1. Attention of the Commissioners is invited to the enclosed handout issued by the Board to the Press Note on 21-1-1972 [printed here as Annex] under which general extension of time for filing the returns of wealth in the cases of persons owning agricultural lands or other assets related thereto has been allowed up to the end of February 1972, for the assessment years 1970-71 and 1971-72. The Board desire that the Commissioners may kindly get in touch with the Regional Press Information Officers and request them to get the handout translated into regional languages and released to regional language papers. If they find that the handout has not been given adequate publicity they may request the Press Information Officer after a fortnight to repeat the release to the regional language papers.
2. The handout may kindly be brought to the notice of all the Wealth-tax Officers in your charge.
Circular: No. 78 [F.No. 328/11/72-WT], dated 17-2-1972.
ANNEX – PRESS NOTE, DATED 21-1-1972 REFERRED TO IN CLARIFICATION
1. Agricultural lands and some related assets have been brought within the purview of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957, with effect from April 1, 1970. Individuals and Hindu undivided families having wealth liable to wealth-tax are required under the Wealth-tax Act to furnish returns of wealth, voluntarily by June 30, of the relevant assessment year.
2. The relevant provision of the Act has been held to be intra vires the Constitution by the Supreme Court vide their judgment October 21, 1971, in the case of Union of India v. H.S. Dhillon [CA No. 1272 of 1970]. In order to enable persons owning agricultural lands or other assets related thereto, liable to wealth-tax, to have their agricultural assets valued properly by qualified valuers from furnishing their returns of wealth during the current year, the Central Government have decided to allow a general extension of time for filing voluntary returns for the assessment years 1970-71 and 1971-72, such persons, till the end of February 1972. Extension of time up to the end of February 1972 will also be allowed in the cases of persons owning agricultural lands or other assets related thereto, where notices calling for returns of wealth have already been issued to taxpayers or are issued hereafter.