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CBDT Clips AO’s Power To make Fishing Enquiry In CASS cases

The CBDT has issued Instruction No. 7 of 2014 dated 26.09.2014 pointing out that in cases selected for scrutiny under Computer Aided Scrutiny Selection (‘CASS’), some AOs routinely call for information which is not relevant for enquiry into the issues to be considered. This has been causing undue harassment to the taxpayers and has also drawn adverse criticism from several quarters. The CBDT has directed that cases selected for scrutiny during the Financial Year 2014-2015 under CASS, on the basis of either AIR data or CIB information or for non- reconciliation with 26AS data the scope of enquiry should be limited to verification of these particular aspects only. The Assessing Officer shall confine the questionnaire and subsequent enquiry or verification only to the specific point(s) on the basis of which the particular return has been selected for scrutiny.

It is also directed that the AO should make all efforts to ensure that assessment proceedings are completed expeditiously in minimum possible number of hearings without unnecessarily dragging the case till the time-barring date.

The Instruction permits the AO to go into other aspects only after obtaining the sanction of the Pr. CIT/ DIT in writing.


3 comments on “CBDT Clips AO’s Power To make Fishing Enquiry In CASS cases
  1. CA AJAY KUMAR JAIN says:

    The department is taking stand that fishing enquiry in cass cases can be made for cases selected before financial year 2014-15 as circular says that cases selected during fy 2014-15 are not subject to harassment to tax payer. It means tax payer can be harassed for the cases selected before 1-04-2014. CBDT should clarify wheather stopping of harassment is prospective in nature or clarificatory in nature.

    • RAM SEN says:

      Ajay,
      that is a most ridiculous stand – it will not hold up in Court

      CBDT circular must be construed as clarificatory in nature

  2. C.KAMESWARA RAO says:

    This would have been applicable even for the current assessment proceeding.This would save lot of time for the Assessing Officer and the Assessee.

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