Finance Bill 2016
Immunity from penalty and prosecution in certain cases by inserting new section 270AA
It is proposed to provide that an assessee may make an application to the Assessing Officer for grant of immunity from imposition of penalty under section 270A and initiation of proceedings under section 276C, provided he pays the tax and interest payable as per the order of assessment or reassessment within the period specified in such notice of demand and does not prefer an appeal against such assessment order. The assessee can make such application within one month from the end of the month in which the order of assessment or reassessment is received in the form and manner, as may be prescribed.
It is proposed that the Assessing Officer shall, on fulfilment of the above conditions and after the expiry of period of filing appeal as specified in sub-section (2) of section 249, grant immunity from initiation of penalty and proceeding under section 276C if the penalty proceedings under section 270A has not been initiated on account of the following, namely:—
a) misrepresentation or suppression of facts;
(b) failure to record investments in the books of account;
(c) claim of expenditure not substantiated by any evidence;
(d) recording of any false entry in the books of account;
(e) failure to record any receipt in books of account having a bearing on total income; or
(f) failure to report any international transaction or any transaction deemed to be an international transaction or any specified domestic transaction to which the provisions of Chapter X apply.
It is proposed that the Assessing Officer shall pass an order accepting or rejecting such application within a period of one month from the end of the month in which such application is received. However, in the interest of natural justice, no order rejecting the application shall be passed by the Assessing Officer unless the assessee has been given an opportunity of being heard. It is proposed that order of Assessing Officer under the said section shall be final.
It is proposed that no appeal under section 246A or an application for revision under section 264 shall be admissible against the order of assessment or reassessment referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1), in a case where an order under section 270AA has been made accepting the application.
Clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 249 provides that an appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) is to be made within thirty days of the receipt of the notice of demand relating to an assessment order.
It is proposed to provide that in a case where the assessee makes an application under section 270AA of the Income-tax Act seeking immunity from penalty and prosecution, then, the period beginning from the date on which such application is made to the date on which the order rejecting the application is served on the assessee shall be excluded for calculation of the aforesaid thirty days period. The proposed amendment is consequential to the insertion of section 270AA.
These amendments will take effect from the 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017 -2018 and subsequent years.
[Clause 97 & 91 of Finance Bill 2016]