I. Background

The existing system of scrutiny assessments in the Income-tax Department involves a high level of personal interaction between the taxpayer and the Department, which leads to certain undesirable practices on the part of tax officials. To eliminate such instances, and to give shape to the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, a scheme of faceless assessment in electronic mode involving no human interface was initiated in July 2019 by the finance minister in the budget speech.

Central government had introduced scheme vide Notification no. 61/2019 Dated 12th September 2019 and the scheme was called as the E-assessment Scheme, 2019. For the purpose of giving effect of such scheme central government came out with a notification to give directions vide notification no. 62/2019.

The Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman in her 2020-21 Budget speech had said “wealth creators will be respected in this country“.

On 13th August 2020, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the platform for “Transparent Taxation – Honouring the honest”. On the same date central government came up with amendments in E-assessment scheme, 2019 vide notification No. 60/2020-Income Tax.

II. Features of “Transparent taxation – Honouring the honest”

A. Tax payers Charter:

A new section 119A is introduced via Finance Act 2020 to empower the Board to adopt and declare a Taxpayer’s Charter and issue such orders, instructions, directions or guidelines to other income-tax authorities as it may deem fit for the administration of Charter. Highlights of Charter are as follow:

  • Authorities will be accountable for their actions
  • Treat taxpayers as honest unless there is a reason to believe otherwise
  • Bars the tax officers from disclosing taxpayer information unless authorised by law and also respect privacy of taxpayer.
  • Fair and impartial appeal and review mechanism.
  • Periodically publish standards for service delivery and provide a fair and just system to resolve tax issues in a time-bound manner.
  • To allow every taxpayer to choose an authorised representative of his choice and provide mechanism for lodging a complain, and its prompt disposal.

On the other hand expectation from tax payers are

  • To honestly disclose full information and fulfill his compliance obligations
  • Taxpayer is expected to be aware of his compliance obligations under tax law and seek help of the department, if needed
  • The taxpayer is expected to keep accurate records, respond in timely manner and know what information and submissions are made by his authorised representative. Taxpayer is expected to pay amount due as per law in timely manner.

B. Procedure of Faceless Assessment.

Faceless Assessment ( A path to transparent taxation)

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Qualification: CA in Practice
Company: Wadhwa & Shah
Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, IN
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June 2021