In the last few months due to pandemic we have seen many due dates being extended and also we had seen extension of due date to issue notice u/s 148 on 31.03.2021 by CBDT.
Later CBDT again extended due date for issuing notice u/s 148 till 30.06.2021 along with due date for issuing order of assessment.
Budget, 2021 had amended section 148 wherein now Income tax officer could open cases only upto 3 year in normal scenario and 10 years where income escaping assessment exceeds Rs. 50 lakh.
Now, people got confused as to whether AO can still issue cases for assessment year beyond 3 years and there we had discussed in a post that this extension is just a relaxation and still the assessment is being reopened under old provisions of section 148.
Hence, as mentioned above this was just relaxation and cases being opened for beyond 3 years are being opened in old provisions of section and therefore even in the notice of section 148 you will see that AO is saying that “I have reasons to believe that your income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment”.
Since AO is still reopening cases based on reason to believe, as an assessee you also should ask for reason to reopen after you file your income tax return u/s 148 as per the guidelines provided in Landmark judgement by Supreme court in case of GKN Driveshafts reported in 259 ITR 19.
Hence, any cases where in the notice issued under section 148 you find words like reasons to believe you must ask for such reasons before filing any reply and raise objections against such notice.
Any assessment done under new provisions of section 148 should not have that word as now reasons are not required to reopen case and cases can be reopened based on information.
Thus, once the new section comes into play the principles or procedure laid down in the judgement of GKN Driveshafts would be of no use.