Power of survey
The existing provision contained in section 133A of the Act enables the Income-tax authority to enter any premises in which business or profession is carried out for the purposes of survey. An income-tax authority acting under this section may impound and retain in his custody any books of account or documents inspected by him during the course of survey. However, he shall not retain in his custody any such books of account or document for a period exceeding ten days (exclusive of holidays) without obtaining the approval of the Chief Commissioner or Director General therefor, as the case may be.
An income-tax authority acting under section 133A has the powers as conferred upon it under sub-section (1) of section 131. With a view to align the time period and the authority for approval beyond the specified time period it is proposed to provide that an income-tax authority under section 133A shall not retain in his custody any such books of account or other documents for a period exceeding fifteen days (exclusive of holidays) without obtaining the approval of the Principal Chief Commissioner or Principal Director General or Chief Commissioner or Director General or Principal Commissioner or Principal Director or Commissioner or Director therefor, as the case may be.
Further, it is also proposed to amend section 133A to provide that an income-tax authority may for the purpose of verifying that tax has been deducted or collected at source in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XVII-B or Chapter XVII-BB, as the case may be, enter any office, or a place where business or profession is carried on, within the limits of the area assigned to him, or any such place in respect of which he is authorised for the purposes of this section by such income-tax authority who is assigned the area within which such place is situated where books of account or documents are kept. The income-tax authority may for this purpose enter an office, or a place where business or profession is carried on after sunrise and before sunset. Further, such income-tax authority may require the deductor or the collector or any other person who may at the time and place of survey be attending to such work,—
(i) to afford him the necessary facility to inspect such books of account or other documents as he may require and which may be available at such place, and
(ii) to furnish such information as he may require in relation to such matter.
It is also proposed to provide that an income-tax authority may place marks of identification on the books of account or other documents inspected by him and take extracts and copies thereof. He may also record the statement of any person which may be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under the Act. However, while acting under sub-section (2A) he shall not impound and retain in his custody any books of account or documents inspected by him or make an inventory of any cash, stock or other valuables.
These amendments will take effect from 1st October, 2014.