Monday, January 23, 2017

AO couldn't expand scope of special audit for those years which weren't specified in show cause notice: HC

Facts

a) Several firms converted into 5 companies, which amalgamated with assessee-company on 30-3-2012.

b) For year 2012-13, Assessing Officer found that properties of assessee-company had undergone multiple revaluation. Having regard to nature and complexity of accounts, he found it necessary to get the accounts audited by Special Auditor.

c) However, Assessing Officer(AO) ordered for special audit not only concerning financial year 2012-13 but also for financial year 2009-10 and also called for special audit of erstwhile firms and companies. However, there was no proposal in show-cause notice as to expanding scope of special audit for other years or for erstwhile firm and companies.

d) Aggrieved by the order of AO, assessee filed the instant writ before the High Court.

The High Court held in favour of assessee as under-

1) Insofar as the direction for auditing the company's account for the financial year 2012-13, same is backed by proper materials on record and reasons recorded by the Assessing Officer  Therefore, his formation of the belief that looking to the complexity and volume of the accounts, a special audit was called for, cannot be faulted.

2) However, in the impugned order, AO expanded the scope of special audit and directed the special audit not only for the financial year 2009-10 in case of the assessee, but also called for special audit of various other entities for number of years without any proposal in the show cause notice. 

3) It was held that where there was no proposal in show-cause notice as to expanding scope of special audit for other years or for erstwhile firms and companies, AO could not call for special audit in respect of same - [2017] 77 taxmann.com 162 (Gujarat)
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