Rationalization of IT Penalty Provisions u/s 271AAB, 271AAC and 271AAD

Amendments proposed for rationalization of the penalty provisions u/s 271AAB, 271AAC and 271AAD of
the Income Tax Act, vide Clauses73, 74 and 75 of the Finance Bill 2022 (budget 2022-23), to enable CIT (Appeals) along with AO to levy penalty under these sections, are as under:

1. Sections 271AAB, 271AAC and 271AAD of the Act under Chapter XXI contain provisions which give powers to the Assessing Officer to levy penalty in cases involving undisclosed income in cases where search has been initiated u/s 132 or otherwise, or for false entry etc. in books of account.

2. Under Chapter XXI of the Act which deals with penalties, Commissioner (Appeals) has concomitant powers with Assessing Officer to levy penalty in eligible cases under section 270A, section 271, section 271A, section 271AA, section 271G, section 271J which deal with deliberate concealment, non-disclosure and omission by an assessee to evade tax.

3. Similarly, sections 271AAB, 271AAC, 271AAD penalise actions pertaining to undisclosed income, unexplained credits or expenditures, or deliberate falsification or omission in books of accounts. Therefore, in order to improve deterrence against noncompliance among tax payers, it is proposed to amend the sections 271AAB, 271AAC and 271AAD by enabling the Commissioner (Appeals) to levy penalty under these sections along with the Assessing Officer.

4. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2022.

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