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THE WEALTH-TAX ACT, 1957

Title : THE WEALTH-TAX ACT, 1957

Year : 1957


 
(1) 1* [Every person, if his net wealth or the net wealth of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act on the valuation date was of such an amount as to render him liable to wealth-tax under this Act, shall, before the 30th day of June of the corresponding assessment year, furnish to the Wealth-tax Officer a return in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner setting forth the net wealth as on that valuation date.]

(1) Provided that in the case of a person whose net wealth or the net wealth of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act includes the value of any assets held in a business or profession and the time (whether fixed originally or on extension) for furnishing the return of his total income or, as the case may be, of the total income of the other person aforesaid for the said assessment year under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) of section 139 of the Income-tax Act, expires on or after the 30th day of June aforesaid, the return in respect of such net wealth for the assessment year may be furnished before the expiry of the time for furnishing such return of income.

(2) If the Wealth-tax Officer is of the opinion that 2*[any person is assessable under this Act, whether in respect of his net wealth or the net wealth of any other person,] then, notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), he may serve a notice upon such person requiring him to furnish within such period, not being less than thirty days, as may be specified in the notice, a return in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner 3*[, setting forth (along with such other particulars as may be required by the notice)], the net wealth of such person as on the valuation date mentioned in the notice.

(3) 4*[The Wealth-tax Officer may, if he is satisfied that it is necessary so to do, extend the date for the delivery of the return under this section.]

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1 S. 13 re-numbered as sub-section (1) of that section by Act 46 of 1964, s. 12 (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

2 Ins. by s. 12, ibid. (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

3 Ins. by s. 13, ibid. (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

4 Subs. by s. 14, ibid., for sub-section (1) (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

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If any person has not furnished a return within the time allowed under section 14, or having furnished a return under that section discovers any omission or a wrong statement therein, he may furnish a return or a revised return, as the case may be, at any time before the assessment is made.

15A. Return by whom to be signed

The return made under section 14 or section 15 shall be signed and verified:

(a) In the case of an individual, by the individual himself; where the individual is absent from India, by the individual concerned or by some person duly authorised by him in this behalf; where the individual is mentally incapacitated from attending to his affairs, by his guardian or any other person competent to act on his behalf; and where for any other reason it is impossible for the individual to sign the return, by any person competent to act on his behalf;

(b) In the case of a Hindu undivided family, by the karta, and, where the karta is absent from India or is mentally incapacitated from attending to his affairs, by any other adult member of such family; and

(c) In the case of a company, by the principal officer thereof.

15B. Self assessment
 
(1) Where a return has been furnished under section 14 or section 15 and the tax payable on the basis of that return exceeds five hundred rupees, the assessee shall pay the tax so payable within thirty days of furnishing the return.

(2) After a provisional assessment under section 15C or a regular assessment under section 16 has been made, any amount paid under sub-section (1) shall be deemed to have been paid towards the provisional assessment or regular assessment, as the case may be.

(3) If any assessee fails to pay the tax or any part thereof in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1), he shall, unless a provisional assessment under section 15C or a regular assessment under section 16 has been made before the expiry of thirty days referred to in that sub-section, be liable, by way of penalty, to pay such amount as the Wealth-tax Officer may direct, 1*[and in the case of a continuing failure, such further amount or amounts as the Wealth-tax officer may from time to time direct, so, however, that the total amount of penalty does not exceed fifty per cent. of the amount of such tax or part, as the case may be:]

Provided that before levying any such penalty, the assessee shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

15C. Provisional assessment
 
(1) The Wealth-tax Officer may, at any time after the receipt of a return made under section 14 or section 15, proceed to make, in a summary manner, a provisional assessment of the tax payable by the assessee, on the basis of his return and the accounts and documents, if any, accompanying it.

(2) After a regular assessment has been made, any amount paid towards the provisional assessment made under sub-section (1), shall be deemed to have been paid towards the regular assessment; and where the amount paid towards the provisional assessment exceeds the amount payable under the regular assessment, the excess shall be refunded to the assessee.

(3) Nothing done or suffered by reason or in consequence of any provisional assessment made under this section shall prejudice the determination, on the merits, of any issue which may arise in the course of the regular assessment.

(4) There shall be no right of appeal against a provisional assessment made under sub-section (1).

(5) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the provisions of section 31 excepting sub-section (6) thereof, and section 32 shall apply in relation to any tax payable in pursuance of a provisional assessment made under this section as if it were a regular assessment under section 16.

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1 Subs. by Act 42 of 1970, s. 60 for certain words (w.e.f. 1-4-1971).

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(1) If the Wealth-tax Officer is satisfied without requiring the presence of the assessee or production by him of any evidence that a return made under 1*[section 14 or section 15 is correct and complete], he shall assess the net wealth of the assessee 2*[and determine the amount of wealth-tax payable by him or the amount refundable to him on the basis of such return].

(2) If the Wealth-tax Officer is not so satisfied, he shall serve a notice on the assessee either to attend in person at his office on a date to be specified in the notice or to produce or cause to be produced on that date any evidence on which the assessee may rely in support of his return.

