Power of survey team

Posted on 1st June 2007


Places where an Income Tax Authority can enter- by virtue of section 133A (not withstanding anything contained in the Income Tax Act), an Income Tax Authority [i.e., Commissioner, Joint Commissioner, Director, Joint Director, Assistant Director, Deputy Director or Assessing Officer, Tax Recovery Officer] may enter the following places-
a) Any place within the limits of the area assigned to him, or
b) Any place occupied by any person in respect of whom he exercises jurisdiction or
c) Any place in respect of which he is authorized by such income tax authority who is
assigned the area within which such place is situated or who exercises Jurisdiction in
respect of any person occupying such place.
? Income Tax Authority can enter the aforesaid place at which a business/ Profession is
carried on whether or not that place is the principal place of the business or profession.
No prior notice is required- N.K MOHNOT (v) CIT [1995] 215 ITR 275 (MAD)
? Joint Commissioner, who authorizes survey, is fully empowered under section 133A to
remain present at the spot of survey for supervising and doing all that is necessary for the
purpose of the Act- N.K MOHNOT (v) CIT [1999] 104 Taxman 64/ 240 ITR 562
? No action under the aforesaid provision (with effect from June 1, 2003) shall be taken
by the Assistant Director or a Deputy Director or an Assessing Officer or a Tax
Recovery Officer or an Inspector of Income Tax accept with the prior approval of the
Joint Director or the Joint Commissioner, as the case may be.

On entering the aforesaid place, the Income Tax Authority may require any
proprietor, employee or any other person attending or helping in carrying on such
business or Profession-
a) To afford him necessary facility to inspect such Books of Accounts or other documents
as he may require and which may be available at such place:
b) To afford him necessary facility to check or verify the cash, stock or other valuable
articles or things which may be found therein: and
c) To furnish any such information as he may require as to any matter may be helpful for
or relevant to any proceeding under the Act.

The power of the Income Tax authority extends only to enter the Business Premises or
place of profession.
i) It is not necessary that the place where the survey is carried on is a principal place of
ii) Business Premises would also include a place from where business need not be carried
on by the assessee but at such place the Books of Accounts, documents, cash stock;
valuable Article or thing is kept.
iii) The survey action has to be initiated during the business or working hours i.e. say after
the sunrise and before the sunset but once properly initiated it can carry on through the
night. There is no time limit in such case

215 ITR 275 (MAD) N.K MOHNOT (v) CIT (1995)
iv) Since survey is restricted to Business Premises, a survey cannot be conducted on days
when the Business is closed, e.g. Festive occasion, Sundays etc.

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