S. 147 reopening reasons need not be supplied within limitation period
For AY 2004-05, the AO issued a notice u/s 148 on 15.3.2011. The recorded reasons were supplied to the assessee on 30.8.2011 (after the expiry of the limitation period of 6 years). The assessee, relying on Haryana Acrylic vs. CIT 308 ITR 38 (Del), challenged the reopening inter alia on the ground that as the recorded reasons were supplied after the expiry of the limitation period, the reassessment proceedings were invalid. HELD dismissing the petition:
There is no requirement in s. 147, 148 or 149 that the reasons recorded should also accompany the notice issued u/s 148. The requirement in s. 149(1) is only that the notice u/s 148 shall be issued. There is no requirement that it should also be served on the assessee before the period of limitation. There is also no requirement in s. 148(2) that the reasons recorded shall be served along with the notice of reopening the assessment. The only mandatory requirement is that before issuing the notice to reopen the assessment the AO shall record his reasons for doing so. After GKN Driveshafts 259 ITR 19 (SC) the AO is duty bound to supply the recorded reasons to the assessee after the assessee files the return in response to the s. 148 notice. Haryana Acrylic turned on the peculiar facts of that case, where two sets of reasons had been recorded by the AO. As the second set of reasons alleging non-disclosure of material facts surfaced for the first time in the affidavit filed by the Revenue before the High Court after the expiry of 6 years, it was held that the reassessment proceedings were invalid. As this is not the fact situation here, the assessee’s plea cannot be accepted.