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Power of Joint Commissioner to issue directions in cerain cases to complete Assessment (Seciton 144A)


A Joint Commissioner may:

  1. on his own motion; or

  2. on a reference being made to him by the Assessing Officer; or

  3. on the application of an assessee

call for and examine the record of any proceeding in which an assessment is pending. Thereafter, if he considers that:

  1. having regard to the nature of the case; or

  2. the amount involved; or

  3. for any other reason,

it is necessary or expedient so to do, he may issue such directions as he thinks fit for the guidance of the Assessing Officer to enable him to complete the assessment.

The powers of the Joint Commissioner are wide and he can issue directions to the Assessing Officer for any reasons that he thinks are necessary. The directions to the Assessing Officer are binding in nature and the assessee has a recourse to agitate in appeal if the Assessing Officer does not follow the directions.

However, no directions which are prejudicial to the assessee shall be issued before an opportunity is given to the assessee to be heard.

Direction as to the lines on which an investigation connected with the assessment should be made, shall not be deemed to be a direction prejudicial to the assessee.

Section 144A is indeed an effective tool for seeking intervention of higher authorities on interpretation and resolution of vexed issues arising during the course of assessment.

Conditions to be satisfied before invoking section 144A:

The provisions of section 144A can only be evoked if:

  1. notice under section 143(2) has been issued, and

  2. the assessment proceedings as a consequence of the notice are pending.

  1. Assessment includes reassessment and hence direction under section 144A can be given even when any reassessment is pending.

  2. No appeal can be filed against the directors issued by Joint Commissioner under section 144A. The assessee can file an appeal to CIT (Appeal) against the assessment order passed by Assessing Officer on the direction of Joint Commissioner.

CONTENT : Return of Income and Procedure of Assessment (Section 139 to 154)

Related Topics... Return of Income and Procedure of Assessment


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