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17. Wealth escaping assessment.

2[(1) If the Assessing Officer 3[has reason to believe] that the net wealth chargeable to tax in respect of which any person is assessable under this Act has escaped assessment for any assessment year (whether by reason of under- assessment or assessment at too low a

rate or otherwise), he may, subject to the other provisions of this section and section 17A, serve on such person a notice requiring him to furnish within such period, 4*** as may be specified in the notice, a return in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner setting forth the net wealth in respect of which such person is assessable as on the valuation date mentioned in the notice, along with such other particulars as may be required by the notice, and may proceed to assess or reassess such net wealth and also any other net wealth chargeable to tax in respect of which such person is assessable, which has escaped assessment and which comes to his notice subsequently in the course of the proceedings under this section for the assessment year concerned (hereafter in this section referred to as the relevant assessment year), and the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply as if the return were a return required to be furnished under section 14:

Provided that where an assessment under sub-section (3) of section 16 or this section has been made for the relevant assessment year, no action shall be taken under this section after the expiry of four years from the end of the relevant assessment year, unless any net wealth chargeable to tax has escaped assessment for such assessment year by reason of the failure on the part of the assessee to make a return under section 14 or section 15 or in response to a notice issued under sub-section (4) of section 16 or this section or to disclose fully and truly all material facts necessary for his assessment for that assessment year:

5[Provided further that the Assessing Officer shall, before issuing any notice under this sub-section,record his reasons for doing so:]

6[Provided also that nothing contained in the first proviso shall apply in a case where any net wealth in relation to any asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India chargeable to tax, has escaped assessment for any assessment year:]

7[Provided also that the Assessing Officer may assess or reassess such net wealth, other than the net wealth which is the subject matter of any appeal, reference or revision, which is chargeable to tax and has escaped assessment.]

Explanation.

Production before the Assessing Officer of account books or other evidence from which material evidence could with due diligence have been discovered by the Assessing Officer will not necessarily amount to disclosure within the meaning of the foregoing proviso.

1. Subs. by Act 4 of 1988, s. 127, for "Wealth-tax Officer" (w.e.f. 1-4-1988).

2. Subs. by s. 139, ibid., for sub-section (1) (w.e.f. 1-4-1989). Earlier it was amended by Act 46 of 1964, s. 17 (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

3. Subs. by Act 3 of 1989, s. 66, for ", for reasons to be recorded by him in writing, is of the opinion" (w.e.f. 1-4-1989).

4. The words "not being less than thirty days," omitted by Act 32 of 2003, s. 100 (w.r.e.f. 1-4-1989).

5. Ins. by Act 3 of 1989, s. 66 (w.e.f. 1-4-1989).

6. Ins. by Act 23 of 2012, s. 116 (w.r.e.f. 1-7-2012).

7. Ins. by Act 18 of 2008, s. 60 (w.e.f. 1-4-2008).

(1A) No notice under sub-section (1) shall be issued for the relevant assessment year,

1[(a) if four years have elapsed from the end of the relevant assessment year, unless the case falls under clause (b) 2[or clause (c)];

(b) if four years, but not more than six years, have elapsed from the end of the relevant assessment year unless the net wealth chargeable to tax which has escaped assessment amounts to or is likely to amount to rupees ten lakhs or more for that year;]

2[(c) if four years, but not more than sixteen years, have elapsed from the end of the relevant assessment year unless the net wealth in relation to any asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India, chargeable to tax, has escaped assessment for any assessment year.]

3[Explanation 1].

For the purposes of sub-section (1) and sub-section (1A), the following shall also be deemed to be cases where net wealth chargeable to tax has escaped assessment, namely:

(a) where no return of net wealth has been furnished by the assessee although his net wealth or the net wealth of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act on the valuation date exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to wealth-tax;

(b) where a return of net wealth has been furnished by the assessee but no assessment has been made and it is noticed by the Assessing Officer that the assessee has understated the net wealth or has claimed excessive exemption or deduction in the return;

2[(c) where a person is found to have any asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India.]

2[Explanation 2.

For the removal of doubts, it is hereby clarified that the provisions of this section, as amended by the Finance Act, 2012, shall also be applicable for any assessment year beginning on or before the 1st day of April, 2012 (23 of 2012).]

(1B) (a) In a case where an assessment under sub-section (3) of section 16 or sub-section (1) of this section has been made for the relevant assessment year, no notice shall be issued under sub-section (1)4[by an Assessing Officer, who is below the rank of 5[Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner], unless the 6[Joint Commissioner] is satisfied, on the reasons recorded by such Assessing Officer, that it is a fit case for the issue of such notice]:

Provided that, after the expiry of four years from the end of the relevant assessment year, no such notice shall be issued unless the Chief Commissioner or Commissioner is satisfied, on the reasons recorded by the Assessing Officer aforesaid, that it is a fit case for the issue of such notice.

(b) In a case other than a case falling under clause (a), no notice shall be issued under sub-section(1) by an Assessing Officer, who is below the rank of 6[Joint Commissioner], after the expiry of four years from the end of the relevant assessment year, unless the 6[Joint Commissioner] is satisfied, on the reasons recorded by such Assessing Officer, that it is a fit case for the issue of such notice.]

7[Explanation.

For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the Joint Commissioner, the Commissioner or the Chief Commissioner, as the case may be, being satisfied on the reasons recorded by the Assessing Officer about fitness of a case for the issue of notice, need not issue such notice himself.]

1. Subs. by Act 14 of 2001, s. 96, for clauses (a) and (b) (w.e.f. 1-6-2001).

2. Ins. by Act 23 of 2012, s. 116 (w.e.f. 1-7-2012).

3. The Explanation renumbered as Explanation 1 thereof by s. 116, ibid. (w.e.f. 1-7-2012).

4. Subs. by Act 12 of 1990, s. 55, for "except by an Assessing Officer of the rank of Assistant Commissioner or

Deputy Commissioner" (w.e.f. 1-4-1990).

5. Subs. by Act 21 of 1998, s. 66, for "Assistant Commissioner" (w.e.f. 1-10-1998).

6. Subs. by s. 66, ibid., for "Deputy Commissioner" (w.e.f. 1-10-1998).

7. Ins. by Act 18 of 2008, s. 60 (w.r.e.f. 1-10-1998).

1[(2) Nothing contained in this section limiting the time within which any proceeding for assessment or reassessment may be commenced, shall apply to an assessment or reassessment to be made on such person in consequence of or to give effect to any finding or direction contained in an order under section 23, 24, 25, 27 or 29 2[or by a Court in any proceedings under any other law]:

Provided that the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply in any case where any such assessment or reassessment relates to an assessment year in respect of which an assessment or reassessment could not have been made at the time the order which was the subject-matter of the appeal, reference or revision, as the case may be, was made by reason of any provision limiting the time within which any action for assessment or reassessment may be taken.]



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