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CBDT Issues Guidelines for Selection of Cases for Tax Scrutiny in FY 2024-25: Key Highlights

Last updated: 27 May 2024


The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has recently issued a notification detailing the process for the scrutiny of income tax returns (ITRs) for the financial year 2024-25. This move aims to enhance transparency and ensure tax compliance among taxpayers.

CBDT Issues Guidelines for Selection of Cases for Tax Scrutiny in FY 2024-25: Key Highlights

Key Highlights of the New Guidelines

1. Reasons for Scrutiny: Under the new guidelines, taxpayers will be informed about the specific reasons why their ITRs have been shortlisted for scrutiny. This measure is designed to provide clarity and reduce uncertainties regarding the scrutiny process.

2. Focus on Tax Evasion: Experts note that the CBDT continues to emphasize potential tax evasion cases. Information sharing from other agencies plays a crucial role in identifying such cases, in line with the authority’s ongoing efforts to combat tax evasion and enforce compliance.

3. Specific Cases for Scrutiny: The guidelines outline several scenarios that warrant scrutiny:

  • Survey Cases (u/s 133A): Cases arising from surveys leading to the detection of tax evasion will be scrutinized. Such cases require prior administrative approval and must be transferred to Central Charges within 15 days of notice issuance.
  • Search and Seizure (prior to April 1, 2021): Cases involving search and seizure are selected for scrutiny under section 153C, with necessary approvals and centralization within 15 days of notice.
  • Non-filing of Returns: Cases where no return has been furnished in response to a notice under section 142(1) will be scrutinized. Jurisdictional Assessing Officers (JAOs) are responsible for uploading relevant documents for further action by the National Faceless Assessment Centre (NaFAC).

4. Specific Information Regarding Tax Evasion: Cases where specific information about tax evasion is provided by any law enforcement agency, and the relevant ITR is furnished, will be scrutinized. A list of such cases will be prepared and submitted for further action.

Expert Insights

Transparency and Fairness: Tax experts emphasize that the new guidelines aim to bring more transparency and fairness to the scrutiny process. Taxpayers will now have clearer insights into why their returns have been selected for scrutiny, which can help reduce anxiety and improve trust in the system.

Preparation and Compliance: With specific criteria outlined, taxpayers can better prepare for scrutiny by ensuring all necessary documentation is in place. The guidelines are expected to encourage more diligent and accurate filing of returns, ultimately reducing instances of tax evasion.

Impact on Taxpayers:

  • Increased Awareness: Taxpayers will be more informed about potential triggers for scrutiny, allowing them to take proactive steps in their tax planning.
  • Deterrent to Tax Evasion: Clearly defined scrutiny parameters may deter taxpayers from engaging in activities that could lead to scrutiny, fostering a culture of compliance.

Conclusion

The CBDT's new guidelines for the scrutiny of ITRs reflect a proactive stance in enforcing tax compliance. By enhancing transparency and specifying scrutiny criteria, the guidelines aim to ensure a fair and consistent process, ultimately promoting greater adherence to tax laws among taxpayers.

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Category Income Tax   Report

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