What is Representative Assessee, It’s Definition, Responsibilities, Rights and How to Appoint?

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An assessee is a taxpayer who is responsible for paying tax to the government. Let us discuss the meaning and role of a representative assessee in this post.

Section 2(7) of the Income Tax defines the term assessee. An Assessee is termed as a taxpayer or a person who is responsible for paying a particular sum of money to the government as tax. There are seven categories of persons and four types of assesses in income tax, such as Normal assessee, Representative assessee, Deemed assessee and Assessee in default.

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What is Representative Assessee?

Section 160 of Income Tax states the representative assessee meaning. As per the section, an agent of the non-resident Indian as per section 9(1) of ITA and he who is considered an agent under income tax section 163 is regarded as a representative assessee. So, the representative assessee can be the legal guardian of a lunatic or minor person and he/she receives income receipt on behalf of that person.

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Attributes of Representative Assessee

A representative assessee is the person who is appointed by the principal assessee and the person is subject to the revenue for which he/she is appointed. The process of levying, recovering and recollecting tax liability from the representative assessee is similar as that of the principal assessee.

Here, it is crucial to note that although tax is received in favour of the representative assessee, the person is still subjected to all the obligation, liability, and duties. However, to reduce his liability, the representative assessee may obtain a certificate from the tax officer detailing the duties that are due on the representative taxpayer. Moreover, the role and responsibilities of the representative and the principal assessee are the same. But the representative assessee can appeal against the decision of the assessing officer in the court.

How To Appoint a Representative Assessee?

If a taxpayer fails to file his ITR for a financial year, the person is allowed to appoint an assessee to act on his/her behalf as a representative taxpayer. The below steps can be taken to complete the procedure of appointing a representative assessee:

  • The first step is to go to the official website of the Income Tax at https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in
  • Once in the website, you can click on the button of ‘login here’ in the home page of the portal. Here, you can enter details like date of birth, user ID, password as well as captcha code as seen in the page
  • Once the user login to the portal of IT department, the user can click on the button of ‘my account’ and choose the option of ‘add/register representative’
  • Now, click on the new request under the request type and select the ‘add another individual to represent on your behalf’ option
  • Click to proceed
  • Here, the user has to choose a reason from among three displayed on the screen
  • The user has to fill the representative details and click on the enter button
  • Now, the user can enter the PIN which is sent to his registered email or mobile number and click to validate
  • An alert notification is sent to the representative of the assessee via mobile number and email to inform the person

Responsibilities of Representative Assessee

Here are some duties performed by the representative assessee:

  • The representative assessee is responsible to file income tax returns within the stipulated time on a yearly basis
  • In case of non-filing of IT returns the representative assessee has to answer the notice sent by the income tax department
  • The representative assessee is obliged to file the tax returns as soon as the person receives the notice from the IT department (if the tax return is not filed)
  • In such case, the assessee is supposed to show the details of income tax return within a month of the notice issuance date from the IT department
  • You must note that the assessee cannot produce details after 30 days of getting the notice from the IT department. He has to take immediate action about the notice as soon as it is issued from the IT department

Rights of Representative Assessee

Here are some rights that a representative assessee is delegated with:

  • The representative assessee can recover the tax paid in advance by the principal assessee. So, the representative assessee can recover the tax on behalf of the principal assessee in case the amount already paid is more than what is required to be paid
  • In case there is a disagreement between the principal and representative assessee for amount withholding, the representative assessee can seek for a final settlement via a certificate from the assessing officer
  • The representative taxpayer can appeal against the assessing officer’s order

Representative Assessee Meaning in PAN Card

The representative assessee connotes the same meaning in the PAN card. Here also, a representative assessee is referred to an individual who is sanctioned to act on behalf of the principal assessee for filing income tax returns. For instance, in the case of a minor or a lunatic person, the representative taxpayer could be a parent or legal guardian who could act as an agent of an NRI.

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In Conclusion

It is obligatory for a representative assessee to pay the income tax during every financial year on behalf of the principal assessee. They are mainly appointed in case of non-residents individuals or maybe a minor or lunatic person. However, if due to any unavoidable circumstances they cannot file their income tax returns, their agent/parent/legal guardian etc., shall file tax returns on their behalf to comply with the income tax act.

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FAQs: What is Representative Assessee?

Under which section of income tax is the representative assessee defined?

Section 160 of the Income Tax Act of 1961 defines representative assessee. A representative taxpayer is also defined under courts, tribunals and various judgments in India.

A representative assessee can be authorized by who and to whom?

~ If an individual is not in India, he/she may authorize a resident person as representative assessee
~ Also, a non-resident Indian can appoint a resident agent as an assessee
~ An individual can authorize a resident person as an assessee for any other reason
~ Further, a non-resident company can authorize a resident individual as an assessee
~ Also, a non-resident body/firm like AOP (Association of Persons) or BOI (Body of Individuals) under section 163 may authorize a resident agent or person as an assessee

Are there any differences between principal and representative assessee?

The key difference between a principal assessee and a representative assessee is that a representative assessee discharges his duties on behalf of the principal assessee, who is the real assessee. While filing an income tax return, the principal assessee authorized the representative assessee who pays income tax on behalf of the principal assessee.

Who is a principal assessee?

Anyone from the below can be a principal assessee:
~ A lunatic/minor person
~ A non-resident person
~ A non-resident firm, LLP, AOP, BOI
~ A deceased person
~ A non-resident Company

What do you mean by assessee?

An assessee is a person who pays tax or a sum of money under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

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Jun 27, 2023
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