CBDT clarifies misleading reports on special drive to reopen HRA claim cases

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has clarified recent media reports claiming a special drive to reopen cases related to House Rent Allowance (HRA) claims, stating that such reports are inaccurate and misleading. The CBDT emphasized that there is no special drive to re-open cases of mismatch, and reports suggesting otherwise are completely baseless.

The CBDT stated that certain instances of mismatch between information filed by taxpayers and information available with the Income Tax Department have been identified during routine data verification exercises. In such cases, the Department has notified taxpayers to rectify the discrepancies. However, concerns regarding retrospective taxation and re-opening of cases related to HRA claims are unfounded.

Data analysis was conducted in some high-value cases where there was a mismatch between the rent paid by employees and the receipt of rent by the recipients for the financial year 2020-21. This verification was carried out in a limited number of cases without re-opening a large number of cases, especially since taxpayers could have filed updated returns for the financial year 2020-21 (assessment year 2021-22) until March 31, 2024

The objective of the verification was to address mismatches of information for the financial year 2020-21 only, without affecting other cases. The CBDT reiterated that there is no special drive to re-open such cases, and reports suggesting otherwise are inaccurate.

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