The provisions contained in section 133A of the Income-tax Act enable the Income-tax authority to enter any premises in which business or profession is carried out for the purposes of survey. An income-tax authority acting under this section may impound and retain in his custody any books of account or documents inspected by him during the course of survey. However, prior to its amendment by the Act, the said section provided that such income-tax authority shall not retain in his custody
any such books of account or document for a period exceeding ten days (exclusive of holidays) without obtaining the approval of the Chief Commissioner or Director General therefor, as the case maybe.
An income-tax authority acting under section 133A has the powers as conferred upon it under sub-section (1) of section 131 of the Income-tax Act. With a view to align the time period and the authority for approval for retention of books of account or other documents beyond the specified time period, section 133A has been amended to provide that the income-tax authority shall not retain in his custody any such books of account or other documents for a period exceeding fifteen days
(exclusive of holidays) without obtaining the approval of the Principal Chief Commissioner or Director General or Commissioner or Director therefor, as the case may be.
Section 133A has further been amended to provide that an income-tax authority may, for the purpose of verifying that tax has been deducted or collected at source in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XVII-B or Chapter XVII-BB, as the case may be, enter any office, or a place where business or profession is carried on, within the limits of the area assigned to him, or any such place in respect of which he is authorised for the purposes of the said section by such income-tax authority who is assigned the area within which such place is situated where books of account or documents are kept. The income-tax authority may for this purpose enter an office, or a place where business or profession is carried on after sunrise and before sunset. Further, such income-tax authority may require the deductor or the collector or any other person who may at the time and place of survey be
attending to such work, ─
(i) to afford him the necessary facility to inspect such books of account or other documents as he may require and which may be available at such place, and
(ii) to furnish such information as he may require in relation to such matter.
It has also been provided that an income-tax authority while acting under subsection (2A) of section 133A, may place marks of identification on the books of account or other documents inspected by him and take extracts and copies thereof.
He may also record the statement of any person which may be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under the Income-tax Act. However, while acting under said subsection (2A), the income-tax authority shall not impound and retain in his custody any books of accounts or documents inspected by him or make an inventory of any cash, stock or other valuables.
Applicability:- These amendments take effect from 1st October, 2014.