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THE WEALTH-TAX ACT, 1957

Title : THE WEALTH-TAX ACT, 1957

Year : 1957


 
(1) Where, as a result of any order passed in appeal or other proceeding (including a rectification proceeding) under this Act, refund of any amount becomes due to the asses see, the Wealth-tax Officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Act, refund the amount to the asses see without his having to make any claim in that behalf.

(2) Where an order giving rise to a refund is the subject matter of an appeal or further proceeding or where any other proceeding under this Act is pending and the Wealth-tax Officer is of the opinion that the grant of the refund is likely to adversely affect the revenue, the Wealth-tax Officer may, with the previous approval of the Commissioner, withhold the refund till such time as the Commissioner may determine.

(3) Where a refund is due to the asses see in pursuance of an order referred to in sub-section (1) and the Wealth-tax Officer does not grant the refund within a period of six months from the date of such order, the Central Government shall pay to the asses see simple interest at 3*[twelve per cent.] per annum on the amount of refund due from the date immediately following the expiry of the period of six months aforesaid to the date on which the refund is granted.

(3A)1* Where the whole or any part of the refund referred to in sub-section (3) is due to the asses see as a result of any amount having been paid by him after the 31st day of March, 1975 in pursuance of any order of assessment or penalty and such amount or any part thereof having been found in appeal or other proceeding under this Act to be in excess of the amount which such asses see is liable to pay as tax or penalty, as the case may be, under this Act, the Central Government shall pay to such asses see simple interest at the rate specified in sub-section (3) on the amount so found to be in excess from the date on which such amount was paid to the date on which the refund is granted:

Provided that, where the amount so found to be in excess was paid in installments, such interest shall be payable on the amount of each such installment or any part of such installment, which was in excess, from the date on which such installment was paid to the date on which the refund is granted:

Provided further
that no interest under this sub-section shall be payable for a period of one month from the date of the passing of the order in appeal or other proceeding:

Provided also that, where any interest is payable to an asses see under this sub-section, no interest under sub-section (3) shall be payable to him in respect of the amount so found to be in excess.]

(4) Where a refund is withheld under the provisions of sub-section (2), the Central Government shall pay interest at the aforesaid rate on the amount of refund ultimately determined to be due as a result of the appeal or further proceeding for the period commencing after the expiry of six months from the date of the order referred to in that sub-section to the date the refund is granted.

(5) Where under any of the provisions of this Act, a refund is found to be due to any person, the Wealth-tax Officer, Appellate Assistant Commissioner or Commissioner, as the case may be, may, in lieu of payment of the refund, set off the amount to be refunded or any part of that amount, against the sum, if any, remaining payable under this Act by the person to whom the refund is due, after giving an intimation in writing to such person of the action proposed to be taken under this section.]

34A.2* Appearance by registered valuers

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any asses see who is entitled to or required to attend before any wealth-tax authority or the Appellate Tribunal in connection with any matter relating to the valuation of any asset, except where he is required under this Act to attend in person, may attend by a registered valuer.

34AB. Registration of valuers
 
(1) The Board shall maintain a register to be called the Register of Valuers in which shall be entered the names and addresses of persons registered under sub-section (2) as valuers.

(2) Any person who possesses the qualifications prescribed in this behalf may apply to the Board in the prescribed form for being registered as a valuer under this section:

Provided that different qualification may be prescribed for valuers of different classes of assets.

(3) Every application under sub-section (2) shall be verified in the prescribed manner, shall be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed and shall contain a declaration to the effect that the applicant will-

(i) Make an impartial and true valuation of any asset which he may be required to value;

(ii) Furnish a report of such valuation in the prescribed form;

(iii) Charge fees at a rate not exceeding the rate or rates prescribed in this behalf;

(iv) Not undertake valuation of any asset in which he has a direct or indirect interest.

(4) The report of valuation of any asset by a registered valuer shall be in the prescribed form and be verified in the prescribed manner.

34AC. Restrictions on practice as registered valuer
 
(1) No person, either alone or in partnership with any other person, shall practise, describe himself or hold himself out as registered valuer for the purposes of this Act or permit himself to be so described or held out, unless he is registered as a valuer or, as the case may be, unless he and all his partners are so registered under this Chapter.

(2) No company or other body corporate shall practise, describe itself or hold itself out as registered valuers for the purposes of this Act or permit itself to be so described or held out.

34AD. Removal from register of names of valuers and restoration

(1) The Board may remove the name of any person from the register of valuers where it is satisfied, after giving that person a reasonable opportunity of being heard and after such further inquiry, if any, as it thinks fit to make,-

(i) That his name has been entered in the register by error or on account of misrepresentation or suppression of a material fact;

(ii) That he has been convicted of any offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment or has been guilty of misconduct in his professional capacity which, in the opinion of the Board, renders him unfit to be kept in the register.

(2) The Board may, on application and on sufficient cause being shown, restore to the register the name or any person removed therefrom.]

