Faceless Assessing Officer can not extend time barring date in Income Tax Business Application without statutory order – High Court
ABCAUS Case Law Citation
ABCAUS 3598 (2022) (05) HC
In a recent case Hon’ble High Court has held that the act of the Faceless Assessing Officer extending the Time Barring date in Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) without any statutory provision or Government order is illegal.
The Hon’ble High Court was hearing a petition challenging the notice issued under section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act) for alleged escapement of income.
The “reasons recorded” by the AO had been specifically examined in the regular assessment proceedings making an addition u/s 68 of the Act. The said addition was deleted by the CIT (Appeals). Against the order of the CIT (Appeals), the Department had filed appeals before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal which was pending.
The Hon’ble High Court observed that on merit, prima facie, the impugned notice under Section 148 was wholly impermissible and without jurisdiction inasmuch as the subject matter of reason to believe recorded by the Assessing Authority for issuing notice under Section 148 of the Act had already been considered and addition was made by the Assessing Authority while passing the regular assessment order and addition so made has been deleted by the CIT (Appeals).
Interestingly, the Hon’ble High Court observed that as reported by Office of Directorate of Income Tax (Systems), the reassessment proceeding for relevant Assessment Year was still pending with the Faceless Assessing Officer and no order of reassessment with respect to the notice u/s 148 had been passed.
The Hon’ble High Court was informed that the Faceless Assessing Officer had himself extended the Time Barring date in Income Tax Business Application by selecting the category others with the remarks “writ filed by the assessee”.
The Department admitted that the limitation had not been extended by any statutory enactment or by the Central Government and the limitation had already expired on 31.03.2022.
The Hon’ble High Court opined that since the limitation for passing the reassessment order for the relevant Assessment Year already expired, no reassessment order can now be passed unless the limitation is extended by the Legislature or by the Central Government under delegated authority, if any, under the Act. Therefore, for all practical purposes, the writ petition has become infructuous.
The writ was disposed off accordingly.
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