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Essential Documents and Procedures for Income Tax Audit: A Simplified Guide

Rashmi , Last updated: 29 August 2023  

For income tax audit purposes, individuals with business or professional income must maintain specific documents to ensure accurate reporting and prevent tax evasion. This helps the government collect revenue fairly and scrutinize complex financial transactions. Here are the essential documents required:

Cash Book

Records daily cash receipts and payments, maintaining a cash balance at the end of a specified period (not exceeding a month).

Journal Book

Needed if accounts follow the mercantile system of accounting.


Records all debits and credits.

Carbon Copies of Bills and Receipts

If bills or receipts amount to Rs 25,000 or more, the carbon copies of bills issued and receipts given must be maintained. If expenses don't exceed Rs 50 and bills/receipts aren't issued, signed payment vouchers should be kept.

Essential Documents and Procedures for Income Tax Audit: A Simplified Guide

Original Bills and Receipts: These need to be preserved for expenses incurred. Payment vouchers are sufficient if the cash book contains detailed expenditure particulars.

Additionally, these financial statements are required:

  • Trial Balance: Summarizes ledger balances.
  • Profit and Loss Statement: Summarizes income and expenses for the financial year.
  • Balance Sheet: Shows assets, liabilities, and equity.

If an individual chooses presumptive taxation under Section 44AD or 44ADA and meets conditions, maintaining books of accounts and audit may not be necessary. However, if they claim lower profits than prescribed, books and audit might be required.

Medical professionals, in addition to the above, need to maintain:

  • Daily Case Register: In Form No. 3C.
  • Inventory Records: As of the first and last day of the year.

Accounting software can simplify this process. Using a ledger to record debit and credit entries in the software automatically generates necessary books of accounts.

Auditors fill out specific forms:

  • Form 3CD: For those audited under various laws (Income Tax Act, Companies Act, etc.).
  • Form 3CA: If a company undergoes other law-mandated audits.
  • Form 3CB: For individuals audited solely for income tax.

This list isn't exhaustive; other forms might be necessary based on specific laws applicable to taxpayers.

The author is a Chartered Accountant with 2 decades of experience into Accounting, Taxation, Auditing, Risk & Compliance, Credit Controls, Due diligence. Currently, the author is the founder and managing partner at RRL Global Services. She can also be reached at rrlglobal@yahoo.com

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