The CBDT on 12th September 2019, notified the much talked about e-assessment procedure vide Notification no. 61/2019. The stakes were high, as it was expected to reduce the red-tapism in the country, during an assessment proceeding. This notification was quickly followed up by another notification vide 62/2019, giving effect to the Income Tax E-Assessment Scheme, 2019.
This article attempts to cover both these notifications and provides the reader with a bird’s eye view of the E-assessment scheme.
The Process of Assessment
Similar to how there is Centralized Processing Centers at Ghaziabhad and Bengaluru, National E-assessment center, Regional E-assessment Centres, assessment units, verification units, technical units and review units shall be set up to facilitate the conduct of e-assessment. All these centers have been assigned their role-play in the Notification.
Process Flow Diagram (A):
Process Flow Diagram (B):
Other Aspects of E-Assessment
Powers of Jurisdictional Assessing Officer:
Once the file has been handed over to the Assessing officer, he would have powers only for the following:
Understanding the fine print
The complete assessment till the finalization of 143(3) shall be on an electronic mode without any face to face interaction. This is expected to reduce the large scale redtapism and the nexus between the AO and the assessee.
The new process has resulted into geographical dissection of the assessment proceeding, thus curbing the chance of even a nexus between the assessment unit and the jurisdictional assessment officer.(At least that is what is expected!).
The idea of video conference is exciting as this would be the first ever application in India and if this succeeds, one can even expect the same in GST as well.
The scheme has proposed the time limit (15 days) within which an assessee has to respond to a notice u/s 143(2). It is surprising that the time limit which was not present in 143(2) has been imposed by way of notification issued through 143(3A).
Though the scheme clarifies where the appeal would lie, the problem would be faced by the Department. As the e-assessment shall take place with someone else and the file would reach the jurisdictional AO only after completion of assessment, the jurisdictional AO and Commissioner would have to be on their toes to read the file and be prepared for the appeal.
Generally, an assessment would involve a submissions comprising 300+ printed pages. Huge work load would be expected as the same would have to be converted into digital format. Technical glitches from the Information Technology side can also be expected and investments in servers would be required to keep huge amount of data.
One has to ensure that following precautions are taken:
However, the above move of the Government is one of the first steps in right direction in easing assessment procedures and cleansing the bureaucracy.
|Directions for giving effect to Income Tax E-assessment Scheme, 2019||Notification No. 62/2019- Income Tax||12/09/2019|
|CBDT notifies Income Tax E-assessment Scheme, 2019||Notification No. 61/2019- Income Tax||12/09/2019|