Difference between Survey & Search under Income-tax – Know about it because your Peace of mind is important

There are two important proceedings under the Income-tax Act. They are

  1. Search & Seizure
  2. Survey

Laymen use these terms interchangeably and term both the Search & Survey as Raid. But both are not the same.

Point of DifferenceSurveySearch & Seizure
Section133A of the Income-tax Act,1961132 of the Income-tax Act,1961
Place of ConductPlace where business or profession is carried on and in exceptional circumstances, can be in residential or other premises.It can take place in any building including office, shop, residence, godown, vehicle, etc without any restriction , within the jurisdiction of the officer.
Activity that can be undertakenInspection of books of accounts, verification and cash & inventory can be doneThe entire premises being searched can be inspected. Break open of lockers, etc, where the officer feels that search has to be done.
SeizureOfficer cannot seize anything except impounding books of accountsOfficer is empowered to Seize books, stock, gold, jewellery, or other valuable articles
Personal SearchPersonal search of a person cannot be doneEvery Person in the search can be personally searched
Police involvementPolice cannot be involved in the operationPolice can be involved in the search operations
ConversionSurvey can be converted into a Search based on findingsNo such provision.
ScopeLimited ScopeUnlimited scope
Difference between Search & Survey

The assessees has to ascertain the nature of proceedings and act accordingly.

Whether its Survey or Search, being regular in complying with provisions of the Income-tax act & replying to notices and communications sent by the Income-tax department will save you and ensure peace of mind by avoiding Survey or Search.

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