Monday, November 15, 2010

CAN THE ASSESSING OFFICER REOPEN AN ASSESSMENT ON THE BASIS OF MERELY A CHANGE OF OPINION?

The power to reopen an assessment is conditional on the formation of a reason to believe that income
chargeable to tax has escaped assessment. The existence of tangible material is essential to safeguard against an arbitrary exercise of this power. In this case, the High Court observed that there was no tangible material before the Assessing Officer to hold that income had escaped assessment within the meaning of section 147 and the reasons recorded for reopening the assessment constituted a mere change of opinion. Therefore, there assessment was not valid.

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