34B. Transfers to defraud revenue to be void

(1) Where, during the pendency of any proceeding under this Act or after the completion thereof, but before the service of notice under rule 2 of the Second Schedule to the Income-tax Act as made applicable to this Act by section 32, any asses see creates a charge on, or parts with (by way of sale, mortgage, gift, exchange or any other mode of transfer whatsoever) the possession of, any of his assets in favour of any other person, such charge or transfer shall be void as against any other person, such charge or transfer shall be void as against any claim in respect of any tax or any other sum payable by the asses see as a result of the completion of the said proceeding or otherwise:

Provided that such charge or transfer shall not be void, if it is made-

(i) For adequate consideration and without notice of the pendency of such proceeding or, as the case may be, without notice of such tax or other sum payable by the asses see; or

(ii) With the previous permission of the Wealth-tax Officer.

(2) This section applies to cases where the amount of tax or other sum payable or likely to be payable exceeds five thousand rupees and the assets charged or transferred exceed ten thousand rupees in value.

Explanation.-In this section, "assets" means land, building, machinery, plant, shares, securities and fixed deposits in banks to the extent to which any of the assets aforesaid does not form part of the stock in trade of the business of the assessee.

34C. Provisional attachment to protect revenue in certain cases

(1) Where, during the pendency of any proceeding for the assessment of net wealth or for the assessment or re-assessment of net wealth which has escaped assessment, the Wealth-tax Officer is of the opinion that for the purpose of protecting the interests of the revenue it is necessary so to do, he may, with the previous approval of the Commissioner, by order in writing, attach provisionally any property belonging to the asses see in the manner provided in the Second Schedule to the Income-tax Act as made applicable to this Act by section 32.

(2) Every such provisional attachment shall cease to have effect after the expiry of a period of six months from the date of the order made under sub-section (1):

Provided that the Commissioner may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the aforesaid period by such further period or periods as he thinks fit, so however, that the total period of extension shall not in any case exceed two years.]

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1 Ins. by Act 46 of 1964, s. 38 (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

2 Subs. by Act 5 of 1964, s. 50, for ss. 42A and 42B (w.e.f. 1-4-
1964), Ss. 42A and 42B were ins. by Act 28 of 1960, s. 11 (w.e.f. 1-4-1960).

3 Ins. by Act 45 of 1972, s. 18 (w.e.f. 15-11-1972).

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(1) With a view to rectifying any mistake apparent from the record-

(a) The Wealth-tax Officer may amend any order of assessment or of refund or any other order passed by him;

(aa) The Valuation Officer may amend any order passed by him under section 16A;]

(b) The Appellate Assistant Commissioner may amend any order passed by him under section 18 or under section 23;3*

(d) The Commissioner may amend any order passed by him under section 18 or under section 25;

(e) The Appellate Tribunal may amend any order passed by it under section 18 or under section 24.

(2) Where the amount of tax, penalty or interest determined as a result of the first appeal or revision against the order referred to in sub-clause (iii) of clause (m) of section 2 is paid within six months of the date of the order passed in such appeal or revision, the Wealth-tax Officer may, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act, rectify the assessment by allowing a deduction to the extent the tax, penalty or interest so paid stood disallowed therein as if such rectification were rectification of a mistake apparent from the record.

(3) Subject to the other provisions of this section, the authority concerned-

(a) May make an amendment under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of its own motion; and

(b) Shall make such amendment for rectifying any such mistake which has been brought to its notice by the assessee, and where the authority concerned is the 2*[Valuation Officer or the Appellate Assistant Commissioner] or the Appellate Tribunal, by the Wealth- tax Officer also.

(4) An amendment, which has the effect of enhancing an assessment or reducing a refund or otherwise increasing the liability of the assessee, shall not be made under this section unless the authority concerned has given notice to the assessee of its intention so to do and has allowed the assessee a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(5) Where an amendment is made under this section, an order shall be passed in writing by the Wealth-tax authority concerned or the Tribunal, as the case may be.

(6) Where any such amendment has the effect of enhancing the assessment or reducing a refund already made, the Wealth-tax Officer shall serve on the assessee a notice of demand in the prescribed form specifying the sum payable, and such notice of demand shall be deemed to be issued under section 30 and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly.

(6A) Where any amendment made by the Valuation Officer under clause (aa) of sub-section (1) has the effect of enhancing the valuation of any asset, he shall send a copy of his order to the Wealth-tax Officer who shall thereafter proceed to amend the order of assessment in conformity with the order of the Valuation Officer and the provisions of sub-section (6) shall apply accordingly.]

(7) No amendment under this section shall be made after the expiry of four years-

(a) In the case of an amendment under sub-section (2), from the date of the order passed in the first appeal or revision referred to in that sub-section; and

(b) In any other case, from the date of the order sought to be amended.

(7A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (7), where the valuation of any asset has been enhanced by the Valuation officer under this section, the consequential amendment to the order of assessment may be made by the Wealth-tax Officer at any time before the expiry of one year from the date of the order of the Valuation officer under this section.]

