The income tax surveys, which are milder version of a raid, will now be conducted with less frequency and could be less intrusive.
The tax department immediately after prime minister Narendra Modi's formal announcement of a faceless and seamless tax administration issued a circular saying that surveys will now be conducted with utmost responsibility and accountability.
The circular says that the department has directed only TDS Commissionerates/Investigation wing directorates to exclusively act as 'income-tax authority' for the purposes of survey action under Section 133A.
It further says that that the competent authority for approval of such survey action will be Director General of Income Tax (investigation) for investigation wing and principal chief commissioner of Income tax (TDS) for TDS charges.
According to experts, this effectively means few surveys.
"Under the latest survey notification, only select authorities can sanction survey. Hence this is quite a bold step as it should considerably reduce the number and frequency of these random surveys," Sudhir Kapadia, national leader tax, EY India.
Under Section 133A of the Act, an Income-tax Officer or any Inspector of Income-tax authorised by him on his behalf could enter any place at which a business or profession is carried on. The section also requires the proprietor of the business or any other employee to help the officer inspect books of account or other documents related to the business and verify cash, stock or other valuable articles.