The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said in its report about the Income Tax (IT) Department should ensure that search warrants are issued after proper examination of the information available, research and due diligence in a manner which is above suspicion as search and seizure involves a lot of harassment to the assessees and their families.

CAG said in its report, which was tabled in Parliament during the monsoon session, that the possibility of the role of the judicial body may also be explored.

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CAG in the Performance Audit on Search and Seizure Assessments in Income Tax Department report has suggested that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) should bring up a mechanism to ensure that Appraisal Report along with seized material gets handed over to assessment wing within the stipulated time so that Assessing Officer (AO) could have sufficient time to examine all the issues pointed out in Appraisal Report. The report also said that the CBDT should introduce a time limit for issuing notices under amended section 153A/153C.

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The Performance Audit (PA) covered the search assessments completed during the financial years 2014-15 to 2017-18. Audit checked 24,869 assessment records for about 185 Groups with the assessed income of Rs.1,71,503.78 crores. It issued 1659 observations.

At last, the report said, “Audit is of the view that all the assessees related to issues pointed out in Appraisal Report may be centralized and their assessments should be completed in a nameless/faceless manner, where the assessees, as well as AOs, are not aware of each other’s identities, to ensure transparency in the assessments.”

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With Warm Regards,

CL Bureau.

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