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Crux of the Supreme Court Order on Section-148 of the Income Tax

Supreme Court agrees with the High Courts that Income Tax Department erred in issuing reassessment notices for AYs ending before 31st March, 2021 as per old provisions even after 31st March, 2021 while the government has enacted a complete new set of provisions for reassessment proceedings effective on or after 1st April, 2021. Earlier various High Courts has quashed around 9000 such notices due to the err on the part of revenue.

The Apex Court to strike a balance between the rights of revenue as well as the respective assesses extended partial relief to the revenue by modification and substitution in the orders of HCs as under:

  • by treating the reassessment notices issued under old provisions, which were quashed by the various High Courts, as show cause notice issued under clause (b) of the new section 148A as substituted by Finance Act 2021; and
  • dispenses with enquiry by Assessing Officer with the prior approval of specified authorities under clause (a) of section 148A as one time measure; and
  • Assessing officer to furnish to assesses all material relied upon by them within 30 days from today i.e. 4th May, 2022; and
  • Assesses are free to raise defences which may be available to him before Assessing Officer within two weeks thereafter.

Finally, this SC order shall be applicable PAN India and all judgement and orders passed by different HCs on the issue and on similar noticed issued after 1.4.2021 pending in the various courts.

Thus, the revenue got the right to open more than 90,000 notices may involve income escaped assessment to the tune of around one Lakh Crore.

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