(8) Where any matter has been considered and decided in a profiling by way of an appeal or revision relating to an order referred to in sub-section (1), the authority passing such order may, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, amend the order under this section in relation to any matter other than the matter which has been so considered and decided.]

35A. Willful attempt to evade tax, etc

(1) If a person willfully attempts in any manner whatsoever to evade any tax, penalty or interest chargeable or imposable under this Act, he shall, without prejudice to any penalty that may be imposable on him under any other provision of this Act, be punishable-

(i) In a case where the amount sought to be evaded exceeds one hundred thousand rupees, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine;

(ii) In any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to three years and with fine.

(2) If a person willfully attempts in any manner whatsoever to evade the payment of any tax, penalty or interest under this Act, he shall, without prejudice to any penalty that may be imposable on him under any other provision of this Act, be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to three years and shall, in the discretion of the court, also be liable to fine.

Explanation- For the purposes of this section, a willful attempt to evade any tax, penalty or interest chargeable or imposable under this Act or the payment thereof shall include a case where any person-

(a) Has in his possession or control any books of account or other documents (being books of account or other documents relevant to any proceeding under this Act) containing a false entry or statement or

(b) Makes, or causes to be made, any false entry or statement in such books of account or other documents, or

(c) Willfully omits, or causes to be omitted, any relevant entry or statement in such books of account or other documents, or

(d) Causes any other circumstance to exist which will have the effect of enabling such person to evade any tax, penalty or interest chargeable or imposable under this Act or the payment thereof.

35B. Failure to furnish returns of net wealth
 
If a person willfully fails to furnish in due time the return of his net wealth 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 under sub-section (1) of section 17, he shall be punishable,-

(i) In a case where the amount of tax, which would have been evaded if the failure had not been discovered, exceeds one hundred thousand rupees, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine;

(ii) In any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to three years and with fine:

Provided that a person shall not be proceeded against under this section for failure to furnish in due time the return of net wealth under sub-section (1) of section 14-

(i) For any assessment year commencing prior to the 1st day of April, 1975; or

(ii) For any assessment year commencing on or after the 1st day of April, 1975, if-

(a) The return is furnished by him before the expiry of the assessment year; or

(b) The tax payable by him on his net wealth determined on regular assessment does not exceed three thousand rupees.

35C. Failure to produce accounts, records, etc
 
If a person willfully fails to produce, or cause to be produced, on or before the date specified in any notice under sub-section (4) of section 16, such accounts, records and documents as are referred to in the notice, he shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine equal to a sum calculated at a rate which shall not be less than four rupees or more than ten rupees for every day during which the default continues, or with both.

35D. False statement in verification, etc. made under certain provisions of the Act

If a person makes a statement in any verification under this Act (other than under section 34AB) or under any rule made there under, or delivers an account or statement which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false, or does not believe to be true, he shall be punishable-

(i) In a case where the amount of tax which would have been evaded if the statement or account had been accepted as true, exceeds one hundred thousand rupees, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine;

(ii) In any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to three years and with fine.

35E. False statement in verification mentioned in section 34AB

If a person makes a statement in a verification mentioned in section 34AB which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false, or does not believe to be true, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.

35F. Abetment of false return, etc

If a person abets or induces in any manner another person to make and deliver an account, statement or declaration relating to any net wealth chargeable to tax which is false and which he either knows to be false or does not believe to be true or to commit an offence under sub-section (1) of section 35A, he shall be punishable-

(i) In a case where the amount of tax, penalty or interest, which would have been evaded, if the declaration, account or statement had been accepted as true, or which is wilfully attempted to be evaded, exceeds one hundred thousand rupees, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine;

(ii) In any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to three years and with fine.

35G.1* Punishment for second and subsequent offences

If any person convicted of an offence under sub-section (1) of section 35A or section 35B or section 35D or section 35F is again convicted of an offence under any of the aforesaid provisions, he shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine.

35H. Offences by Hindu undivided families
 
(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a Hindu undivided family, the Karta thereof shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render the Karta liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a Hindu undivided family and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any member thereof, such member shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

35I. 2* Prosecutions to be at the instance of Commissioner and power of Commissioner to compound offences

(1) A person shall not be proceeded against for an offence under this Act except at the instance of the Commissioner.

(2) The Commissioner may, either before or after the institution of proceedings, compound any offence under this Act.

35J. Certain offences to be non-cognizable

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, an offence punishable under section 35A or section 35B or section 35D or section 35F shall be deemed to be non-cognizable within the meaning of that Code.

35K. Bar on prosecutions and on inadmissibility of evidence in certain circumstances
 
(1) A person shall not be proceeded against for an offence under section 35A or section 35D in relation to the assessment for an assessment year in respect of which the penalty imposed or imposable on him under clause (iii) of sub-section (1) of section 18 has been reduced or waived by an order under section 18B.

