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Income Tax

Income Tax Assessments

by Sanjeev Archak Sanjeev Archak No Comments

In our previous blog, we examined the new income tax assessment structure. In this post, we shall look at the various types of income tax assessments conducted by the department.The department selects cases for assessment based on certain parameters. The parameters for FY 18-19 has been published  by the department on 05.09.2019.

Under the Income-tax Law, there are four major  tax assessments:

1.Summary Assessment

A summary assessment is done by the department without human interface. The Central Board of Direct Taxes has set up a Centralized Processing Cell to do summary assessment. A return filed by the tax payer is verified with the information already available with the department.

For instance, the TDS credit claimed by the tax payer is checked with the credit in Form 26AS. Any mismatch is informed to the tax payer by an intimation. The tax payer is given time to respond to the intimation. A summary assessment can be made can be made within a period of one year from the end of the financial year in which the return of income is filed.  Any intimation issued beyond this time limit will be invalid.

2. Regular  Assessment

This is a detailed assessment and is also  called  as scrutiny assessment. At this stage a detailed scrutiny of the return of income is carried out  to confirm the correctness and genuineness of various claims, deductions, etc., made by the taxpayer in the return of income. The tax payer is required to produce books of accounts and any other record the income tax officer requires to be produced.

The objective of scrutiny assessment is to confirm that the taxpayer has not understated the income or has not computed excessive loss or has not underpaid the tax in any manner. To conduct a regular assessment a notice has to be issued by the Officer to the tax payer. Such notice cannot be issued  after the expiry of 6 months from the end of the financial year, in which return is filed.

3.Best judgment assessment

A best judgement assessment is carried out in the following cases:

  1. If the taxpayer fails to comply with all the terms of a notice
  2. If the taxpayer fails to file the return required within the due date
  3. If the taxpayer fails to comply with the Special Audit requirements
  4. If the taxpayers fails to produce documents required by the tax office

As per the Income Tax Act, a best judge assessment has to be carried out within 12 months from the end of the assessment year in which the income was first assessable.

4. Income Escaping Assessment

This assessment is carried out if the Assessing Officer has reason to believe that any income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment for any previous years. The objective of carrying out this assessment is to bring under the tax net any income which has escaped assessment in original assessment.

This assessment is carried out in the following scenarios:

  1. tax payer has taxable income and has not filed the returns
  2. tax payer is found to have understated his income or over stated his expenses
  3. tax payer has not filed a report for his international transactions
  4. tax payer has assets outside India

A notice has to be issued to the tax payer before commencing this assessment. Such a notice has to be issued within a period of  4 years years from the end of the relevant assessment year.

If you have received a notice from the Income Tax Department, please get in touch with experts at Integra Books.

Income Tax E-Assessment Scheme 2019

by Sanjeev Archak Sanjeev Archak No Comments

The Finance Minister in her Budget speech had announced the formation of  National E-Assessment Centre (NeAC) to handle all  Income Tax assessments. Consequently, the NeAC has been launched from 08th October 2019. In this post we shall examine the structure of E-Assessment Scheme 2019.

What is an Income Tax Assessment?

Every taxpayer has to furnish the details of his income to the Income-tax Department. The tax department examines the return of income for correctness.The process of examination is called as Assessment.

Income Tax assessment follows a chronology of:

1.Issue of notice by the Tax Department

2.Replies by the tax payer

3.Final orders by the tax officer.

This process requires the tax payer to appear before the Tax Officer and make submissions. This causes multiple challenges for the tax payer viz:

1.Keeping track of physical notices

2.Appearing before tax officer on the given date

3.Time taken for completing the assessment

Most importantly, there is a lot of scope for malpractice. 

Why is there a need for faceless E-Assessment? 

  1. NeAC  will eliminate human interface between Assessing Officer and Tax Payer
  2. There will be ease of compliance for taxpayers
  3. Quality of assessment, transparency will increase
  4. Cases of assessments will be disposed faster 

In other words,assessment’s will be  in electronic mode with no human interaction.All notice’s will now be issued electronically by a Central cell. The notices from the income tax department will now contain a Unique Identification Number.  This Central Cell will be the  point of contact between taxpayer and the tax department.

E-Assessment Structure

E-Assessment

 

Functions of National E-Assessment Centre (NeAC)

The NeAC will:

1.Send all notices/communication electronically

2.Assign cases to regional assessment centre through automated allocation system

3.Allocate cases to verification unit, technical unit through automated allocation system

4.Select draft assessment orders for review 

5.Providing opportunity to taxpayer before finalizing

6.Finalize assessment orders

7.Transfer all electronic records to jurisdictional AO for post assessment work

The National Centre will be located in New Delhi with 8 Regional Assessment Centre located at Delhi,Mumbai,Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad,Pune,Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Consequently, assessments will not be done by jurisdictional tax officers. Hence, assessments will be allotted to tax officers by an automated system. For example,a tax return filed by a resident of Bengaluru will be assessed by a tax officer who may be located in any part of the country. 

Meanwhile tax payers will receive notices on their registered emails as well as on registered accounts on the web portal. Further,SMS’s will also be sent on their registered mobile number, specifying the issues for which their cases have been selected for scrutiny.

The replies to the notices can be prepared at ease by the tax payers sent by email to the National e-Assessment Centre or uploaded on the income tax portal. Above all,a tax payer  will not be required to appear before NeAC. The tax payers will be given an opportunity for a personal hearing via video conferencing.

Final Thoughts 

This is another significant reform initiated by Government after reduction in corporate tax rates . This reform is expected to bring relief to tax payers. 

In conclusion, hope this reform promotes the Ease of Doing Business in India. 

Trade Advances Not To Be Deemed As Dividends

by Sanjeev Archak Sanjeev Archak No Comments

SECTION 2(22) OF THE INCOME-TAX ACT, 1961 – DEEMED DIVIDEND – CBDT’S CLARIFICATIONS ON SETTLED VIEW OF SECTION 2(22)(e) OF SAID ACT ON TRADE ADVANCES/COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS

CIRCULAR NO.19/2017 [F.NO.279/MISC./140/2015/ITJ], DATED 12-6-2017

Section 2(22) clause (e) of the Income-tax Act, 1961) (the Act) provides that “dividend” includes any payment by a company, not being a company in which the public are substantially interested, of any sum by way of advance or loan to a shareholder, being a person who is the beneficial owner of shares (not being shares entitled to a fixed rate of dividend whether with or without a right to participate in profits holding not less than ten percent of the voting power, or to any concern in which such shareholder is a member or a partner and in which he has a substantial interest (hereafter in this clause referred to as the said concern) or any payment by any such company on behalf, or for the individual benefit, of any such shareholder, to the extent to which the company in either case possesses accumulated profits.

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