From time to time ICAI issues Guidance Note on Tax Audit after amending for changes in applicable laws so as to cater to the need of updating the knowledge and enhancing the professional competencies of the members of the CA fraternity.
In view of substantial changes made by CBDT in 2014 in the formats of tax audit report, the ICAI has issued the Revised edition 2014 of Guidance Note on Tax Audit, which has not been substituted with any subsequent edition so far and is applicable for AY 2018-19 also.
However, on 20 July 2018, the CBDT has notified another set of significant changes in Form 3CD applicable from 20 Aug. 2018 for which ICAI has submitted a representation to be make such changes applicable from next year on various grounds. Also the ICAI is in the process to issue the fresh/ ‘revised edition 2018 of Guidance Note on Tax Audit,’ incorporating the above referred changes in 3CD.
First edition of the Guidance Note on Tax Audit was published by the ICAI in 1985 after the introduction of tax audit provisions. In order to incorporate changes made by the amendments to the Finance Acts, as well as judicial pronouncements, circulars etc., the ICAI has revised its Guidance Note on Tax Audit from time to time, i.e. in the years 1989, 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2014. The revisions in Guidance Note on Tax Audit of ICAI were mainly triggered by certain significant amendments as follows:
(a) Introduction of Forms 3CA, 3CB and 3CD in 1999 while omitting Form 3CC and 3CE.
(b) Revision of Forms 3CA, 3CB and 3CD in 2004.
(c) Revision of Form 3CD in 2006
(d) Revision of Form 3CD again in 2014 vide Notification No. 33/2014 dt 25 July, 2014.
The ICAI’s Guidance Note on Tax Audit Report comprehensively covers items of Form 3CD in specific for reporting under S.44AB and items of Form 6B in general for reporting under S.142(2A). Besides, the ICAI has published separate Guidance Notes for audit of Public Charitable Institutions under S.12A(b), Report under S.92E of the Act, Report under S.115JB of the Act and Report under S.115JC of the Income Tax Act.
In view of no further amendments in the guidance note on tax audit report, after last revision by ICAI in 2014, the same is to be used as guidance note for tax audits pertaining to AY 2016-17 also till any changes are notified therein by the ICAI.