|CORAM:||Ashwani Taneja(AM), Saktijit Dey (JM)|
|CATCH WORDS:||Audit Objection, Reopening|
|COUNSEL:||D. V. Lakhani|
|DATE:||March 16, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||April 13, 2016 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to download the file in pdf format|
|S. 147: If the AO objects to the audit objection, he cannot have reason to believe that income has escaped assessment and is not entitled to reopen the assessment|
The AO recorded reasons pursuant to an audit objection and reopened assessee’s assessment. However, the AO replied to the audit objection stating that the issue was debatable in nature. The AO replied that in principle the objections raised by the audit are not acceptable. However, still the AO proceeded to reopen the assessment. The Tribunal held that once the AO himself disagreed with the audit objections, reopening could not be done. The requirement of law for reopening of the case is that the AO should be in a position to form a belief about escapement of income. Although, it is true that at the stage of reopening, the belief need not be conclusive, but it is equally expected that the position of law should be clear in the mind of the AO, at least prima–facie. The belief need not be conclusive but it should be firm and clear. No belief can be formed out of confusion and doubtful thoughts.