Budget 2016: The existing statutory time limit for completion of assessment proceedings is two years from the end of the assessment year in which the income was first assessable. It is desirable that proceedings under the Act are finalised more expeditiously as digitisation of processes within the Department has enhanced its efficiency in handling workload. In order to simplify the provisions of existing section 153 by retaining only those provisions that are relevant to the current provisions of the Act, section 153 is proposed to be substituted with the following changes in time limit from the existing time limits:
It is further proposed to provide that the period for giving effect to an order, under sections 250 or 254 or 260 or 262 or 263 or 264 or an order of the Settlement Commission under sub-section (4) of section 245D, where effect can be given wholly or partly otherwise than by making a fresh assessment or reassessment shall be three months from the end of the month in which order is received or passed, as the case may be, by the Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner or Principal Commissioner or Commissioner. It is also proposed that in a case where it is not possible for the Assessing Officer to give effect to such order within the aforesaid period, for reasons beyond his control, the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner on receipt of such reasons in writing from the Assessing Officer, if satisfied, may allow additional time of six months to give effect to the said order. However, in respect of cases pending as on 1 stJune 2016, the time limit for passing such order is proposed to be extended to 31 .3.2017.
It is also proposed that where the assessment, reassessment or recomputation is made on the assessee or any person in consequence of or to give effect to any finding or direction contained in an order under section 250, 254, 260, 262, 263, or section 264 or in an order of any court in a proceeding otherwise than by way of appeal or reference under the Income-tax Act, then such assessment, reassessment or recomputation shall be made on or before the expiry of twelve months from the end of the month in which such order is received by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner. However, for cases pending as on 1.6.2016, the time limit for taking requisite action is proposed to be 31.3.2017 or twelve months from the end of the month in which such order is received, whichever is later.
It is also proposed that where an assessment is made on a partner of the firm in consequence of an assessment made on the firm under section 147, such assessment be made on or before the expiry of twelve months from the end of the month in which the assessment order in the case of the firm is passed. However, for cases pending as on 1.6.2016, the time limit for taking requisite action is proposed to be 31.3.2017 or twelve months from the end of the end of the month in which order in case of firm is passed, whichever is later.
It is also proposed to make consequential changes in time limit for completion of assessment or reassessment by the Assessing Officer in accordance with the extension of time limit provided to the Transfer Pricing Officer in certain cases by amendment in sub-section (3A) to section 92CA.
The provisions of section 153 as they stood immediately before their amendment by the Finance Act, 2016, shall apply to and in relation to any order of assessment, reassessment or recomputation made before the 1st day of June, 2016.
The amendment will take effect from 1st day of June, 2016.