Search & Seizure Guidelines under Income tax

By | May 16, 2016

Instruction No. 7 OF 2003, dated 30.7.2003

Section 132 of the Income-tax Act 1961

Subject : Search & Seizure – matters relating thereto

F.No. 286/77/2003-IT(Inv.II)
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes


All Director Generals of Income-tax (Inv.)

Subject: Search & Seizure – matters relating thereto


With a view to focus on high revenue yielding cases and to make the optimum use of manpower, the Board has decided that officers deployed in the Investigation Wing should restructure their activities. They should henceforth strictly adhere to the following guidelines :

(i) Searches should be carried out only in cases where there is credible evidence to indicate substantial unaccounted income/assets in relation to the tax normally paid by the assessee or where the expected concealment is more than Rs. 1 crore.

(ii) Search operation will also be mounted when there is evidence of hidden unaccounted assets arising out of a conspiracy to cause public harm, terrorism, smuggling, narcotics, fraud, gangsterism, fake currency, fake stamp papers and such other manifestations;

(iii) Tax payers who are professionals of excellence should not be searched without there being compelling evidence and confirmation of substantial tax evasion.

  1. Henceforth, search operations shall be authorized only by the concerned DGIT(Inv.) who will be accountable for the action initiated by the officers working under him. He should also ensure that all the work relating to search & seizure, like post-search enquires, preparation of appraisal report and handing over of seized books of accounts. Etc. should be completed by the Investigation Wing within a period of 60 days from the date on which the last of the authorisations for search was executed.
  2. DGsIT(Inv.) are requested to ensure that officers of competence and proven integrity are taken in the Investigation Wing. The officers posted in the Investigation Wing will be trained at NADT in a special course for which arrangements will be separately made.
  3. DGsIT(Inv.) are required to ensure strict compliance of the above guidelines/ instructions.

Yours faithfully,
Sharat Chandra
Director (Inv. II & III)

Related Post :

1. Seizure of jewellery in course of search under Income Tax



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