(2) Where any proceeding for prosecution has been taken against any person under this Act, any statement made or account or other document produced by such person before any of the wealth-tax authorities specified in sections 8, 9, 10, 10A and 11 shall not be inadmissible as evidence for the purpose of such proceedings merely on the ground that such statement was made or such account or other document was produced in the belief that the penalty imposable would be reduced or waived under section 18B or that the offence in respect of which such proceeding was taken would be compounded.

35L. Jurisdiction of courts

No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence under this Act.

35M. Section 360 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, not to apply

Nothing contained in section 360 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, or in the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, shall apply to a person convicted of an offence under this Act unless that person is under eighteen years of age.

35N. Presumption as to books of account, etc., in certain cases

(1) Where during the course of any search made under section 37A, any books of account or other documents, articles or things including money have been found in the possession or control of any person and such books of account or other documents are tendered, or such articles or things including money are relied upon, by the prosecution in evidence against such person or against such person and the person referred to in section 35F for an offence under this Act, the provisions of sub-section (5) of section 37A shall, so far as may be, apply in relation to such books of account or other documents articles or things including money.

(2) Where-

(i) Any books of account or other documents taken into custody, from the possession or control of any person by any officer or authority under clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 37B, are delivered to the requisitioning officer under sub- section (2) of that section; or

(ii) Any note or inventory of any articles or things including money taken into custody, from the possession of any person, by any officer or authority under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 37B, is furnished to the requisitioning officer under sub-section (2) of that section, and such books of account or other documents are tendered, or such note or inventory is relied upon, by the prosecution in evidence against such person or against such person and the person referred to in section 35F for an offence under this Act, the provisions of sub-section (5) of section 37A shall, so far as may be, apply in relation to such books of account or other documents or, as the case may be, the articles or things including money, covered by such note or inventory.] 4*

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1 The words ", on conviction before a magistrate," omitted by Act
46 of 1964, s. 33 (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

2 Ins. by Act 45 of 1972, s. 15 (w.e.f. 1-1-1973).

3 Ins. by Act 41 of 1975, s. 100 (w.e.f. 1-10-75).

4 Omitted by s. 101, ibid.

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(1) The Central Government may, if it is of opinion (the reasons for such opinion being recorded in writing) that with a view to obtaining the evidence of any person appearing to have been directly or indirectly concerned in or privy to the concealment of particulars of net wealth or the evasion of payment of tax on net wealth, it is necessary or expedient so to do, tender to such person immunity from prosecution for any offence under this Act or under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860.) or under any other Central Act for the time being in force and also from the imposition of any penalty under this Act on condition of his making a full and true disclosure of the whole circumstances relating to the concealment of particulars of net wealth or evasion of payment of tax on net wealth.

(2) A tender of immunity made to, and accepted by, the person concerned shall, to the extent to which the immunity extends, render him immune from prosecution for any offence in respect of which the tender was made or from the imposition of any penalty under this Act.

(3) If it appears to the Central Government that any person to whom immunity has been tendered under this section has not complied with the condition on which the tender was made or is willfully concealing anything or is giving false evidence, the Central Government may record a finding to that effect, and thereupon the immunity shall be deemed to have been withdrawn, and any such person may be tried for the offence in respect of which the tender of immunity was made or for any other offence of which he appears to have been guilty in connection with the same matter and shall also become liable to the imposition of any penalty under this Act to which he would otherwise have been liable.]



(1) 1* [The Wealth-tax officer, Valuation Officer,] 3* Appellate Assistant Commissioner, Commissioner and the Appellate Tribunal shall, for the purposes of this Act, have the same powers as are vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908.), when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely:-

(a) Discovery and inspection;

(b) Enforcing the attendance of any person, including any officer of a banking company and examining him on oath;

(c) Compelling the production of books of account and other documents; and

(d) Issuing commissions.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of any other law for the time being in force, where a person to whom a summons is issued either to attend to give evidence or produce books of account or other documents at a certain place and time, intentionally omits to attend or produce the books of account or documents at the place or time, the authority empowered to issue such summons may impose upon him such fine not exceeding five hundred rupees, as it thinks fit, and the fine so levied may be recovered in the manner provided in Chapter VII of this Act.

(3) Subject to any rules made in this behalf, any authority referred to in sub-section (1) may impound and retain in its custody for such period as it thinks fit any books of account or other documents produced before it in any proceeding under this Act;

Provided that 2*[a Wealth-tax Officer or a Valuation Officer] shall not-

(a) Impound any books of account or other documents without recording his reasons for so doing, or

(b) Retain in his custody any such books or documents for a period exceeding fifteen days (exclusive of holidays) without obtaining the approval of the Commissioner therefor.

(4) Any proceeding under this Act before a wealth-tax authority or the Tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purposes of section 196, of the Indian Penal Code. (45 of 1860.)]

