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Section 138 of Income Tax Act, 1961 – Disclosure of information respecting assessees

The following post is on Section 138 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, its relevant Rules and forms to be known of.

Simply put Section 138 deals with the income tax authority (ITA) disclosing information about the assesses upon request for the same from any officers under any other Act.

Structure of the section

Main Section Sub Section Clause Limb Relevant Rules
138 1 a (i) 113
138 1 a (ii)
138 1 b
138 2

S 138(1) (a)

The Board or any other ITA specified by it, through general or special order may furnish.

(i) to any officer, authority or any body performing functions under any Tax laws (GST laws etc.,), or FEMA Authorities

(ii) to any such officer or authority which the Central Government (CG) may deem fit necessary in public interest notify through Official Gazette

any information obtained while performing his duties/functions under the Act, which he deems fit necessary to provide in order to enable the other party to perform his functions under relevant provisions which he is governed by

S 138(1) (b)

–> Where a person makes any application for want of information obtained during the performance of his duties under the Act under this Section, he may apply in the prescribed form to Principal Chief Commissioner (PCC) or Chief Commissioner (CC) or Principal Commissioner (PC) or Commissioner (C)

–> The specified authorities shall in this behalf make a decision, if such information is necessary to be provided in the public interest and his decision shall be final to provide or not provide such information

Forms prescribed Particulars
46 Application for information under 138 (1) (b)
47 Form furnishing information under 138 (1) (b)
48 Form intimating non-availability of information under 138 (1) (b)
49 Form showing refusal to supply information under 138 (1) (b)

S 138(2)

–> This section has a non-obstante clause

–> Which states that, the CG may having regard to practices or customary usages direct  by way of notification in Official Gazette that direct that no information relating to such class of assesses shall be provided by the public servant.

Rule 113 prescribes the list of forms as detailed above.

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May 2024