Practical Note on Income Tax Authorities

1. Have you ever wondered as officers of what designation can be an assessing officer, here you go:

Only the following designated officers can be an assessing officer (AO):

Rank 1 – Assessing Officer Joint Commissioner of Income Tax (JC)
Rank 2 – Assessing Officer Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax (DC) / Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax (AC)
Rank 3 – Assessing Officer Income Tax Officer (ITO)

So, Officers in designation of Commissioner of Income Tax (CIT), Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) or Chief Commissioner of Income Tax cannot be an assessing officer.
(Note: Above information is adapted from Income Tax module by Vinod Gupta, FCA)

2. Everyone who attends to the hearings of Income Tax Department would come across the jargon particular to the revenue department i.e., range, circle, ward etc., let us run through what exactly they mean:

  • >> Range is 1st division of the IT department. For instance, IT department in Hyderabad is divided into 16 ranges.
  • >> Circles and Wards are the divisions of the Range.
    When we mention circle, we are referring to the assessing officers of designation JC/DC/AC.
    For instance, Circle 3(2), means Assessing officer of rank one or two in range 3 and the assessing officer number is 2.

    When we mention ward, we are referring to the assessing officer of rank 3 i.e., Income Tax Officer. For instance, Ward 3(1), means assessing officer of rank three in range 3 and income tax officer number is 1.

    Usually, all the high income category assesses are divided between Circles and low income category assesses are divided between Wards and mostly depends on the workload of the Range.

3. Did you ever try to know your Income Tax jurisdiction even before you are allotted PAN Number or without the help of PAN Number. In fact, Jurisdiction of a person is pre determined by the Income Tax Department, i.e., even before you are allotted a PAN Number based on category of the person/region the person belongs to:

Please visit this link which is an interactive guide:
http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/ao/firstlevel.asp
Keep selecting the options that are suitable to you as an assessee and it displays the jurisdiction of assessing officer, from whom you can receive letters of love (notices), unconditionally (he is not very much interested in your identity proof and he gets you PAN, if you do not have one)

Note: This interactive guide works only on the browser ‘Internet Explorer’.

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