Budget 2020– Under the existing provisions of section 133A of the Act, an income-tax authority as defined therein is empowered to conduct survey at the business premises of the assessee under his jurisdiction. To prevent the possible misuse of such powers, vide Finance Act 2003, a proviso to sub-section (6) in the said section was inserted to provide that no income-tax authority below the rank of Joint Director or Joint Commissioner, shall conduct any survey under the said section without prior approval of the Joint Director or the Joint Commissioner, as the case may be.

It is proposed to substitute the proviso to sub-section (6) of section 133A to provide that,-

(A) in a case where the information has been received from the prescribed authority, no income-tax authority below the rank of Joint Director or Joint Commissioner, shall conduct any survey under the said section without prior approval of the Joint Director or the Joint Commissioner, as the case may be; and

(B) in any other case, no income-tax authority below the rank of Commissioner or Director, shall conduct any survey under the said section without prior approval of the Commissioner or the Director, as the case may be.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2020.

[Clause 65]

Extract of Relevant Clauses of Finance Bill, 2020

Clause 65

“Clause 65 of the Bill seeks to amend section 133A of the Income-tax Act relating to power of survey.

The proviso to the said section provides that no income-tax authority below the rank of a Joint Director, or a Joint Commissioner, shall conduct any survey under sub-section (1) of the said section without prior approval of the Joint Director or the Joint Commissioner, as the case may be.

It is proposed to substitute the said proviso to provide that in a case where the information has been received from such authority, as may be prescribed, no income-tax authority below the rank of a Joint Director, or a Joint Commissioner, shall conduct any survey under the said section without prior approval of a Joint Director or a Joint Commissioner, as the case may be and in any other case, no income-tax authority below the rank of a Director or a Commissioner, shall conduct any survey under the said section without prior approval of the Director or the Commissioner, as the case may be.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2020.”

Extract of Relevant Amendment Proposed by Finance Bill, 2020

65. Amendment of section 133A.

In section 133A of the Income-tax Act, after sub-section (6), for the proviso, the following proviso shall be substituted, namely:—

“Provided that––

(a) in a case where the information has been received from such authority, as may be prescribed, no action under sub-section (1) shall be taken by an Assistant Director or a Deputy Director or an Assessing Officer or a Tax Recovery Officer or an Inspector of Income-tax without obtaining the approval of the Joint Director or the Joint Commissioner, as the case may be;

(b) in any other case, no action under sub-section (1) shall be taken by a Joint Director or a Joint Commissioner or an Assistant Director or a Deputy Director or an Assessing Officer or a Tax Recovery Officer or an Inspector of Income-tax without obtaining the approval of the Director or the Commissioner, as the case may be.”.

Source- Finance Bill 2020 / Union Budget 2020-21

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