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Writ not maintainable against draft assessment order as objections could be filed before DRP

June 29, 2019[2019] 106 taxmann.com 389 (Madras)

INCOME TAX: In case of Foreign Companies, Assessing Officer instead of passing final order under section 143 (3), passes Draft Assessment Orders to enable assessee to make an objection before Dispute Resolution Panel, which consists of experts in this field. Dispute Resolution Panel is empowered by Act to consider objections, and pass suitable orders, viz., may confirm, reduce or enhance variations proposed in draft order. Assessing Officer is bound to pass final Assessment Orders in tune with order of Dispute Resolution Panel. Against final order, First Appeal lies before Commissioner (Appeals) under section 246 and second appeal lies before Appellate Tribunal under section 253. Thereafter, an appeal lies to High Court under section 260A on substantial questions of law

• In instant case, petitioners were having an efficacious alternative remedy of filing objections before Dispute Resolution Panel under section 144C or to file an appeal against final assessment orders before Commissioner (Appeals) under section 246A.Thus, there being an alternative remedy of appeal, these Writ Petitions filed by petitioner firm challenging impugned draft assessment order shaving been passed in violation of principles of natural justice and in contravention of section 92CA(4) would not be maintainable.

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