Government plans to allow reopening of income tax returns of past 16 years of suspected assessees, as against 6 years at present. The move is aimed at strengthening the mechanism to investigate black money cases.

A Finance Ministry official said in New Delhi that extending the period of reopening returns is to unearth undisclosed income and to empower tax officials to go deeper into the income and expenditure details of suspected persons and business firms.

The government is likely to amend the Income Tax Act of 1961 which allows tax officials to reassess tax returns only upto the past six years now.

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  1. shanmukha says:

    The proposed step is not justified, It should be apply only for politicians and IAS & IPS OFFICERS, and who worked in the profit organisations as directors & assr.directors and the govt. wings are suddenly changed in to losses. for this the public is bearing losses by paying through taxes and other allied . as per present laws the assessees are required to keep records of past six years, most of the people may not be keeping the records beyond six years, if reopening of cases is increased to sixteen years, the assessees will not be able to produce the books of accounts. May kindly be kept in mind before changing the period

  2. S.Chandrasekar says:

    All black monies are with in the Non-tax payers (Non Income Tax Assessees) persons only. Most of the Income Tax Assessee disclose their returns correctly. Hence reopening of income tax returns of past 16 years is not necessary and it will harass the truthful income tax assessee. Unearth the black money will be started from Non Income Tax Assessee who become the richest person within the short period without any business.

  3. sudarshan says:

    The proposed step is not justified, as per present laws the assessees are required to keep records of past six years, most of the people may not be keeping the records beyond six years, if reopening of cases is increased to sixteen years, the assessees will not be able to produce the books of accounts. May kindly be kept in mind before changing the period

  4. Hemendra Kumar Varshney says:

    Going back to such long period is like a rag picking job.
    1)Can’t say what the Govt. wants to achieve? Really wants to act or just inviting public opinion against this and wash off hands by saying, Govt. is prepared but the public don’t support. Does the Govt. has enough man power, time and resources with the department to look such old cases? Will it not divert the focus from the current jobs already in place?
    2) The law from those years to this years have changed alot.
    3) Does the Govt. have sufficient documentary back up and resources?
    4) How it can be justified with the cost inflation index in place? The penny of those days are Rs. of these days.
    5) If it is a case of requirement of records keeping, then as per law the books and documents are required to be preserved for next 10 years. What will be achieved?
    It is better to act in time then looking back after a sleep. The black sheep is with in themself. How come they become from rags to riches? Today the corruption is at peak and the Indian public takes a follow from their Indian cheer leaders who are role models for cheats and are deeply involved carelessly and shamelessly in such acts and at any cost. They do not have any integrity values and WILL POWER to enforce the law. They know that they would be the first effected parties.

    The Govt. should develop proper information and anlysis system and act and decide in time than wasting time and energy in such acts.

  5. N.Krishnamoorthy says:

    The m ove to reopen the incometax assessments of 16 years is retrograde. It will result in unnecessary harassment of honest citizens who declare their incomes correctly and pay their correct taxes. It will also enable corrupt income3tax officials to mint m oney as they will hang the damocles’ sword of reopening assessments for 16 years before the honest tax-payers. Theoretically it will be argued by the incometax department that only dishonest persons should fear t5his provision. The incometax officials will play safe whenever they are in doubt about the number of years for which assessment has to be reopened. Earlier the time-limit for reopening assessments was 8 years. Government felt that the assessees were unnecessarily harassed and so they reduce3d the time-limit6 to 6 years. Even assuming that businessmen in India had stacked block money on which they had not paid any tax, in the long erun that money is introduced in business for which in later years they pay taxes. An efficient government will attack the source where block money is deposited and b ring it to tax. Hope the government will give up this horrible idea.


  6. PRAKASH D SHAH says:

    Now practically and in the natural justice,it will not be possible to amend the Income Tax Act for the re-assessment period as the same will cover the lapsed period of present time limit of six years.Accordingly,curtailment of the time limit of the reassessment is possible and not enhancement of the time limit for the reassessment .


    It seems that purpose of this step is to unearth black money lying in foreign banks however, I am afraid that real persons holding large black money may not be caught rather the revenue authorities will find it handy tool for harassing other assesses who have been paying regular taxes.
    There is need of provisions to check specifically targeted tax evader. In fact the target should be to unearth ill-gotten and accumulated money by illegal means.

    Businessman should not be target because if at all they have black money they have earned it by legal means and hard work and are using money productively. The money lying undisclosed in foreign banks is illgotten, illegal, and in fact theft of national resources. To bring back that money scheme to clean all sins scheme is required under which a payment of 50% cleaning fees paid to government should clean all sins of the person concerned without any question being asked and without attaching any stigma for future. “When amnesty can be granted to criminals to bring them in social stream and to allow them live as good citizen, why should not we allow ill-gotten money to become part of normal economy on payment of 50% of such money.”
    The scheme should be such that other people are not able to make misuse of the same.

  8. Vijay Kumar says:

    This is a welcome step to undo the retrograde step taken in 1987. From time to time, FMs play havoc with the system, leaving it for others to undo the damage aftter the years. To accommodate the Hasan Alis, the last FM had restored the powers of Settlement Commission that had long lost its usefulness or credibility.

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October 2021