Income Tax Act, 1961
Section 288. APPEARANCE BY AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVE.
(1) 2252 Any assessee who is entitled or required to attend before any income-tax authority or the Appellate Tribunal in connection with any proceeding under this Act otherwise than when required under section 131 to attend personally for examination on oath or affirmation, may, subject to the other provisions of this section, attend by an authorised representative.
(2) For the purposes of this section, “authorised representative” means a person authorised by the assessee in writing to appear on his behalf, being –
(i) A person related to the assessee in any manner, or a person regularly employed by the assessee; or
(ii) Any officer of a Scheduled Bank with which the assessee maintains a current account or has other regular dealings; or
(iii) Any legal practitioner who is entitled to practise in any civil court in India; or
(iv) An accountant; or
(v) Any person who has passed any accountancy examination recognised in this behalf by the Board; or
(vi) Any person who has acquired such educational qualifications as the Board may prescribe for this purpose; or
(via) Any person who, before the coming into force of this Act in the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman and Diu, or Pondicherry, attended before an income-tax authority in the said territory on behalf of any assessee otherwise than in the capacity of an employee or relative of that assessee; or
(vii) Any other person who, immediately before the commencement of this Act, was an income-tax practitioner within the meaning of clause (iv) of sub-section (2) of section 61 of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922 (11 of 1922), and was actually practising as such.
Explanation : In this section, “accountant” means a chartered accountant 2254 within the meaning of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949), and includes, in relation to any State, any person who by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 226 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956), is entitled to be appointed to act as an auditor of companies registered in that State.
(4) No person – (a) Who has been dismissed or removed from Government service after the 1st day of April, 1938; or
(b) Who has been convicted of an offence connected with any income-tax proceeding or on whom a penalty has been imposed under this Act, other than a penalty imposed on him under clause (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 271; or
(c) Who has become an insolvent, shall be qualified to represent an assessee under sub-section (1), for all times in the case of a person referred to in sub-clause (a), for such time as the Chief Commissioner or Commissioner may by order determine in the case of a person referred to in sub-clause (b), and for the period during which the insolvency continues in the case of a person referred to in sub-clause (c).
(5) If any person – (a) Who is a legal practitioner or an accountant is found guilty of misconduct in his professional capacity by any authority entitled to institute disciplinary proceedings against him, an order passed by that authority shall have effect in relation to his right to attend before an income-tax authority as it has in relation to his right to practise as a legal practitioner or accountant, as the case may be;
(b) Who is not a legal practitioner or an accountant, is found guilty of misconduct in connection with any income-tax proceedings by the prescribed authority, the prescribed authority may direct that he shall henceforth be disqualified to represent as assessee under sub-section (1).
(6) Any order or direction under clause (b) of sub-section (4) or clause (b) of sub-section (5) shall be subject to the following conditions, namely :-
(a) No such order or direction shall be made in respect of any person unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard;
(b) Any person against whom any such order or direction is made may, within one month of the making of the order or direction, appeal to the Board to have the order or direction cancelled; and
(c) No such order or direction shall take effect until the expiration of one month from the making thereof, or, where an appeal has been preferred, until the disposal of the appeal.
(7) A person disqualified to represent an assessee by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 61 of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922 (11 of 1922), shall be disqualified to represent an assessee under sub-section (1).