Authorization of AOs in certain cases to rectify/reconcile disputed arrear demand

1. The Board has been apprised that in certain cases the assessees have disputed the figures of arrear demands shown as outstanding against them in the records of the Assessing Officer. The Assessing Officers have expressed their inability to correct/reconcile such disputed arrear demand on the ground that the period of limitation of four years as provided under sub-section (7) of section 154 of the Act has expired.

Further, in some cases, the Assessing Officers have uploaded such disputed arrear demand on the Financial Accounting System (FAS) portal of Centralized Processing Center (CPC), Bengaluru which has resulted in adjustment of refund arising out of processing of Returns against such arrear demand which has been disputed by such assessees on the grounds that either such demand has already been paid or has been reduced/ eliminated in the appeals, etc. The arrear demands, in these cases also were not corrected / reconciled for the reason that the period of limitation of four years has elapsed.

2. The Board, in consideration of genuine hardship faced by the abovementioned class of cases, in exercise of powers vested under section 119(2)(b) of the Act, hereby authorize the Assessing Officers to make appropriate corrections in the figures of such disputed arrear demands after due verification/reconciliation and after examining the same on merits, whether by way of rectification or otherwise, irrespective of the fact that the period of limitation of four years as provided under section 154(7) of the Act has elapsed.

3. In view of the above the following has been decided:—

(a)  In the category of cases where based on the figure of arrear demand uploaded by the Assessing Officer but disputed by the assessee, the Centralized Processing Center (CPC), Bengaluru has already adjusted any refund arising out of processing of return, the jurisdictional Assessing Officer shall verify the claim of the assessee on merits. After due verification of any such claim on merits, the Assessing Officer shall issue refund of the excess amount, if any, so adjusted by CPC due to inaccurate figures of arrear demand uploaded by the Assessing Officer. The Assessing Officer, in appropriate cases, will also upload amended figure of arrear demand on the Financial Accounting System (FAS) portal of Centralized Processing Center (CPC), Bengaluru wherever there is balance outstanding arrear demand still remaining after aforesaid correction/ reconciliation.

(b)  In other cases, where the assessee disputes and requests for correction of the figures of arrear demand, whether uploaded on CPC or not uploaded and still lying in the records of the Assessing Officer, the jurisdictional Assessing Officer shall verify the claim of the assessee on merits and after due verification of such claim, will make suitable correction in the figure of arrear demand in his records and upload the correct figure of arrear demand on CPC portal.

4. It is specifically clarified that these instructions would apply only to the cases where the figures of arrear demand is to be reconciled/ corrected – whether such arrear demand has been uploaded by the Assessing Officer on to Financial Accounting System (FAS) of CPC or it is still in the records of the Assessing Officer.

This may be brought to the notice of all the officers of your CCA region.

Reference: Section 119 of the income Tax Act, 1961

Instructions to subordinate authorities

(1) The Board may, from time to time, issue such orders, instructions and directions to other income-tax authorities as it may deem fit for the proper administration of this Act, and such authorities and all other persons employed in the execution of this Act shall observe and follow such orders, instructions and directions of the Board :

Provided that no such orders, instructions or directions shall be issued—

(a)  so as to require any income-tax authority to make a particular assessment or to dispose of a particular case in a particular manner; or

(b)  so as to interfere with the discretion of the Commissioner (Appeals) in the exercise of his appellate functions.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power,—

(a) the Board may, if it considers it necessary or expedient so to do, for the purpose of proper and efficient management of the work of assessment and collection of revenue, issue, from time to time (whether by way of relaxation of any of the provisions of sections 115P, 115S, 115WD, 115WE, 115WF, 115WG, 115WH, 115WJ, 115WK, 139, 143, 144, 147, 148, 154, 155, 158BFA], sub-section (1A) of section 201, sections 210, 211, 234A, 234B, 234C, 271 and 273 or otherwise), general or special orders in respect of any class of incomes or fringe benefits or class of cases, setting forth directions or instructions (not being prejudicial to assessees) as to the guidelines, principles or procedures to be followed by other income-tax authorities in the work relating to assessment or collection of revenue or the initiation of proceedings for the imposition of penalties and any such order may, if the Board is of opinion that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, be published and circulated in the prescribed manner for general information;

(b) the Board may, if it considers it desirable or expedient so to do for avoiding genuine hardship in any case or class of cases, by general or special order, authorise any income-tax authority, not being a Commissioner (Appeals) to admit an application or claim for any exemption, deduction, refund or any other relief under this Act after the expiry of the period specified by or under this Act for making such application or claim and deal with the same on merits in accordance with law;

(c) the Board may, if it considers it desirable or expedient so to do for avoiding genuine hardship in any case or class of cases, by general or special order for reasons to be specified therein, relax any requirement contained in any of the provisions of Chapter IV or Chapter VI-A, where the assessee has failed to comply with any requirement specified in such provision for claiming deduction thereunder, subject to the following conditions, namely:—

 (i)  the default in complying with such requirement was due to circumstances beyond the control of the assessee; and

(ii)  the assessee has complied with such requirement before the completion of assessment in relation to the previous year in which such deduction is claimed :

Provided that the Central Government shall cause every order issued under this clause to be laid before each House of Parliament

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