ORISSA HIGH COURT INFORMS INCOME TAX DEPARTMENT ABOUT BJD’S INCOME

REASSESSMENT OF BJD’S INCOME 2014-15-

A case against BJD is going on in the Income Tax Department. BJD stands for Biju Janata Dal, which is a prominent political party in Orissa. The case that concerns BJD is regarding the party’s income in the year 2014-15. The Orissa high court has issued a notice to the Income Tax Department.  This notice was issued in regards to the petition filed by the BJD against the reassessment of the party’s income for the financial year 2014-15.

  • According to the notice, an additional amount of Rs. 8 crores is liable for charging under the income tax for the particular financial year. 
  • This is said on the grounds that the BJD party in Orissa had received the sum of Rs. 8 crores as a voluntary contribution from a donor. 
  • This contribution was in regards to the election fund. 
  • The Orissa high court also informed the Income Tax department that this donor did not have a PAN card.
  •  This notice was issued under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act. 
  • The notice was released on 6th May 2021, and 20th May 2021.

NOTICE RELEASED BY THE ORISSA GOVERNMENT- 

  • After the Orissa government had released their notice, the BJD party challenged it. 
  • After the release of the second notice on the 20th May 2021, the officials of the BJD party submitted a petition saying that the Income Tax department had released their notice more than a month after the expiry of the maximum permissible period of six years. 
  • They also said that unless the notice under Section 148 of the Act is issued within the time stipulated, the proceedings would stand vitiated. 
  • The BJD party’s official also mentioned that the mandatory requirement of conducting an inquiry before issuing a notice for assessment had not been complied with. 

“Till the next date, no coercive action will be taken against the petitioner pursuant to the impugned notices issued on May 6 and 20, 2021”, said the division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray. He said this on 3rd August after hearing the BJD party’s petition. 

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SECTIONS ALLOWING REASSESSMENT-

  • There is an amendment made in Section 149 of the Income Tax Act that allows the extension of the time limit of cases of reassessments. 
  • But this amendment is only applicable for Assessment years subsequent to 1st April 2021. 
  • The second issue raised by the officials of the BJD party is that under Section 148 of the Act, as amended in 2021, it is mandatory for the department to conduct an inquiry under Section 148 (A) even before issuing a notice. 
  • But, in the current case, this mandatory requirement has not been complied with, the petition said.
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