Notice under Section 143(3)


The Notice under Section 143(3) of the Income Tax Act is a detailed scrutiny assessment notice issued by the Income Tax Department after thoroughly examining the taxpayer’s income tax return. This notice follows scrutiny initiated under Section 143(2), where the Assessing Officer (AO) has reviewed the return and related documents more deeply. Here’s what typically comprises the content of a Section 143(3) notice:

Essential Contents of the Notice under Section 143(3)

  • Identification of the Taxpayer:
      • Full name and address of the taxpayer.
      • Permanent Account Number (PAN).
  • Details of the Tax Return:
      • Assessment Year for which the scrutiny is conducted.
      • Date of filing the original tax return.
  • Basis of Scrutiny:
      • The original Section 143(2) notice called for detailed scrutiny.
      • Summary of findings from the preliminary scrutiny, if applicable.
  • Assessment Officer’s Observations:
      • Discrepancies were noted while reviewing the tax return versus the information and documents provided.
      • Specific issues include under-reported income, over-claimed deductions, mismatches in TDS credits, etc.
  • Revised Calculation of Taxable Income:
      • Adjustments made to the reported income.
      • Corrections to deductions and credits.
      • Detailed computation of the revised taxable income after the AO’s adjustments.
  • Tax Liability:
      • Calculated tax based on the revised taxable income.
      • Details of previously paid tax (advance tax, TDS, self-assessment tax).
      • Additional tax payable or refundable as a result of the assessment.
  • Interest and Penalties:
      • Please provide details applicable under sections 234A, 234B, and 234C for late filing or non-payment of advance tax.
      • Information on any penalties proposed due to discrepancies or non-compliance found during the assessment.
  • Instructions for Compliance:
      • How do you pay any additional tax due, including the due date for payment?
      • Details on contesting the assessment if the taxpayer disagrees with the findings.
  • Deadline for Compliance:
    • The final date by which the taxpayer needs to comply with the payment of additional taxes or file an appeal against the assessment.
  1. Contact Details:
    • Contact information for the AO or the tax office where further correspondence needs to be directed.

Example of Section 143(3) Notice

An example scenario could be where a taxpayer reported an income of ₹10,00,000 with taxes duly paid. After reviewing additional information from bank statements and other documents, the AO determines the unreported income ₹2,00,000. The notice will detail these findings, explain the tax implications, and recalculate tax liability based on the new total income of ₹12,00,000.

Failing to comply with the requirements outlined in a Notice under Section 143(3) of the Income Tax Act can lead to significant penalties and potential prosecution. This section deals with the final assessment of tax liabilities, and the implications of non-compliance are severe, as they directly affect the determination of the tax payable. Here’s an overview of the penalties and prosecution risks involved:

Penalties for Non-Compliance with Section 143(3)

  • Penalty for Non-Payment of Tax:
      • If the additional tax assessed under Section 143(3) is not paid, the taxpayer may incur a penalty under Section 221. The penalty amount is at the discretion of the Assessing Officer but cannot exceed the amount of unpaid tax.
  • Interest on Delayed Payment:
      • Interest under Sections 234A, 234B, and 234C may be applicable. Section 234A covers interest on late filing of the return, Section 234B deals with interest for deficiency in payment of advance tax, and Section 234C addresses interest for deferment of advance tax. The interest is calculated from the due date of the tax payment until the date it is paid.
  • Penalty for Concealment of Income:
    • Under Section 270A, if it is determined that income has been underreported or misrepresented, a penalty ranging from 50% to 200% of the tax payable on the underreported income may be imposed.

Prosecution for Non-Compliance with Section 143(3)

  • Prosecution for Failure to Pay Tax:
      • Under Section 276C, a willful attempt to evade or fail to pay tax can lead to prosecution. Depending on the amount of tax evaded, the punishment can be rigorous imprisonment ranging from 3 months to 7 years.
  • Prosecution for False Statements:
    • Under Section 277, if a false statement is made during the assessment, which is known to be false, the person may be subjected to prosecution. The punishment can be imprisonment for a term ranging from 6 months to 7 years, depending on the circumstances.

Actions to Take if Unable to Comply

  • Immediate Response: If you foresee difficulty complying with the tax demand, it is crucial to communicate immediately with the Income Tax Department. Explaining your situation and being willing to cooperate can sometimes facilitate arrangements for staggered payments or extensions.
  • Legal Assistance: Consulting with a tax professional or legal advisor is essential. They can guide you in handling the situation, negotiating with tax authorities, or representing you in legal proceedings.

Importance of Compliance

  • Compliance with a Section 143(3) notice is critical. It is the final assessment of your taxes, and non-compliance can lead to severe financial and legal consequences.
  • To avoid penalties and prosecution, it is crucial to pay assessed taxes promptly or engage in dialogue with tax authorities if payment is not feasible immediately.


Receiving a Section 143(3) notice indicates a serious and detailed review of your tax filings. It is crucial to carefully review all the contents of the notice, understand the adjustments made, and comply with the instructions provided. If there are disagreements, the taxpayer has the right to appeal the assessment, typically within 30 days of the date of the notice. Engaging a tax professional for guidance through this process is strongly recommended to ensure proper handling and response to the notice.

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