Published: 03rd April 2021
What the FAQ: What is an IT raid and why is it conducted?
All you need to know about IT raids, what's legal and what are the rights of the person whose property is raided?
Just a few days ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, the Income Tax Department raided DMK chief MK Stalin’s daughter’s house in Chennai. This has caused quite an uproar, as the intentions behind it are being questioned. In the last few months, various other celebrities whose properties were raided have claimed that it is an attempt to suppress voices. We take a look at what IT raids are and why they are conducted.
What is an IT raid?
An Income Tax raid, also known as a search or seizure, is typically conducted by the Income Tax Department to check the possession of black money. It is a measure that is known to be constitutionally valid too.
When is it conducted?
An IT raid can be conducted under the following circumstances — credible information of tax evasion, information from government departments, information from assessment records of taxpayers, information with regard to disproportionate income and expenditure of the taxpayer, manipulation of books of accounts, vouchers and invoices, illegal investment in real estate and unexplained cash credits or share transactions.
What are the powers of tax authorities during a raid?
The officer authorised to carry out the raid can enter and search any building or place where he has a reason to suspect that the books of account, other documents, money, bullion, jewellery or other valuable article or thing representing undisclosed income is kept, break open the locks, where the keys are unavailable, carry out a personal search of a person who is suspected to have secreted the item, seize it, pace marks of identification and take copies of the books of account and other documents, make a note or inventory of the valuables found during the search.
What are the rights of a person during a tax raid?
The individual whose property is being raided can insist on the personal search of ladies being taken only by a lady, have at least two respectable and independent residents of the locality as witnesses, can call a medical practitioner in case of emergency, can send their children to school after checking their bags, can have meals at the normal time, can inspect the seals placed on various receptacles sealed in course of search and subsequently at the time of reopening of the seal, have a copy of any statement that is used against him by the department.