The tax man just got more powerful. From April 1 onwards the income tax officer has the right to raid anyone with giving any reason. The tax man can also confiscate property which is not subject to the raids as per the new provisions that got legislative approval when Parliament passed the Finance Bill earlier this week.
The Bill is currently with the President of India and is awaiting his nod. It would be given the assent and the new rules would come into force on April 1 2017. Once the new rules are in force, the taxman will have the right to raid a property ever where a charity event is taking place.
The opposition had raised concerns over the powers being granted to the taxman. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley however said that the new rules would mandate abundant caution before a raid is conducted. The new law would also protect whistle blowers. The survey and search details will be shared only with a court and not the person or entity in question, Jaitley had said.
Under the Income Tax Act of 1961, taxmen had to have reasons to believe that a person had undisclosed assets before a raid was conducted. It also mandated that a raid would be conducted if the person in question was unwilling to disclose his income to the tax department. However as per the new law any property can provisionally be seized during a raid. The earlier rule stated that only property subject to the raid could be seized.