THE CBDT has devised a scheme for improving quality of assessments to be implemented from calendar year 2010 onwards.
(i) At the beginning of each calendar year i.e. in the month of January, the Range Head in consultation with the concerned Assessing Officer would identify at least 5 pending time-barring assessment cases in respect of each Assessing Officer of his Range for monitoring. These should normally include cases taken up for scrutiny with the permission of CCIT. The selection should be done jointly by the Range Head and the concerned Assessing Officer. Cases of PSUs and loss-making concerns should normally not be identified for this purpose. This exercise should also include those Ranges which are held as additional charge by a Range Head in January.
(ii) The Range Head would issue directions u/s 144A in the identified cases for the guidance of the Assessing Officer regarding the course of investigation to enable him to complete these assessments in a proper manner. This should be done at the earliest available opportunity so as to allow the Assessing Officer to have sufficient time to complete the assessment proceedings.
(iii) On completion of the assessment the Assessing Officer shall send a copy of the assessment order to the Range Head and the CIT.
(iv) In the event of a Range Head holding more than one Range the concerned CCIT may appropriately relax the requirement for issue of directions under section144A in respect of the cases of the Range(s) held as additional charge.
(v) A quality assessment would be one in which issues arising for consideration are clearly identified, investigation of basic facts in respect of these issues is carried out, adequate opportunity to rebut adverse evidence is given to the assessee, the rival evidence are suitably analysed and evaluated in the light of correct interpretation of law, and these efforts result in substantial addition to the returned Income. The benchmark for the quantum of addition to the returned income, which may qualify for being a quality assessment, may be decided by the concerned CCIT depending upon the potential of the given Range/Charge. Normally, this should not be less than Rs.5 lakh excluding additions on account of recurring issues.
(vi) As regards the remaining scrutiny assessments, it is expected that 30% of assessments completed by the Range Head, 20% of the remaining scrutiny assessments completed by DC/ACIT and 10% by ITOs will result in quality assessments. These benchmarks can be reviewed once the scheme has been in operation for some time.
(vii) The parameters for determining whether an assessment is a quality assessment should be decided by the concerned Chief Commissioner in the light of the above and should be widely circulated at the beginning of the calendar year i.e. in the month of January of every year.
(viii) At the end of the financial year, the data regarding assessments completed by Assessing Officers of the CCIT Region shall be got evaluated by the concerned CCIT in the month of next April according to the parameters decided earlier. The overall results will be tabulated and circulated in the CCIT (CCA) Region for information. Separate performance ranking should be done for Range Heads in respect of cases completed by them u/s 143(3) out of the cases selected under Instruction 4 of 2007 dated 16.5.2007, and those monitored by them under this instruction.
(ix) CCsIT may also devise methods for commending good performance of Assessing Officers in the area of quality assessments and reflecting the same in the annual appraisals. Important cases involving large successful additions may be reported to the Board in monthly D.O. letters. These can also be sent to DTI (RSP&PR) for inclusion in the Annual Report of good assessment cases.