Many Assessees & Tax consultants thank that scrutiny assessment proceedings are big source of harassment. They think that hardly any change in attitude of most of Assessing Officers. This is evident from fact that major demands raised in scrutiny assessments get vacated in first and second appeal.
Pressing for payment of demand:
pressing for collection of demand even when first appeal is pending and relief is likely to be allowed in view of settled legal position and favourable precedence having binding nature.
Un-necessary requisitions and calling of information:
Tendency of calling for information which are already available to the AO on a click of mouse still continues and the AO asks assessee to furnish printed copy of return- ITR filed by assessee online, details of business, directors, partners, computation etc. which are already found in the ROI and other documents submitted by assessee. In requisitions , many documents and explanations are required which are not at all required, not applicable and cannot be asked in terms of instructions issued by CBDT.
Tendency of unsettling settled legal position continue:
Tendency of not following binding precedence has not changed amongst many of tax officers. Many has tendency of unsettling settled things just by mentioning the revenue has not accepted appellate order or facts. Many amendments have been inserted just to unsettle settled legal position, even ignoring or not caring about legality of such new provisions.
Srutiny selection under CASS:
From time to time the CBDT have issued Circulars to the effect that in case of cases selected by CASS based on certain information or certain parameters the scope of enquiry must be restricted and variation in income must also be restricted in respect of specific items for which selection of case has been made for scrutiny. In case of unlimited scrutiny cases, or in cases where AO consider that case require deep inquiry to unearth tax evasion exceeding certain limits, then with approval of specified senior authorities more detailed enquiry can be made.
Instructions are not followed by many AO:
Instructions of CBDT regarding scope and procedure for limited, specific issue based scrutiny and in depth scrutiny, are disobeyed by tax authorities (AO) and details enquiry are made, even in cases of selection for specified purposes.
Additions are made in complete disregard of facts and law:
In scrutiny assessment additions and disallowances are made in complete disregard of facts of case, law, binding precedence etc., just for sake of making high pitched assessment order, raising high demand and pressing assessee to pay such demands. All these are source of harassment of assessee.
Ad-hock, estimated additions and disallowances still continue:
Assessing Officers are still making ad-hock, estimated additions and disallowances without any material but just on guess, conjecture, and presumption and prejudice. This is not proper. On small additions and disallowances, many assessee do not go in for appeal due to high cost of litigation and to avoid loss of time which will be required if appeal is properly pursued, which is not possible for small sums.
Cases of issuing reassessment notices and opening assessments, have also been found for small sums when original assessment was made even under detailed scrutiny or as per instructions of CBDT. Many notices for reassessment with likely tax effect of petty sums (not exceeding Rs. One lakh) such small cases of reassessment, revision and rectifications must be avoided.
The recent circulars issued by CBDT :
Recently Board have issue new circulars, in which earlier circular has also been referred to and adopted in some aspects. Recently Board has issued Instruction No. 19 and 20/2015. The earlier circular : Instruction No. 7/2014 dated 26.09.2014 has also been referred to therein.