(3) The Wealth-tax Officer, after hearing such evidence as the person may produce and such other evidence as he may require on any specified points 3*[and after taking into account all relevant material which the Wealth-tax Officer has gathered], shall, by order in writing, assess the net wealth of the assessee 2*[and determine the amount of wealth-tax payable by him or the amount refundable to him on the basis of such assessment].

(4) For the purpose of making an assessment under this Act the Wealth-tax Officer may serve, on any person who has made a return under sub-section (1) of section 14 or upon whom a notice has been served under sub-section (2) of that section 1*[or who has made a return under section 15], a notice requiring him to produce or cause to be produced on a date specified in the notice such accounts, records or other documents as the Wealth-tax Officer may require.

(5) If any person fails to make a return in response to any notice under sub-section (2) of section 14, or fails to comply with the terms of any notice issued under sub-section (2) or sub-section
(4), the Wealth-tax Officer after taking into account all relevant material which he has gathered, shall estimate the net wealth to the best of his judgment and determine the amount of wealth-tax payable by the person or the amount refundable to him on the basis of such assessment.

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1 Subs. by Act 46 of 1964, s. 16, for "section 14 is complete" (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

2 Subs. by s. 16, ibid., for certain words (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

3 Ins. by s. 16, ibid. (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

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(1) If the Wealth-tax officer:

(a) Has reason to believe that by reason of the omission or failure on the part of any person to make a return under section 14 of his net wealth or the net wealth of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act for any assessment year or to disclose fully and truly all material facts necessary for assessment of his net wealth or the net wealth of such other person for that year, the net wealth chargeable to tax has escaped assessment for that year, whether by reason of under-assessment or assessment at too low a rate or otherwise; or]

(b) Has, in consequence of any information in his possession, reason to believe, notwithstanding that there has been no such omission or failure as is referred to in clause (a), that the net wealth chargeable to tax has escaped assessment for any year, whether by reason of under-assessment or assessment at too low a rate or otherwise he may, in cases falling under clause (a) at any time within eight years and in cases falling under clause (b) at any time within four years of the end of that assessment year,serve on such person a notice containing all or any of the requirements which may be included in a notice under sub-section (2) of section 14, and may proceed to assess or re-assess such net wealth, and the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply as if the notice had issued under that sub-section.

(2) Nothing contained in this section limiting the time within which any proceeding for assessment or re-assessment may be commenced, shall apply to an assessment or re-assessment to be made on such person in consequence of or to give effect to any finding or direction contained in an order under section 23, 24, 25, 27 or 29:

Provided
that the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply in any case where any such assessment or re-assessment relates to an assessment year in respect of which an assessment or re-assessment could not have been made at the time the order which was the subject matter of the appeal, reference or revision, as the case may be, was made by reason of any provision limiting the time within which any action for assessment or re-assessment may be taken.]


 
(1) If the Wealth-tax Officer, Appellate Assistant Commissioner, Commissioner or Appellate Tribunal in the course of any proceedings under this Act is satisfied that any person-

(a) Has without reasonable cause failed to furnish the return which he is required to furnish under sub section (1) of section 14 or by notice given under sub-section (2) of section 14 or section 17, or has without reasonable cause failed to furnish it within the time allowed and in the manner required by sub section (1) of section 14 or by such notice, as the case may be; or

(b) Has without reasonable cause failed to comply with a notice under sub-section (2) or sub-section (4) of section 16; or

(c) Has concealed the particulars of any assets or furnished inaccurate particulars of any assets or debts;

(i) In the cases referred to in clause (a), in addition to the amount of wealth-tax, if any, payable by him, a sum, for every month during which the default continued, equal to one-half per cent. of-

(A) The net wealth assessed under section 16 as reduced by the amount specified in sub-section (1A), or

(B) The net wealth assessed under section 17, where assessment has been made under that section, as reduced by-

(1) The net wealth, if any, assessed previously under section 16 or section 17, or

(2) The amount specified in sub-section (1A), whichever is greater,] but not exceeding, in the aggregate, an amount equal to the net wealth assessed under section 16, or, as the case may be, the net wealth assessed under section 17, as reduced in either case in the manner aforesaid;

(ii) In the cases referred to in clause (b), in addition to the amount of wealth-tax payable by him, a sum which shall not be less than one per cent. of the assessed net wealth but which shall not exceed the amount of the assessed net wealth.

Explanation: For the purposes of clause (ii), "assessed net wealth" shall be taken to be the net wealth assessed under section 16 as reduced by the net wealth declared in the return, if any, furnished by such person, or, as the case may be, the net wealth assessed under section 17 as reduced by-

(i) The net wealth, if any, assessed previously under section 16 or section 17, or

(ii) The net wealth declared in the return, if any, furnished by such person under section 17, whichever is greater;

(iii) In the cases referred to in clause (c), in addition to any wealth-tax payable by him, a sum which shall not be less than, but which shall not exceed twice, the amount representing the value of any assets in respect of which the particulars have been concealed or any assets or debts in respect of which inaccurate particulars have been furnished.]