37A. Power of search and seizure
 
(1) Where the Director of Inspection or the Commissioner or any such Deputy Director of Inspection or Inspecting Assistant Commissioner as may be empowered in this behalf by the Board, in consequence of information in his possession, has reason to believe that-

(a) Any person to whom a notice under sub-section (4) of section 16 or a summons under section 37 was issued to produce, or cause to be produced, any books of account or other documents, has omitted or failed to produce, or cause to be produced, such books of account or other documents as required by such notice or summons, or

(b) Any person to whom a notice or summons as aforesaid has been or might be issued will not, or would not, produce, or cause to be produced, any books of account or other documents which will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act, or

(c) Any person is in possession of any articles or things including money disproportionate to his known assets, particulars of which will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act, then,-

(A) The Director of Inspection or the Commissioner, as the case may be, may authorise any Deputy Director of Inspection, Inspecting Assistant Commissioner, Assistant Director of Inspection or Wealth-tax Officer, or

(B) Such Deputy Director of Inspection or Inspecting Assistant Commissioner may authorise any Assistant Director of Inspection or Wealth-tax Officer, (the officer so authorised in all cases being hereafter in this section referred to as the authorised officer) to-

(i) Enter and search any building, place, vessel, vehicle or aircraft where he has reason to suspect that such books of account or other documents, articles or things including money are kept;

(ii) Search any person who has got out of, or is about to get into, or is in, the building, place, vessel, vehicle or aircraft, if the authorised officer has reason to suspect that such person has secreted about his person any such books of account or other documents, articles or things including money;

(iii) Break open the lock of any door, box, locker, safe, almirah or other receptacle for exercising the powers conferred by clause (i) where the keys thereof are not available;

(iv) Seize any such books of account or other documents;

(v) Place marks of identification on any such books of account or other documents or make, or cause to be made, extracts or copies therefrom;

(vi) Make a note or an inventory of any articles or things including money found which, in his opinion, will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act:

Provided that where any building, place, vessel, vehicle or aircraft referred to in clause (i) is within the area of jurisdiction of any Commissioner but such Commissioner has no jurisdiction over the person referred to in clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) of this sub-section, then, notwithstanding anything contained in section 10, it shall be competent for him to exercise the powers under this sub-section in all cases where he has reason to believe that any delay in getting the authorisation from the Commissioner having jurisdiction over such person may be prejudicial to the interests of the revenue.

(2) Where any Commissioner, in consequence of information in his possession, has reason to suspect that any books of account or other documents, articles or things including money in respect of which an officer has been authorised by the Director of Inspection or Inspecting Assistant Commissioner as may be empowered in this behalf by the Board to take action under clauses (i) to (vi) of sub-section (1) are kept in any building, place, vessel, vehicle or aircraft not mentioned in the authorisation under sub-section (1), such Commissioner may, notwithstanding anything contained in section 10, authorise the said officer to take action under any of the clauses aforesaid in respect of such building, place, vessel, vehicle or aircraft.

(3) The authorised officer may requisition the services of any police officer or of any officer of the Central Government, or of both to assist him for all or any of the purposes specified in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) and it shall be the duty or every such officer to comply with such requisition.

(4) The authorised officer may, during the course of the search or seizure, examine on oath any person who is found to be in possession or control of any books of account or other documents, articles or things including money and any statement made by such person during such examination may thereafter be used in evidence in any proceeding under this Act.

(5) Where any books of account or other documents, articles or things including money are found in the possession or control of any person in the course of a search, it may be presumed that-

(i) Such books of account or other documents, articles or things including money belong to such person;

(ii) The contents of such books of account or other documents are true; and

(iii) The signature and every other part of such books of account or other documents which purport to be in the hand-writing of any particular person or which may reasonably be assumed to have been signed by, or to be in the handwriting of, any particular person, are in that persons handwriting, and in the case of a document stamped, executed or attested, that it was duly stamped and executed or attested by the person by whom it purports to have been so executed or attested.

(6) The books of account or other documents seized under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall not be retained by the authorised officer for a period exceeding one hundred and eighty days from the date of the seizure unless the reasons for retaining the same are recorded by him in writing and the approval of the Commissioner for such retention is obtained:

Provided
that the Commissioner shall not authorise the retention of the books of account or other documents for a period exceeding thirty days after all the proceedings under this Act in respect of the years for which the books of account or other documents are relevant are completed.

(7) The person from whose custody any books of account or other documents are seized under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) may make copies thereof, or take extracts therefrom, in the presence of the authorised officer or any other person empowered by him in this behalf at such place and time as the authorised officer may appoint in this behalf.

(8) Where the authorised officer has no jurisdiction over the person referred to in clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-section (1), the books of account or other documents seized under that sub-section shall be handed over by the authorised officer to the Wealth-tax Officer having jurisdiction over such person within a period of fifteen days of such seizure and thereupon the powers exercisable by the authorised officer under sub-section (6) or sub-section (7) shall be exercisable by such Wealth-tax Officer.

(9) If a person legally entitled to the books of account or other documents seized under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) objects for any reason to the approval given by the Commissioner under sub-section (6), he may make an application to the Board stating therein the reasons for such objection and requesting for the return of the books of account or other documents.

(10) On receipt of the application under sub-section (9), the Board may, after giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit.

