Torm Shipping India Pvt Ltd vs. ITO (ITAT Mumbai)

S. 147 reopening opens a “Pandora’s box” and cannot be done in a casual manner. The reasons cannot be based on mere doubts or with a view to verify basic facts. If the AO takes the view that the income referred to in the reasons has not escaped assessment, he loses jurisdiction to assess other escaped income that comes to his notice during reassessment

The Reasons have been recorded on the basis of mere doubts. There were no bases with the AO to allege that too with the support of any cogent material that impugned income was not included by the assessee in its income offered to tax. Reopening of an assessment is not permitted merely on the basis of some notions or presumptions. Nor it is allowed merely for making verification of some basic facts. There must be existence of some tangible material indicating escapement of income. Then only, an AO is permitted to resort to provisions of reopening contained in sections 147 to 151 of the Act. Because, once an assessment is reopened on valid basis, entire pandara’s box is open before the AO. Therefore the AO may then bring to tax not only income escaped from tax which was mentioned in the Reasons recorded, but also any other escaped income that may come to his notice during the course of reassessment proceedings. Reopening of an assessment attacks and pierces the concept of finality of litigation. Therefore, an invalid reopening done in the casual manner and without following parameters of law may cause undue hardship to the taxpayers

Torm Shipping India Pvt Ltd vs. ITO (ITAT Mumbai)

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