Explanation 1: Where-

(i) The value of any asset returned by any person is less than seventy-five per cent. of the value of such asset as determined in an assessment under section 16 or section 17 (the value so assessed being referred to hereafter in this Explanation as the correct value of the asset), or

(ii) The value of any debt returned by any person exceeds the value of such debt as determined in an assessment under section 16 or section 17 by more than twenty-five per cent. of the value so assessed (the value so assessed being referred to hereafter in this
Explanation as the correct value of the debt), or

(iii) The net wealth returned by any person is less than seventy-five per cent. of the net wealth as assessed under section 16 or section 17 (the net wealth so assessed being referred to hereafter in this Explanation as the correct net wealth), then, such person shall, unless he proves that the failure to return the correct value of the asset or, as the case may be, the correct value of the debt or the correct net wealth did not arise from any fraud or any gross or willful neglect on his part, be deemed to have concealed the particulars of assets or furnished inaccurate particulars of assets or debts for the purposes of clause (c) of this sub-section.

Explanation 2.-For the purposes of clause (iii),-

(a) The amount representing the value of any assets in respect of which the particulars have been concealed or any assets in respect of which inaccurate particulars have been furnished, shall be the value of such assets determined for the purposes of this Act as reduced by the value thereof, if any, declared in the return made under section 14 or section 15;

(b) The amount representing the value of any debts in respect of which inaccurate particulars have been furnished, shall be the amount by which the value of such debts declared in the return made under section 14.or section 15 exceeds the value thereof determined for the purposes of this Act.

(1A) The amount referred to in sub-clause (A) and sub-clause (B) (2) of clause (i) of sub-section (1) shall be,-

(a) In the cause of an individual, Rs. 1,00,000;

(b) In the case of a Hindu undivided family, Rs. 2,00,000; and

(c) In the case of a company, Rs. 5,00,000.]

(2) No order shall be made under sub-section (1) unless the person concerned has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(2A) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (i) or clause (iii) of sub-section (1), the Commissioner may, in his discretion,-

(i) Reduce or waive the amount of minimum penalty imposable on a person under clause (i) of sub-section (1) for failure, without reasonable cause, to furnish the return of net wealth which such person was required to furnish under sub-section (1) of section 14, or

(ii) reduce or waive the amount of minimum penalty imposable on a person under clause (iii) of sub-section (1), if he is satisfied that such person-

(a) In the case referred to in clause (i) of this sub-section has, prior to the issue of notice to him under sub-section (2) of section 14, voluntarily and in good faith, made full disclosure of his net wealth; and in the case referred to in clause (ii) of this sub-section has, prior to the detection by the Wealth-tax Officer of the concealment of particulars of assets or of the inaccuracy of particulars furnished in respect of the assets or debts in respect of which the penalty is imposable, voluntarily and in good faith, made full and true disclosure of such particulars;

(b) Has co-operated in any enquiry relating to the assessment of the wealth represented by such assets; and

(c) Has either paid or made satisfactory arrangements for payment of any tax or interest payable in consequence of an order passed under this Act in respect of the relevant assessment year:

(1) Provided that if in a case falling under clause (c) of sub-section (1) the amount in respect of which penalty is imposable for the relevant assessment year, or where such disclosure relates to more than one assessment year, such amount for any one of the relevant assessment years, exceeds five hundred thousand rupees, no order reducing or waiving the penalty shall be made by the Commissioner unless the previous approval of the Board has been obtained.]

(2B) An order under sub-section (2A) shall be final and shall not be called in question before any court of law or any other authority.]

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (iii) of sub-section (1), if in a case falling under clause (c) of that sub-section, 2*[the amount (as determined by the Wealth-tax Officer on assessment) in respect of which penalty is imposable under clause (c) of sub-section (1) exceeds a sum of twenty-five thousand rupees], the Wealth-tax Officer shall refer the case to the Inspecting Assistant Commissioner who shall, for the purpose, have all the powers conferred under this section for the imposition of penalty.

(4) An Appellate Assistant Commissioner, a Commissioner or the Appellate Tribunal on making an order under this section imposing a penalty, shall forthwith send a copy of the same to the Wealth - tax officer.

(5) No order imposing a penalty under this section shall be passed-
(a) in a case where the assessment to which the proceedings for imposition of penalty relate is the subject-matter of an appeal to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner under section 23 or an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal under sub-section (2) of section 24, after the expiration of a period of-

(i) Two years from the end of the FINANCIAL year in which the proceedings, in the course of which action for imposition of penalty has been initiated, are completed, or

(ii) Six months from the end of the month in which the order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner or, as the case may be, the Appellate Tribunal is received by the Commissioner, whichever period expires later;

(b) In any other case, after the expiration of two years from the end of the financial year in which the proceedings, in the course of which action for imposition of penalty has been initiated, are completed.

Explanation- In computing the period of limitation for the purposes of this section, the time taken in giving an opportunity to the assessee to be reheard under the proviso to section 39 and any period during which a proceeding under this section for the levy of penalty is stayed by an order or injunction of any court shall be excluded.

Last updated on July, 2016

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