Attachment of account under section 143(3) of Income Tax Act

Request clarification on the below :-

Can an IT officer attach  bank accounts (saving accounts/term deposits) of an individual when proceedings are on under 143(3) of the Income Tax Act. There is no outstanding tax liability which has been communicated to the individual and proceedings are still on. Also, does the IT officer have the power to attach accounts during proceedings or it can only be done by someone of higher authority.
Asked 2 years ago in Income Tax from Kolkata, West Bengal
As per s. 281B, Officer can attach provisionally with prior approval of higher authorities.
Hardik Vora
CA, Ahmedabad
3 Answers
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During the pendency of any proceeding for the Assessment of any income, if the Assessing Officer is of the opinion that for the purpose of protecting the interests of revenue, it is necessary to do so, he may then attach provisionally any property belonging to the assessee u/s 281B of the Income Tax Act. 

The assessing officer has to take the prior approval of the Chief Commissioner, Director General or Director before issuing the order for attachment. 

As there is no existing tax liability, the chances of attachment during the assessment proceedings u/s 143(3) are generally very rare. If any serious issues are involved, the assessee may pay additional tax as self assessment tax to avoid the embarrassment of attachment.  
B Vijaya Kumar
CA, Hyderabad
633 Answers
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The provisional attachment order must be in writing and should have reasons and must be
passed with the approval of the higher authority viz Chief CIT, CIT or Director General or
Director of Income Tax, the mechanical order without any reasons are liable to be quashed.
 Gaurav Goel v. CIT

Yes the IT Officer with prior approval of Addl/Chief Commissioner can provisionally attach the assets and Bank Accounts if he has reason to believe according to the material available that tax liability will arise. 

Shyam Sunder Modani
CA, Hyderabad
1377 Answers
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