(11) The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. relating to searches shall apply, so far as may be, to searches under this section.

(12) The Board may make rules in relation to searches or seizure under this section; and in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for the procedure to be followed by the authorised officer-

(i) For obtaining ingress into any building, place, vessel, vehicle or aircraft to be searched where free ingress thereto is not available;

(ii) For ensuring the safe custody of any books of account or other documents seized.

37B. Power to requisition books of account, etc

(1) Where the Director of Inspection or the Commissioner, in consequence of information in his possession, has reason to believe that-

(a) Any person to whom a notice under sub-section (4) of section 16 or a summons under section 37 was issued to produce,or cause to be produced, any books of account or other documents has omitted or failed to produce, or cause to be produced, such books of account or other documents as required by such notice or summons and the said books of account or other documents have been taken into custody by any officer or authority under any other law for the time being in force, or

(b) Any books of account or other documents will be useful for,or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act and any person to whom a notice or summons as aforesaid has been or might be issued will not, or would not, produce or cause to be produced such books of account or other documents on the return of such books of account or other documents by any officer or authority by whom or which such books of account or other documents have been taken into custody under any other law for the time being in force, or

(c) Any articles or things including money disproportionate to the known assets of any person, particulars of which will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act, have been taken into custody by any officer or authority, under any other law for the time being in force, from the possession of such person, then, the Director of Inspection or the Commissioner may authorise any Deputy Director of Inspection, Inspecting Assistant Commissioner, Assistant Director of Inspection or Wealth-tax Officer (hereafter in this section referred to as the requisitioning officer) to require such officer or authority,-

(i) In a case falling under clause (a) or clause (b), to deliver such books of account or other documents to the requisitioning officer;

(ii) In a case falling under clause (c), to furnish a note or an inventory of such articles or things including money to the requisitioning officer.

(2) On a requisition being made under sub-section (1),-

(i) In a case falling under clause (a) or clause (b) of that sub- section, the officer or authority referred to therein shall deliver the books of account or other documents to the requisitioning officer either forthwith or when such officer or authority is of the opinion that it is no longer necessary to retain the same in his or its custody;

(ii) In a case falling under clause (c),the officer or authority referred to therein shall furnish the note or inventory to the requisitioning officer within a reasonable period.

(3) Where any books of account or other documents have been delivered to the requisitioning officer, the provisions of sub-sections (5) to (12) (both inclusive) of section 37A shall, so far as may be, apply as if such books of account or other documents had been seized under sub-section (1) of that section by the requisitioning officer from the custody of the person referred to in clause (a) or clause (b), as the case may be, of sub-section (1) of this section and as if for the words "the authorised officer" occurring in any of the aforesaid sub-sections, the words "the requisitioning officer" were substituted."]

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1 Ins. by Act 46 of 1964, s. 36 (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

2 Subs. by Act 45 of 1972, s. 17 (w.e.f. 1-1-1973).

3 Subs. by Act 4 of 1975, s. 102 (w.e.f. 1-10-75).

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Where, for the purposes of determining the wealth-tax payable by any person, it appears necessary for the Wealth-tax Officer to obtain any statement or information from any, individual, company, firm, Hindu undivided family or other person, the Wealth-tax Officer may serve a notice requiring such individual, company, firm, Hindu undivided family or other person, on or before a date to be therein specified, to furnish such statement or information on the points specified in the notice, and the individual or the principal officer concerned or the manager of the Hindu undivided family, as the case may be, shall, notwithstanding anything in any law to the contrary, be bound to furnish such statement or information to the Wealth-tax Officer:

Provided that no legal practitioner shall be bound to furnish any statement or information under this section based on any professional communications made to him otherwise than as permitted by section 126. of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872.).

38A. Powers of Valuation Officer, etc
 

(1) For the purposes of this Act, a Valuation Officer or any overseer, surveyor or assessor authorised by him in this behalf may, subject to any rules made in this behalf and at such reasonable times as may be prescribed,-

(a) Enter any land within the limits of the area assigned to the Valuation Officer, or

(b) Enter any land, building or other place belonging to or occupied by any person in connection with whose assessment a reference has been made section 16A to the Valuation Officer, or

(c) Inspect any asset in respect of which a reference under section 16A has been made to the Valuation Officer,and require any person in charge of, or in occupation or possession of, such land, building or other place or asset to afford him the necessary facility to survey or inspect such land, building or other place or asset or estimate its value or inspect any books of account, document or record which may be releant for the valuation of such land, building or other place or asset and gather other particulars relating to such land, building or other place or asset;

Provided that no Valuation Officer, overseer, surveyor or assessor shall enter any building or place referred to in clause (b) or inspect any asset referred to in clause (c) (unless with the consent of the person in charge of, or in occupation or possession of, such building, place or asset) without previously giving to such person at least two days notice in writing of his intention to do so.

(2) If a person who, under sub-section (1), is required to afford any facility to the Valuation Officer or the overseer, surveyor or assessor, either refuses or evades to afford such facility, the Valuation Officer shall have all the powers under sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 37 for enforcing compliance of the requirements made."



