extension can be made only when an application is made in this behalf by the Assessee and there are good and sufficient reasons for such extension. 

With a view to rationalise the said proviso so as to also allow the Assessing Officer to extend this period of furnishing of audit report suo motu, the said provison has been amended. Hence, while the Assessing Officer shall continue to have power to grant extension on an application made in this behalf by the assessee and when there are good and sufficient reasons for such extension, he can also grant such extension on his own. 

Applicability: This amendment has been made applicable with effect from 1st April, 2008. Hence, from this date and onwards, the Assessing Officer shall also have power to extend the period of furnishing of audit report suo motu.

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