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Income Tax Raid… Rights of an Assessee

What’s in a Income Tax Raid?

Authorised officers of the IT department can search residential and business premises, vehicles and bank lockers and seize the account books, stocks and valuables.

*        They can also u/s 132A, requisition books of accounts and valuables seized by other government departments for investigation under the Income Tax Act.

Assessee rights during IT Raid

*        lt is the duty of the raiding officers to keep two independent witnesses from the locality as panchas. there are kids they must be allowed to go to school.

*        IT students, can however, look inside the school bags.

*        The raids can only start between sunrise and sunset. However they can continue, and do, for 48 hours.

*        The assessee has the right to see the search warrant and the identification of the authorised officer.

*        The person being raided can insist that the female members in the family be searched by a female.

*        The person being raided has to give his statement during or after the raid. Silepce usually does not pay as it leads to an adverse inference against him/her.

*        The assessee should remember that he or she has a right to personally search the IT officer to ensure that there is no planting of evidence.

*        The assessee can have his own seals on the packages which are seized and is entitled to a panchanama copy.

*        Women have the right to withdraw from appearing before a search party if according to custom she does not appear in public.

*        The assessee has the right to call a doctor if necessary and the right to eat at meal time.

After the Raid
*        Legal experts say the only redress for those who feel they have been unfairly raided is to file a writ petition before the High Court challenging the raid.

*        Another option is to challenge the assessment before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeal).

*        Once the IT dept. has seized all the documents and property it can, without giving reasons, reopen assessment for the last six years.


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