Instruction No. 17/2015

F. No.225/290/2015-ITA-II
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue (CBDT)

North Block , New-Delhi dated the 9th November , 2015

To,
All Pr. CCsIT/DsGIT/CCIT(Exemptions)/Pr. CCIT(International-tax)

Subject: Constitution of Local Committees to deal with Taxpayers Grievances from High­ Pitched Scrutiny Assessment- reg.-

Sir/Madam,

Board has consistently been advising the field authorities to be fair, objective and rational while framing scrutiny assessment orders. Role of supervisory authorities in this regard, has also been highlighted by the Board from time to time. It has, however, been brought to the notice of Board that the tendency to frame high-pitched and unreasonable assessment orders is still persisting due to which grievances are being raised by the taxpayers. Such grievances not only reflect harassment of taxpayers but also lead to generation of unproductive work for Department.

2. In view of the above, a need has been felt to lay down an institutional mechanism to quickly resolve the taxpayers’ grievances arising on account of high-pitched and unreasonable additions made by the Assessing Officers. CBDT has decided that following measures may be taken in the field formation for handling taxpayers’ grievances arising from high-pitched scrutiny assessment orders-

(i)    Local Committees to deal with Taxpayers Grievances from high-pitched scrutiny assessment (‘Local Committee’) are required  to be constituted  in each Pr. CCIT region across the country. Ideally, the Local Committee may consist of three members of Pr. CIT/CIT rank. The members can be selected from the pool of officers posted as Pr . CsIT, CIT (Judicial) and CsIT (DR), ITAT at the station where  the  Headquarters  of  the respective Pr. CCIT is located . The Add!. CIT (Headquarters), to such Pr. CCIT would act as a Member- Secretary to the Local Committee. The senior most Member would be designated as the Chairman of the Committee.

(ii)   The Local Committees so constituted would deal with the grievance petitions related to high-pitched scrutiny assessments completed within the Jurisdiction of the respective Pr . CCIT These Committees would also handle the grievances pertaining to Central Charges located under the territorial jurisdiction  of the Pr. CCIT concerned.

(iii) Similar committees would also be setup in the charges of Pr. CCIT (Inti. Tax.) and CCIT (Exemptions). In these committees, the Officers working as CsIT (International Taxation/ Transfer Pricing) and CsIT (Exemptions) respectively could be selected as Members . The Addl. CIT (Headquarters) to Pr. CCIT (Intl Tax.)/CCIT (Exemptions) would act as a Member- Secretary to these Local Committees.

(iv) The Committees may co-opt other members, if necessary.

(v)  A grievance petition received by the Local Committee would be immediately acknowledged and separate record would be maintained for dealing with such petitions.

(vi) It shall be the endeavor of the Local Committee to dispose of each  grievance petition within two months from the end of the month in which such Grievance Petition  is received by it.

(vii) The grievance petition received by the Local Committee would be examined by it to ascertain whether there is a prima-facie case of high-pitched assessment, non-observance of principles of natural justice, non-application of mind , gross negligence or lack of involvement of assessing officer. The Committee would ascertain whether  the addition made in assessment order are not backed by any sound reason or logic, the provisions of law have grossly been misinterpreted or obvious and well established facts on records have out rightly been ignored. The Committee would also take into consideration whether the principles of natural justice have been followed by the assessing officer.

(viii) If it is established that unreasonable and high-pitched additions have been made by the assessing officer, a report would be sent to the Pr . CCIT/Pr. CCIT (Intl Tax.)/CCIT (Exemptions) , as the case may be, by the Local Committee. The Pr. CCIT/CCIT, after considering the views of the committee, would take suitable administrative action, wherever required. Further, departmental position as determined by the Local Committee in such cases would be appropriately presented before the Appellate Authorities so that litigation is curtailed.

(ix) It is, however, clarified that the purpose of constitution of  Local Committee is to effectively and efficiently deal with the genuine grievances of taxpayers and help in supporting an environment where assessment orders are passed in a fair and reasonable manner.  The  Local  Committee,  in no way, can be considered to be an alternative /additional  appellate channel.

3. The Board has emphasized that the task of constitution of Local Committees be finalized in this month itself and a report on compliance may be sent by the Pr. CCsIT/Pr. CCIT (Intl.Tax.)/ CCIT(Exemptions) to their respective Zonal Members with a copy to Member (IT), CBDT. It has also been desired that the outcome of Local Committee’s work may be highlighted in each monthly DOs required to be sent to the Zonal Members.

