India has over 3 crores tax payers who file the tax returns at the end of assessment year. After the Income Tax Department has implemented centralized processing of Income tax, all the tax payers now have to e-file their tax returns. In this online portal, the tax payers are asked to provide certain jurisdictional information while filing taxes. It is not mandatory for a tax payer to know the jurisdiction of their income tax, but it is advisable to be aware of this information in order to handle any kind of dispute that might arise in future regarding tax related issues. If this jurisdictional information is left blank, the system automatically will route the case to the Assessing Officer, based on the tax filer’s PAN card details.
For the Income Tax related work, one might require to meet Jurisdictional Assessing Officer, also referred as Assessing Officer. Assessing Officer is a quasi-judicial statutory authority and is assigned to safeguard the interests of the Income Tax Department. An Assessing Officer technically is in charge of his jurisdiction. In other words, the Assessing Officer is assigned with official power for judgments, make assessments and take decisions for Income Tax issues of the assesse, who is responsible to pay tax under the IT Act. Assessing officer can also ask the tax payer to provide books of account and other details for the purpose of tax verification. The designation of the Assessing Officers might differ based on the income volume or the nature of trade as assigned by CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) Board, the department that is dealing with Income Taxes. The Jurisdictional Assessing Officer could be an Income-tax Officer, an Additional Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Joint Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner.
Processing of Income Tax Return is typically done by Central Processing Cell (CPC) Bangalore. But there are cases where one might require to meet the Assessment Officer if:
- Challan 280 filed online is wrong
The tax payer gets any notice from IT Department regarding any outstanding demand, any follow up on refund, scrutiny or enquiry regarding the reasons for the tax return not being processed. All these cases require human intervention and involvement and the tax payer needs to know his/her Assessing Officer
One has to submit the papers with proper documentation to the Assessing Officer and get an acknowledgement. It can be just a stamp on the letter that is submitted and this should be dated. So one needs to carry two copies of the letter. For documentation needs, keep a copy of the submitted papers. All Xerox copies are to be submitted for assessment and not the originals.
In such complicated cases if no action is taken from the part of Assessing Officer, the tax payer can move the case to higher authority by writing to the Jurisdictional Chief Commissioner. In such situation, all copies of letters and applications that were submitted to the Assessing Officer has to be provided for escalation along with the copy of the tax return filed by the tax payer.
It is not always necessary for the tax payer to meet the Assessing Officer. A Chartered Accountant or a lawyer could very well represent the tax payer.
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While filing income tax return online, make sure that you are aware of the Income Tax ward or the Income Tax circle. The same information is required while applying for a new PAN. Knowing these jurisdictional information is helpful because the role of jurisdiction is important for any correspondence from IT Department. Many times, Income Tax Department issues intimations, notices or other orders to the tax payers in the addresses based on their jurisdiction. Also, if tax payers need to file some application which are not online, they have to make it to the jurisdictional Assessment Officer.
For a tax payer’s jurisdiction, it is the ward under which his/her PAN comes. It corresponds to the ward numbers of Town Panchayat, Municipality and/ or Municipal Corporation. It is the jurisdiction where a tax payer can bring up tax disputes.
The AO code or the Area Jurisdiction of Income Tax Department comprise of:
- Area code: This is the area in which the tax payer’s jurisdiction is located.
- AO Type: This indicates what type of Assessing Officer (AO) a tax payer falls under. In case of AO Type C, the tax payer falls under a ‘Circle’, and for AO Type W it is a ‘Ward’. Generally, if income is above ₹ 10 lakh, the tax payer falls under ‘Circle’.
- Range Code: The range code means the Income Tax Range that a tax payer comes under
- AO Number: This indicates to the Assessing Officer who has been assigned to a particular ward(s) where the tax payer falls under
The details of jurisdiction provide the building name of the Assessing Officer along with the email id. For any tax disputes that requires to be handled in person, these above mentioned details allow the tax payer to connect the right officer at the right location.
Basically, income-tax ward or circle is the range where the tax payer needs to file return. There are many income-tax officers appointed by IT Department across the country. Various categories of taxpayers are allotted to these officers. Tax payers of each category will fall under the jurisdiction of a particular officer who has been assigned for that particular area or category. Following are the steps involved to find the Income tax jurisdiction of an individual.
From the first week of Feb 2017, one need to log in to Income Tax services to find PAN/TAN/Assessing officer.
The following steps are to be followed to find your jurisdiction:
- Go to the income tax e-filing website and log in using your PAN and password
- In the top Menu select “Profile Settings”
- Click on “PAN details”
And this will show the Jurisdiction information along with the PAN information.
To find the address of the building of the Jurisdictional Assessment Officer, go to the website: http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/jurisdiction.aspx. You will see a list of states. Click on the state where your address belongs and a PDF document will open which contains all pertinent detail required
It is very common for people to shift to new places for professional and other reasons. Because of the change in their addresses, many other aspects need to be modified and updated for filing the income tax returns. For correspondence to be made going forward with the income-tax department, people are required to change their jurisdictions. In such instances, the taxpayers are needed to inform their existing jurisdictional income-tax officers about such changes by giving written applications.
Many times the Jurisdiction of a tax payer gets changed automatically. One re3ason being the reorganization of the Income Tax Department in 2013. This was done in an effort to ensure a standard hierarchy, uniform structure, improving the tax revenue, ensuring the maintain communication channels, enabling easier resolution for disputes related to tax and getting a better grip over the frauds related to tax.
People need to change their addresses and move from one city to another in India. Jurisdiction is the geographical area for which an Assessing Officer can assess requests. It is usually connected with the Permanent Account Number (PAN). However, if there is any change in address or city, there might be change in the Assessing Officer. The tax payer or PAN holder must inform these changes by filling up a form to the nearest IT PAN Service Centre or TIN Facilitation Centre in the existing jurisdiction to make the required correction in PAN databases kept by the Income Tax department.
However, updating the PAN databases with the detail of the newly changed address does not change the jurisdiction automatically. One has to give an application to the existing Assessing Officer informing the change of place and request for transferring the case records and the jurisdiction to the new Assessing Officer. Once approved by both officers, the existing officer will initiate the transfer of jurisdiction to the new Assessing Officer.
According to the Section 127(4) of the Income Tax Act of 1961, an income tax file could be transferred during any stage of its action, even in case of pending assessments
In case a file is transferred, if there is any pending demand or refund of tax that could be collected or refunded by the new Assessing Officer. Currently refund and demand are processed by the Central Processing Centre, at Bangalore.
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