Search and Seizure (raid) by Income Tax Department Part I – During raid
People are afraid of ‘Income Tax Search and Seizure’ due to lack of proper knowledge and complicated law. Knowing the following will ease them. One should not worry if they are genuine.
What is ‘Income Tax Raid’ ?
It means a search operation by Authorised Income Tax officials if they have:
1. any strong evidence of any Undisclosed Asset in your possession or
2. anything suspicious about your
And they have power to seize any undisclosed asset.
Who can execute ‘Income Tax Raid’ ?
|Authorized Officer who can conduct search
|Group 2 or 3
(on the basis of authorization from Group 2 and being empowered by the Board)
Group 1 – Principal Director General/ Director General/ Principal Director/ Director/ Principal Chief Commissioner/ Chief Commissioner/ Principal Commissioner or Commissioner
Group 2 – Additional Director/ Additional Commissioner/ Joint Director/ Joint Commissioner
Group3 – Assistant Director/ Deputy Director/ Assistant Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner/ Income-tax Officer
Also Read– Search and Seizure (raid) by Income Tax Department Part II- After raid
When can I.T. Department Raid?
1. If any summons issued u/s 131 or any notice issued u/s 142 of Income Tax Act or
2. They have any reason to believe that you possess undisclosed
1. Duties of the person searched
- To allow free and unhindered ingress into the premises.
- To see the warrant of authorisation and put signature on the same in Form No 45 or 45A or 45B.
- To identify all receptacles in which assets or books of account and documents are kept and to hand over keys to such to the authorised officer.
- To identify and explain the ownership of the assets, books of account and documents found in the premises.
- To identify every individual in the premises and to explain relationship to the person being search. He should not mislead by personation. If he cheats by pretending to be some other person or knowingly substitutes one person for another, it is an offence punishable under section 416 of the Indian Penal Court.
- Not to allow or encourage the entry of any unauthorised person into the premises.
- Not to remove any article from its place without notice or knowledge of the authorised officer. If he secrets or destroys any document with the intention of preventing the same from being produced or used as evidence before the court or public servant, he shall be punishable with imprisonment or fine or both , in accordance with Section 204 of the Indian Penal Code.
- To answer all queries truthfully and to the best of knowledge. He should not allow any third party to either interfere or prompt while his statement is being recorded by authorised officer. In doing so, he should keep in mind that :
i. If he refuses to answer a question on a subject relevant to the search operation he shall be punishable with imprisonment or fine or both , in accordance with Section 179 of the Indian Penal Code
ii. Being legally bound by an oath or affirmation to state the truth if he makes a false statement he shall be punishable with imprisonment or fine or both , in accordance with Section 181 of the Indian Penal Code
iii. Similarly, if he provides evidence which is false and which or believes to be false, he shall be punishable under Section 191 of the Indian Penal Code.
- To affix his signature on the recorded statement, inventories and the panchanama.
- To ensure that peace is maintained throughout the duration of the search and to cooperate with search party in all respects so that the search action is concluded at the earliest and in a peaceful manner.
- Similar cooperation should be extended even after the search action is over, so as to enable the authorised officer to complete necessary follow-up investigation at the earliest.
2. Rights of the person to be searched
- To see the warrant of authorisation duly signed and sealed by the issuing authority.
- To verify the Identity of each member of the search party,
- To have at least two respectable and independent residents of the locality as witnesses.
- To have personal search of all members of the party before the start of search and after conclusion of the search.
- To insist on a personal search of females by another female only with strict regard to decency.
- To have copy of the panchanama together with all annexure.
- To put his own seals on the package containing the seized assets.
- Woman having the occupancy of any apartment etc. To be searched has right to withdraw before the search party enters, if according to the customers she does not appear in public
- To call medical practitioner if he is not well.
- To have his children permitted to go to school after the examination of their bags.
- To inspect the seals placed on various receptacles sealed in course of searches and subsequently reopened by continuation of searches.
- To have the facility of having meals At the normal time.
- To have a copy of any statement before it is used against him in an assessment or prosecution proceedings.
- To have inspection of the books of accounts etc seized or to take extracts therefrom in the presence of any of the authorised officers or any other person empowered by him.
- To make an application objecting to the approval given by he Commissioner of Income tax for retention of books and documents beyond 180 days from the date of the seizure.
- Stock-in-trade of the business shall not be
- No arrest or detention can be
4. Power of Department : Click here .
1. Can any assessee call his CA or Lawyer during Survey or Raid?
Yes, you can call them during Raid. You can ensure with them if the Raid team is acting within their legal powers. But they cannot answer on behalf of you.
2. What can be done by an Assessee If he believes that search is illegal and irregular?
Assessee can Challenge it after Raid proceedings,
1. In writ petition to High Court or
2. Appeal to CIT(A).