A tax notice can be intimidating. However, before you panic, take the time to find out why exactly a notice has been sent to you and what the implications are according to the sections mentioned.

SECTION 131 (1A)
You will get this notice if the assessing officer (AO) suspects that income has been concealed or is likely to be concealed. It is meant for making an enquiry or carrying out an investigation into the matter.

Time limit to serve notice: NA

SECTION 142 (1)

You will get this notice for a preliminary enquiry before an assessment. You can get it if you have not filed your return in due time or for furnishing documents or accounts for making an assessment. If the AO is satisfied with your response, you may not be assessed.

Time limit to serve notice: After the end of the relevant assessment year.

SECTION 143 (1)

This is basically an intimation letter, which tells you whether you have paid the correct amount of tax, more than the required amount or less than the due sum.

  1. Intimation: You are being informed that after the final assessment your return calculation matches the AO’s computation.
  2. Refund: The AO’s calculation shows excessive tax paid by you.
  3. Demand: The AO’s calculation shows a shortfall in the tax paid by you and the notice will demand that the tax be paid within 30 days.

Time limit to serve notice: Before the expiry of one year from the end of financial year in which the return has been made.

SECTION 143 (2)

This is a follow-up to the notice under Section 142 (1). The AO is either not satisfied with your response or he has not received the documents sought. Your return will now be subject to detailed scrutiny.

Time limit to serve notice: Before the expiry of six months from the end of the financial year in which the return is filed.

SECTION 148

The notice is issued if the AO thinks that some income might have escaped assessment. So you could be asked to file returns for the relevant assessment year or for reassessment.

Time limit to serve notice: If the income that has escaped assessment is `1 lakh or less, it can be sent within four years of the end of the relevant assessment year. If it is more than `1 lakh, the notice can be sent within six years.

SECTION 156

This is essentially a notice of demand, stating that the taxpayer needs to pay the penalty, fine, tax or any other amount that is due. This typically happens after an assessment and the amount is to be paid usually within 30 days of the notice being served.

Time limit to serve notice: NA

SECTION 245

You will get this notice or intimation letter if you have claimed a refund in some assessment year, but there is also some outstanding tax to be paid by you. In such a case the AO can adjust the pending tax amount from the due refund.

Time limit to serve notice: NA

 Source : The Times of India – 18th July, 2016

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