Time Limits under Income Tax Provisions

Time limit for various sections of  income tax provisions

Sr. No. SECTION TITLE TIME LIMIT
1 131 Impounding of Books under Summon Proceeding Not beyond 15 (exclusive of holidays) without obtaining the approval of the CCIT/DGIT/CIT/DIT
2 132 (8) Retention of Books Seized/Deemed Seized The books shall not be retained for a period exceeding 30 Days from the date of the order of assessment u/s 153A (Unless reasons for retaining are recorded in writing & approval of Principal Chief Commissioner (PCCIT)/Principal Director General (PDGT)/Principal Commissioner(PCIT)/ Principal Director (PDIT)/CIT/DIT.
3 132 (8A) Restraint Order The order shall not be in force for a period exceeding sixty days from the date of the order.
4 132B Application for Release of Seized Assets Within 30 Days from the end of the month in which the asset was seized, if an application is made: the asset shall be released within a period of one 120 Days from the date on which last search authorization u/s 132/132A was executed.
5 133A Impounding of books under Special Survey Not beyond 15 (exclusive of holidays) without obtaining the approval of the PCCIT/PDGIT/PCIT/PDIT/CIT/DIT. Before the amendment made by the Finance Act 2014 this time limit was just 10 Days.
6 139(1) Return of Income (ROI) 31st July/30th September (Depending on Non-Audit/Audit Case) & 30th November in case of an assessee (company as well as non-company) submitting Section 92E report.
7 139(3) Loss ROI Should be filed within 139(1) time limit (for PGPB & Capital Gain: carry forward & set off of losses).
8 139(4) Belated ROI Within 1 Year from the end of relevant Assessment Year (AY) or completion of assessment (i.e. u/s 144) whichever is earlier.
9 139(5) Revised ROI Within 1 Year from the end of relevant AY or completion of the assessment whichever is earlier.
10 142(1) Enquiry before Assessment No time limit provided in law (but it’s serving is not possible after the expiry of 153(1) time limit)
11 143(1) Intimation Must be SENT within one year from the end of the Financial Year (FY) in which ROI is filed. (Time limit for issue of intimation)
12 143(2) Notice for Scrutiny Assessment Must be SERVED within 6 Months from the end of the FY in which ROI is filed. (Time limit for service of notice)
13 144 Show Cause Notice No time limit provided (but it should be SERVED before the expiry of 153(1) time limit)
14 144C Assessment order in Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) Cases a.   Where the assessee accepts the draft order or he does not object to the draft order prepared by the assessing officer within 30 days of the receipt of draft order: Order must be passed within one month from the end of the month in which either the acceptance is received or the period of filing of objection expires.
      b.   Where the assessee objects to the draft order: In such case DRP shall issue its direction within 9 months from the end of the month in which the draft order is forwarded to the eligible assessee and thus the AO shall, in conformity with the directions, complete, the assessment within one month from end of the month in which DRP’s directions are received by it.
15 148 Notice for Income Escaped Assessment Can be ISSUED upto 4 year from the end of relevant assessment year (without any monetary limit of income).
      Can be ISSUED after 4 years but upto 6 years from the end of relevant assessment year (with an income escaped assessment to the volume of ` 1,00,000 or above)
      Can be ISSUED after 4 years but upto 16 years from the end of relevant assessment year, if the income in relation ay asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India, chargeable to tax, has escaped assessment.
      Exceptions : 149(3)/147 Proviso/150(1)
16 153 Time Limit for Completion of Assessment 143(3)/144: Order must be MADE within 24 Months from the end of relevant A.Y.
      147: Order must be MADE within 12 Months from the end of FY in which notice under section 148/115WH was served.
      Consequential Assessment: Order must be MADE within 12 Months from the end of FY in which order under section 263/264 is passed by CIT or order under section 254 is received by CCIT/CIT.
      No Time Limit: In case of an assessment requiring alteration to give effect to fining or direction passed under section 263/264/250/254/260/ 262.
      In case of reference to Transfer Pricing Officer time limit in case 1) to 3) above will enhance by additional 12 months.
      Exclusion of time limit as per Expl.1 (e.g. rehearing u/s 129, stay/injunction, 142(2A) special audit, 158A, ITSC, AAR etc.)
      Also remember Explanation 2 & 3 : Change in AY due to judgment/order is possible (Explanation 2) and Change in assessee due to judgment/order is also possible beyond normal time limit (Explanation 3).
17 153A Search Assessment 6 AYs for which Assessment will be opened: 6 Assessment Years immediately preceding the AY relevant to the previous year in which such search is conducted or requisition is made.
    Opening  
18 153B Search Assessment Completion Order must be MADE 24 Months from the end of the FY in which last search authorization under section 132 or requisition under section 132A was executed.