(Ankita Pandey)
DCIT(OSD) ITA-II

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0 responses to “Committees to Monitor unreasonable and High­ Pitched Scrutiny Assessment Orders”

  1. Aashish Saraswat says:

    The recent instruction should be amended that while the assessment is on the assessee should be given the opportunity to knock the doors of the Pr CIT etc etc since many a times the AO says both he and the additional cit needs to be looked into personally or else the addition would be made.
    However there is a provision in the Act of 144 A but the assessee very seldom puts it into use.The instruction should be amended to make the AO personally liable for the frivolous high pitched addition so made

  2. Raj says:

    What will happen to the officer who raises artificial demand???
    It is the high time to link his emoluments/ promotions to the out come of the decision rendered in unreasonable orders…

  3. CA Kalyankumar Pune says:

    constitution of local committee safe guard the honest taxpayers from tendency to frame high-pitched and unreasonable assessment orders.Such grievances not only reflect harassment of taxpayers but also lead to generation of unproductive work for Depart.Due to this committee a need has been felt to lay down an institutional mechanism to quickly resolve the taxpayers’ grievances arising on account of high-pitched and unreasonable additions made by the Assessing Officers

  4. Adv. I.S.Verma says:

    Another window of litigation- wastage of time & money. Absolutely illegal and unethical step. The only and only way out is to apply the Constitutional Provisions ‘equality before the law’. Compensate the Tax payer if, on appeal, the additions are deleted (upto the level of the ITAT- final fact finding Authority) or the assessment is declared bad in law and void ab initio for whatever reason and the compensation should the personal liability of the concerned Assessing Officer.

  5. CH TRIPATI PATRA says:

    It is a very good step taken by the CBDT for the benefit of assesse those who are suffering by the L.A.O for their unlawful & unjustified assessment. The Committee should consist of atleast a Judicial Member those who are expertise in taxation law, advocates, CAs & social workers.

  6. Shyam Lal Naik says:

    Agreed with Adv S Prakash,
    In fact the committee should have been constituted from members other than the department. And really, does the FM have any practical insight of the working of the department.
    It appears that the post of FM should be held by persons having practical insight of trade & industry.
    Recently, the penalty provisions in tax laws has been so harsh in India now a days. Why does India does not borrow best international practice in this regard also. The FM, it appears, is interested in only filling coffers at the suffering of the trade & industry.

  7. ADV. S PRAKASH says:

    What a gift for the Dewali to the Income tax assessess? Mr Modi nor the Finanace Minister do not know the practical aspects of the working of the CBDT.The CBDT setting up of the committee to oversee the mistakes from its OWN FAMILY is really shocking to the public.Kindly do not take the public for granted.If the Committee would have constituted by the experts in the filed like CA, Advocate and other Tax Conusltants and also experts drawn from the Trade Bodies would have helped the assessee.Insted of setting up a committee ammend the Income Tax Act to provide a suitable section in itself.These outside committees and its reports is of no use as the reprots are again handeled by the same group of IAS and IRS.This is only an eye wash.Inspite of number of practical problems the assessee is facing due to CPC and also in scrutiny assessments the CBDT is not going through these problems and by creating a committee they once again created or add more problems for the exixsing one.When only 2 to 3% of population is paying income tax do you think that these will workout?The CBDT has not even implemented the Delhi High Court Order in respect of the CPC and number of decided case laws even though produced before the assessing officers will go to waste papaer basket.The CPC is not transferring the data to the jurisdictional assessing officer to carry out the rectification,where the CPC can not retify the mistake under section 154.Many a time the tax payers has to run piller to post for a decesion based on the already decided interpretation of law.Just for an exemple a case was decided in favour of the tax payer the matter related to assessment year 2003-04,even till date the refund for the same has not been isssued by the Department.

  8. manish parekh says:

    So much for the Committees…. A good initiative but again marred by the century old methods of setting committees & THAT TOO FROM THE SAME GROUP OF “COSY CLUB” (Well….the IRS & IAS withing themselves are the cosy club by the way….). Its time to get out of the clutches of this “community” designed in British times to serve their own purposes while giving an impression to public that steps are being taken for benefit of public at large !!!

  9. KAMERSHCRAO says:

    Its of no use a committee of officers, with out the participation of professional. The department will always protect its officers.

  10. bobjee Kurien says:

    There is a grievance cell in the CBDT which monitors the grievances brought their notice If needed the such grievance can be entrusted to the Principal Commissioners who can settle the matters at their end if the board feels it is not of national importance . Pr.CCIT are of the rank of the Members.Here is another method where the CBDT has abdicated its responsibility.Appointment of a committee.How can the CBDT keep quiet for 13 years on a grievance matter which is in their notice for almost 20 years and the Principal Commissioner become blind to happenings under their own nose.Sheer irresponsibility. The expectation is that junior officers are responsible and they need to be slaughtered for their (boards) inefficiency . As of now the responsibility of assessing officers role is vested with the JCIT /ADDL JCIT. Please refer to manual of office procedure published by the CBDT.Hold him responsible for any administrative lapse at the assessment stage. He should be made to realise that he is not a dalal for ensuring constant money supply to the higher ups(refer recent action taken by CBI on CCIT)

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