Whenever in respect of any proceeding under this Act wealth-tax authority ceases to exercise jurisdiction and is successive by another who has and exercises such jurisdiction, the authority so succeeding may continue the proceeding from the stage at which the proceeding was left by his predecessor:

1*[Provided that the assessee concerned may demand that before the proceeding is so continued the previous proceeding or any part thereof be re-opened or that before any order of assessment is passed against him, he be re-heard.]

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1 Added by Act 46 of 1964, s. 38 (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

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In computing the period of limitation prescribed for an appeal under this Act or for an application under section 27, the day on which the order complained of was made and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of such order shall be excluded.



(1) A notice or a requisition under this Act may be served on the person therein named either by post or as if it were a summons issued by a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908.).

(2) Any such notice or requisition may, in the case of a firm or a Hindu undivided family, be addressed to any member of the firm or to the manager or any adult male member of the family, and in the case of any other association of persons be addressed to the principal officer thereof.

(3) After a finding of total partition has been recorded by the Wealth-tax Officer under section 20 in respect of any Hindu family, notices under this Act in respect of the net wealth of the Hindu family shall be served on the person who was the last manager of the Hindu family, or, if such person is dead, then on all surviving adults who were members of the Hindu family immediately before the partition.



Rep. by the Finance Act, 1964 (5 of 1964), s. 50 (w.e.f. 1-4-1964).

42A. Publication of information respecting assesses
 
(1) If the Central Government is of opinion that it is necessary or expedient in the public interest to publish the names of any asses sees and any other particulars relating to any proceedings [or prosecutions] 1*under this Act in respect of such asses sees, it may cause to be published such names and particulars in such manner as it thinks fit.

(2) No publication under this section shall be made in relation to any penalty imposed under this Act until the time for presenting an appeal to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner has expired without an appeal having been presented or the appeal, if presented, has been disposed of."

42B. Disclosure of information respecting assesses
 
Where a person makes an application to the Commissioner in the prescribed from for any information relating to any asses see in respect of any assessment made under this Act, the Commissioner may, if he is satisfied that it is in the public interest so to do, furnish or cause to be furnished the information asked for in respect of that assessment only and his decision in this behalf shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court of law.

42C. Return of wealth, etc., not to be invalid on certain grounds
 
No return of wealth, assessment, notice, summons or other proceeding furnished or made or issued or taken or purported to have been furnished or made or issued or taken in pursuance of any of the provisions of this Act shall be invalid or shall be deemed to be invalid merely by reason of any mistake, defect or omission in such return of wealth, assessment, notice, summons or other proceeding if such return of wealth, assessment, notice, summons or other proceeding is in substance and effect in conformity with or according to the intent and purpose of this Act.

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1 Ins & subs. by Act 41 of 1975, s. 103 (w.e.f. 1-10-75).

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No suit shall lie in any civil court to set aside or modify any assessment made under this Act, and no prosecution, suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against 1*[the Government or] any officer of the Government for anything in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.

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1 Ins by Act 42 of 1970, s. 65 (w.e.f. 1-4-1971).

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(1) Any assessee who is entitled to or required to attend before any Wealth-tax authority or the Appellate Tribunal in connection with any proceeding under this Act, except where he is required under this Act to attend in person, may attend by a person who would be entitled to represent him before any income-tax authority or the Appellate Tribunal under section 288 of the Income-tax Act.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (1):

(i) No person who has been convicted of an offence connected with any wealth-tax proceeding or on whom a penalty has been imposed under this Act other than a penalty imposed on him under clause (i) or clause (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 18 shall be qualified to represent an assessee under sub-section (1) for such time as the Commissioner may be order determine;

(ii) If any person who is not a legal practitioner or a chartered accountant, if found guilty of misconduct in connection with any wealth-tax proceeding by the prescribed authority, the prescribed authority may direct that he shall thenceforth be disqualified to represent an assessee under sub-section (1)

(iii) No person not qualified to represent an assessee under the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922 (11 of 1922.), the Estate Duty Act, 1953 (34 of 1953.), the Expenditure-tax Act, 1957 (29 of 1957.), or the Gift-tax Act, 1958 (18 of 1958.), shall be entitled to appear on behalf of any assessee under this Act:

Provided that any order or direction under clause (i) or clause

(ii) Shall be subject to the following conditions, namely:

(a) No such order or direction shall be made in respect of any person unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard;

(b) Any person against whom any such order or direction is made may, within one month of the making of the order or direction, appeal to the Board to have the order or direction cancelled; and

(c) No such order or direction shall take effect until the expiration of one month from the making thereof, or, where an appeal has been preferred, until the disposal of the appeal.

44A. Agreement for avoidance or relief of double taxation with respect to wealth-tax
 
The Central Government may enter into any agreement with the Government of any reciprocating country for the avoidance or relief of double taxation with respect to wealth-tax payable under this Act and under the corresponding law in force in the reciprocating country and may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make such provision as may be necessary for implementing the agreement.

