Estimate of value of assets by Valuation Officer
Power given to AO to get a valuation report of any asset, property or investment. Earlier powers of AO were restricted to bullion, jewelry or any other valuable article or thing.
Under the existing provisions contained in section 142A, the Assessing Officer may, for the purpose of making an assessment or reassessment, require the Valuation Officer to make an estimate of the value of any investment, any bullion, jewellery or fair market value of any property. On receipt of the report of the Valuation Officer, the Assessing Officer may after giving the assessee an opportunity of being heard take into account such report for the purposes of assessment or reassessment.
Section 142A does not envisage rejection of books of account as a pre-condition for reference to the Valuation Officer for estimation of the value of any investment or property. Further, section 142A does not provide for any time limit for furnishing of the report by the Valuation Officer.
Accordingly, it is proposed to substitute the said section 1 42A so as to provide that the Assessing Officer may, for the purposes of assessment or reassessment, require the assistance of a Valuation Officer to estimate the value, including fair market value, of any asset, property or investment and submit the report to him. The Assessing Officer may make a reference whether or not he is satisfied about the correctness or completeness of the accounts of the assessee. The Valuation Officer, shall, for the purpose of estimating the value of the asset, property or investment, have all the powers of section 38A of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957. The Valuation Officer is required to estimate the value of the asset, property or investment after taking into account the evidence produced by the assessee and any other evidence in his possession gathered, after giving an opportunity of being heard to the assessee.
If the assessee does not co-operate or comply with the directions of the Valuation Officer he may, estimate the value of the asset, property or investment to the best of his judgment. It is also proposed to provide that the Valuation Officer shall send a copy of his estimate to the Assessing Officer and the assessee within a period of six months from the end of the month in which the reference is made. The Assessing Officer on receipt of the report from the Valuation Officer may, after giving the assessee an opportunity of being heard, take into account such report in making the assessment or reassessment.
It is also proposed to amend sections 153 and 153B of the Act so as to provide that the time period beginning with the date on which the reference is made to the Valuation Officer and ending with the date on which his report is received by the Assessing Officer shall be excluded from the time limit provided under the aforesaid section for completion of assessment or reassessment.
These amendments will take effect from 1st October, 2014.