IT Act Passed: Why Even Honest Taxpayers Should Be Really Afraid

The Finance Bill, 2017 is passed, and this what allows Tax authority permissions. Tax authorities can provisionally attach any property of a person raided, for any vague reasons. Tax authorities can enter any place where a charitable activity is taking place to survey it. And get any person working there to provide them with any information they feel like Tax authorities can open cases into assessments from 10 years back based on evidence found during a search.

IT Act Passed: Why Even Honest Taxpayers Should Be Really Afraid

IT Act Passed

IT Act Passed

The government claims all these changes are meant to be in the best interests of the country to remove black money in the country. With these proposals dangerously close to becoming law, why you should be ready. Section 132 of the Income Tax Act 1961 empowers the income tax authorities to conduct search and seizure operations but with “reason to believe”.

Now the Finance Bill 2017 proposes to amend this provision to clarify that the “reason to believe” does not need to be disclosed to any person or any authority, including the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. What this means is that if the income tax authorities conduct a raid on your premises. They will first not need to provide you with any reasons for this. Prior to this, the authorities used to have to provide a satisfaction note describing their reasons to you.

IT Act Passed

IT Act Passed

Nor can you raise any objections regarding the reasons for a raid before any of the authorities/appellate tribunals specifically created to deal with objections against tax assessments, including. According to multiple High Court decisions, search and seizure operations.

This may not seem like a huge deal to the average person. First off, you may consider yourself to be a abiding laws, paying taxes regularly, so why worry about raids? Secondly, the proposal doesn’t say reasons don’t have to exist, and in fact does not preclude the submission of reasons to the courts.

IT Act Passed

IT Act Passed

Now, the income tax authorities will find themselves with more scope to act with impunity. As the only way to challenge the validity of a search operation is to file a case before the High Courts or Supreme Court. Doing so is more expensive, and far more complicated and would in any case mean waiting years before the matter is heard. Especially for someone not living in Delhi or a city with a High Court.

IT Act Passed

IT Act Passed

The economic blockade of Imphal Valley caused immense problems for the masses. Prices went up many times. Petrol and diesel sold at over Rs 250 per litre. The people are happy with the change. Now Manipur has got a huge reprieve. “It is good that the blockade has removed. We expected to get petrol on the same price of Rs 70. But it is still ranging from Rs 100-Rs 200 a litre,” said a relieved resident of the state. Another local said, “I am very happy with the end of economic blockade. The BJP government headed by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh has done a good thing.

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