Don’t be alarmed if the IRS comes after you

Any sudden encounter with IT sleuths usually results in confusion and vacuity, as the word “Raid in Indian Income Tax Law” implies. If you are likely to encounter such conduct, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the topic so that you can face the situation with trust and calm. The prime purpose of an Income Tax Raid is to uncover tax evasion. It’s the procedure that allows the IT department to search any home or company, as well as vehicles and bank lockers, for accounts, stocks, and valuables. Learn more about Metropolitan Income Tax and Book Keeping.

It is important to understand some of the nitty-gritty of I.T. law on the subject in order to deal with the situation effectively. Panic and anxiety result from a lack of awareness. Knowing your legal rights and obligations safeguards you at all times.

Your Legal Rights
1. When the Income Tax Search Party comes to visit, review their search warrant and make a note of the date, address, and authorization, among other things. You may also request each member of the raid team’s identification and make a note of their name and classification.
2. You have the right to personally search any member of the raid team in order to prevent evidence from being planted.
3. Women can only be tested by raid team members who are female.
4. Women may be unable to come forward if their religious beliefs forbid them from doing so in public.
5. You have the right to contact any doctor of your choosing in the event of a medical emergency. You will have the right to eat at the appropriate times.
6. After clearance, children will return to school.
7. In the event that seizing jewellary or other valuable objects (except stock in trade) proves difficult, the department may leave those products in the custody of the assessee after required sealing and other procedures. Jewellery up to a prescribed limit (e.g. 500 grammes per married lady, 250 grammes per unmarried lady, and 100 grammes per male family member) is generally agreed. The raid team does not have the authority to seize or take away any valuables if it is a survey rather than a search (the warrant would state this). They are only allowed to remove records, files, and other similar items.
8. Make sure that whatever is being confiscated is properly listed and explained. Please make two of your neighbours witness the same thing.
9. If you have any valuables that do not belong to you, inform the owner and include his or her name, address, and other information.
10. Raids are only allowed to begin between sunrise and sunset.
11. You may affix your own seal to the box containing confiscated products.
12. You have the right to a copy of the Panchanama.
13. You may also contact your attorney or C.A. He may not have the authority to speak for you, but he will make sure the raid team stays within its bounds.

Your Roles and Responsibilities

1. Entrance to the premises should be free and unrestricted.
2. You can locate and hand over keys to all receptacles in which money, books of account, and records are stored.
3. You can determine who owns the properties, books of account, and records found on the premises and clarify who owns them.
4. You should describe everyone in the building and clarify their connection to the person being searched. Impersonation should not be used to deceive them. It is a criminal offence under section 416 of the Indian Penal Code.
5. You do not allow or enable unauthorised people to enter the premises.
6. You must not delete any article from its proper location without the raid team’s permission or knowledge. According to section 204 of the IPC, destroying any record with the intent of preventing it from being created or used as evidence before a court or public servant is punishable by imprisonment, fine, or both.
7. You must answer all questions honestly and to the best of your ability. While the officer is recording your statement, you should not allow someone else to interrupt or question you. You should bear in mind that if you fail to answer a question on a subject related to the search operation, you will be punished by detention, fine, or both, under section 179 of the Indian Penal Code.
b. If you make a false statement when legally bound by an oath or affirmation to state the facts, you will be punished by imprisonment, fine, or both under section 181 of the IPC.
c. Similarly, if you give false proof that you know or assume to be false, you will be fined under section 191 of the IPC.
8. Sign the registered declaration, inventories, and panchanama with your signature.
9. You should preserve peace during the search and cooperate with the search party in any way possible so that the search can be completed as quickly as possible and in a peaceful manner.
10. Cooperation should continue after the search is completed to allow the approved officer to complete any required follow-up investigations.