Opinion Of Eminent Legal Luminaries On Controversial Issues

Reassessment – Reopening of assessment – S. 147, 148

QUERY: A is not assessed to tax as his income is below the threshold limit, He holds shares of listed companies since 2009 (the original investment value is Rs. 15,00,000/-) Now during the F.Y. 2016-17, he wishes to sell the shares through stock exchange. Profit in his hand is LTCG and hence, it is exempted. But can the Assessing Officer ask to prove the source of investment of original investment? Can he make the addition of any type, just like the investment made out of undisclosed income?
ANSWER: Section 149 provides that no notice under section 148 shall be issued for the relevant assessment year –
i) If four years have elapsed from the end of the relevant assessment year.
ii) If four years but not less than six years, have elapsed from the end of the relevant assessment year unless income chargeable to tax which has escaped assessment amount to or likely to amount to one lakh rupees or more for that year.
So, in this case, assessee sold his investment in shares of listed companies in financial year 2016-17 i.e. in assessment year 2017-18, which is exempt as he paid the STT.
The shares which he was holding since 2009, presumably, had purchased in the financial year 2009-10 i.e., Assessment Year 2010-11.
Therefore, reopening notice for the assessment year 2010-11 could have been issued on or before March 31, 2017.
However, reopening could have been valid only if there was live link between reason to believe and escapement of assessment.

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Credit: Several of the queries and answers are reproduced with permission from the AIFTP Journal. We thank AIFTP for generously allowing us to host their research material.
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