      This section also provides the time limit for completion of assessment of the year in which the search was conducted. This time limit is 24 months from the end of FY in which last search authorization was executed e.g. a search was conducted on M/s A.P. Constructions (Pvt.) Ltd on 25th May 2012. The assessment for the AY 2013-14 shall be completed u/s 143(3) or u/s 144 on or before 31.3.2015 as against the normal time limit of 31.3.2016.
19 154 Rectification Suo-moto by Income Tax Authority: Order of rectification must be MADE within 4 Years from the end of the FY in which order sought to be amended was passed.
      On receipt of an application by the Assessee : Order must be MADE within 6 month from the end of the month in which application is made by the assessee (subject to above mentioned time limit of 4 Years).
20 239 Time to claim Refund The refund claim must be made within 1 year from the end of relevant assessment year.
20 246A & 249 Appeal before CIT(Appeal) Appeal to be presented within 30 days from the date of service of demand notice of assessment or penalty or
      Within 30 days of the date on which intimation of the order sought to be appealed against is served. However CIT (A) may entertain an application even after the expiry of aforesaid period of 30 days.
      ( Time Limit : CIT (A) 30 Day ITAT 60 Days & HC 120 Days)
21 250 Order by CIT (A) Where it is possible, may hear and decide the appeal within a period of 1 year from the end of the FY in which the appeal is filed before him
22 253 Appeal before ITAT Within 60 days of the date on which order sought to be appealed against is communicated to the assessee or to the CIT (as the case may be).
23 254 Order by ITAT Where it is possible may hear and decide the appeal within a period of 4 years from the end of the FY in which appeal is filed before him.
      Stay by ITAT: For 180 days (s.to maximum 365 days).
24 263 Revision in favor of Revenue Suo-moto Invoking by CIT: Order can be PASSED upto 2 years from the end of the FY in which order sought to be revised was passed
      (No time limit if compliance required to be done due to some order of ITAT/NTT/HC/SC)
25 264 Revision of other orders (i.e. Revision in favor of Assessee) Suo-moto Invoking by CIT: Any order can be revised if it not made more than one year previously.
      Application by the Assessee: Application time: to be made within one year from the date of which order in question was communicated to the Assessee or the date of which he otherwise came to know of it.
      Revision order time: Order must be MADE within one year from the end of the FY in which Assessee has made an application.
26 275 Time Limit for Levy of Penalty (Time limit of Making) Up to the end of the FY in which the proceedings in the course of which action for imposition of penalty was initiated or six month from the end of the month in which action for imposition of penalty is initiated whichever period expires later.
      Where the relevant or other order is subject matter of revision: 6 Months from the end of the month in which order of revision is passed.
      Where the relevant assessment or other order is subject matter of an appeal to ITAT: Expiry of FY in which proceeding for imposition of penalty has been initiated or six month from the end of the month in order of ITAT is received by the CCIT or CIT (whichever expires later).
      Where the relevant assessment or other order is subject matter of an appeal to CIT (A): Order of penalty to be passed before the expiry of the FY in which the proceeding for imposition of penalty has been initiated or one year from the end of the FY in which the order of CIT (A) is received by the CCIT or CIT.
      Important: Sub-section (1A) to Section 275 is a special provision which applies in a case where the penalty order is already passed by the income tax authority before the finalisation of appeal on the by the appellate authority then such penalty order so passed by the income tax authority may be enhanced, reduced, cancelled or dropped on the basis of the assessment as revised by giving effect to the order of the CIT(A), ITAT, High Court or Supreme Court. However such order must be passed within six month from the end of the month in which the order of CIT(A), ITAT, High Court or Supreme Court is received by the Chief Commissioner or the order of revision u/s 263/264 is passed by the CIT.
27 245D(1) Application before ITSC ITSC shall within 7 days from the date of receipt of application issue notice to the applicant requiring him to explain as to why the application made by him should be allowed to be proceeded with.
      ITSC shall within 14 days (i.e. 7+7) from the date of application either allow or reject the application
28 245D(4A) Order of ITSC of Settlement Order shall be MADE within 18 months from the end of the month in which the application was made
29 245D(6B) Rectification by ITSC ITSC can rectify its order within a period of 6 months from the end of the month in which order was passed or within a period of 6 months from end of the month in which application for rectification has been made by CIT or assessee (as the case may be).
30 245Q (3) Withdrawal of Application before AAR Application can be withdrawn within 30 Days from the date of the application.
31 245R Order of AAR Ruling shall be pronounced within 6 Months from of the receipt of the application

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