INVENTORY VALUATION: AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES (INCOME TAX & COMPANIES ACT) Introduction: Inventory valuation is a critical process with profound implications for businesses of all sizes. This article explores the significance of inventory valuation under the Income Tax Act, focusing on the latest changes introduced in Section 142. It delves into the role of Cost Accountants (CMAs) and their connection with the Companies Act 2013. The Income Tax Act & Finance Act 2023: Under the Income Tax Act 1961, businesses are mandated to value inventory at the lower of cost or market value, aligning with Indian Accounting Standards-2. The Finance Act 2023 amended Section 142A, empowering Assessing Officers to direct inventory valuation by CMAs. This move aims to curb undervaluation tactics employed by some taxpayers. The Companies Act, 2013: The Companies Act 2013 imposes Cost Records and Cost Audit requirements on certain companies based on turnover and industry classification. This article provides a detailed breakdown of companies falling under regulated and non-regulated sectors, emphasizing the importance of maintaining cost records and undergoing cost audits. Key Points of Section 142(2A) Amendment: The amendment grants Assessing Officers the authority to direct inventory valuation by CMAs at any stage of proceedings. The section ensures the assessee’s opportunity to be heard before such directives are issued. The amendment is a strategic move to enhance accuracy, prevent tax evasion, and align inventory valuation with industry standards. For Taxpayers/Businesses: Emphasizes the importance of maintaining proper accounting records. Advocates for consistency in inventory valuation methods. Stresses the significance of Net Realizable Value (NRV) calculations. Highlights the need for proper disclosure during changes in valuation methods. Encourages the maintenance of relevant records for potential audits. For Cost Accountants (CMAs): Emphasizes adherence to Cost Accounting Standards. Stresses the importance of understanding the client’s inventory management system. Advocates for the use of actual costs in determining inventory value. Highlights the relevance of the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method. Encourages proper disclosure and disclaimer in valuation reports. For Chartered Accountants (CAs): Stresses the importance of checking the applicability of Cost Records and Audit rules. Highlights the need for consistency in inventory valuation between Cost Audit and Income Tax assessments. Advocates for proper disclosure in Audit reports regarding the method of inventory valuation. Encourages proactive checks for the applicability of Cost Records and Audit rules. Conclusion: The article concludes by reiterating the pivotal role accurate inventory valuation plays in financial statements and decision-making. It underscores the need for businesses and professionals to navigate the complexities of inventory valuation with diligence and compliance. Accurate valuation not only ensures financial health but also contributes to better decision-making, improved profitability, and regulatory compliance.