Explanation:- The expression "reciprocating country" for the purposes of this Act means any country which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be a reciprocating country.

44B. Countries with which no agreement exists

Where the net wealth of any assessee includes any foreign wealth and he proves that, in respect of such foreign wealth, he has paid in any country, with which there is no reciprocal arrangement under section 44A for the relief or avoidance of double taxation, a tax in respect of wealth, under the law in force in that country, he shall be entitled to the deduction from the Indian wealth-tax payable by him of a sum calculated on such doubly taxed foreign wealth at the Indian rate of tax or the rate of tax of the said country, whichever is the lower, or at the Indian rate of tax if both the rates are equal.

Explanation:-In this section:-

(1) The expression "Indian wealth-tax" means wealth-tax charged in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

(2) The expression "Indian rate of tax" means the rate determined by dividing the amount of Indian wealth-tax after deduction of any relief due under the provisions of this Act but before the deduction of any relief due under this section by the net wealth;

(3) The expression "rate of tax of the said country" means any tax in respect of wealth, actually paid in the said country, in accordance with the corresponding laws in force in the said country after deduction of all relief due, but before deduction of any relief due in the said country in respect of double taxation, divided by the whole amount of the wealth assessed in the said country;

(4) The expression "foreign wealth" in relation to any asses see means the value of all his assets located in any country outside India as reduced by the value of his debts in that country.]

44C. Rounding off of net wealth
 
The amount of net wealth computed in accordance with the fore going provisions of this Act shall be rounded off to the nearest multiple of one hundred rupees and, for this purpose, any part of a rupee consisting of paise shall be ignored and thereafter, if such amount contains a part of one hundred rupees, then, if such part is fifty rupees or more, the amount shall be increased to the next higher amount which is a multiple of one hundred and, if such part is less than fifty rupees, the amount shall be reduced to the next lower amount which is a multiple of one hundred and the amount so rounded off shall be deemed to be the net wealth of the assessee for the purposes of this Act.

44D. Rounding off of tax, etc

The amount of wealth-tax, interest, penalty, fine or any other sum payable, and the amount of refund due, under the provisions of this Act, shall be rounded off to the nearest rupee and, for this purpose, where such amount contains a part of a rupee consisting of paise, then, if such part is fifty paise or more, it shall be increased to one rupee, and if such part is less than fifty paise, it shall be ignored.]



The provisions of this Act shall not apply to-

(a) A banking company as defined in section 5 of the Banking Companies Act, 1949 (10 of 1949.)

(b) An insurer within the meaning of the Insurance Act, 1938.(4 of 1938.)

(c) Any company established with the object of financing, whether by way of making loans or advances to, or subscribing to the capital of, private industrial enterprises in India, in any case where the Central Government has made or agreed to make to the company a special advance for the purpose or has guaranteed or agreed to guarantee the payment of moneys borrowed by the company from any institution outside India;

(d) Any company established with the object of carrying on an industrial undertaking in India in any case where the company is not formed by the splitting up, or the reconstruction of a business already in existence or by the transfer to a new business of any building, machinery or plant used in a business which was being previously carried on:

Provided that the exemption granted by clause (d) shall apply to any such company as is referred to therein only for a period of five successive assessment years commencing with the assessment year next following the date on which the company is established, which period shall, in the case of a company established before the commencement of this Act, be computed in accordance with this Act from the date of its establishment as if this Act had been in force on and from the date of its establishment;

Explanation.-For the purposes of clause (d), "industrial under taking" means an undertaking engaged in the manufacture, production or processing of goods or articles or in mining or in the generation or distribution of electricity or any other form of power;

(e) Any company solely engaged in the business of transporting goods or passengers by ships:

(f) Any company registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956.).



(1) The Board may, by notification in the Official Gazette make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, rules made under this section may provide for-

(a) The manner in which the market value of any asset may be determined;

(b) The form in which returns under this Act shall be made and the manner in which they shall be verified;

(c) The form in which appeals and applications under this Act may be made, and the manner in which they shall be verified;

(d) The form of any notice of demand under this Act;

(dd) The procedure to be followed in calculating interest payable by asses sees or interest payable by the Government to asses sees under any provision of this Act, including the rounding off of the period for which such interest is to be calculated in cases where such period includes a fraction of a month, and specifying the circumstances in which and the extent to which petty amounts of interest payable by asses sees may be ignored;

(e) The areas for which lists of valuers may be drawn up;

(f) Any other matter which has to be, or may be, prescribed for the purposes of this Act.

(3) The powers to make rules conferred by this section shall on the first occasion of the exercise thereof include the power to give retrospective effect to the rules or any of them from a date not earlier than the date of commencement of this Act.

(4) The Central Government shall cause every rule made under this Act to be laid as soon as may be after it is made before each House of Parliament while it is in session for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions, and if before the expiry of the session in which it is so laid or the session immediately following, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be, so however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

Last updated on September, 2016

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