The very purpose of introduction of the provisions of audit under section 44AB was to ensure that the books of account and other records are properly maintained, that they faithfully reflect the income of the taxpayer and claims for deduction are correctly made by him and accordingly this responsibility was posed on chartered accountants.
Since then several times the law changed and consequently the guidance so provided. The year 2008 dispensed off the requirement of furnishing tax audit reports along with the return of income. Thereafter, in the year 2011, efiling of income tax returns of assessees liable to tax audit was made mandatory. However, the assessees were still not required to furnish the tax audit reports. This is when cases of quoting fake membership numbers came to light. In order to find a remedy to fake audits conducted by unscrupulous people, the ICAI persistently followed up with the Government. As a result,the year 2013 witnessed a major change, requiring a chartered accountant to upload the tax audit report along with his digital signatures, which when digitally cross signed by the assessee will be considered to be furnished as per requirements of section 44AB.
Considering the fact that the responsibilities of chartered accountants has increased manifold vis-à-vis the scope of tax audit, the Direct Taxes Committee felt the need of bringing out this sixth edition of the Guidance
Note. Since 2005, when the last revision of the Guidance Note on Tax audit under section 44AB of the Income-tax Act, 1961 was done by the erstwhile Fiscal Laws Committee, various supplementary guidance have been issued from time to time. This revised sixth version of the Guidance Note has consolidated the guidance issued so far and more importantly has incorporated all the recent changes that have taken place in tax laws. With this revision, an effort was made to embrace all such changes including the requirements of mandatory e-filing of tax audit reports.