Income Tax- Faceless e-Assessment Scheme
To bring relief to honest tax payers, this system is introduced by our Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi Ji.
PM, in his speech on August 13, 2020, unveiled “Transparent Taxation – Honouring the honest” platform for faceless assessment, appeal, and taxpayer charter.
In the current assessment scheme, the tax department & officials may harass the honest tax payers, but is case of faceless assessment it will not be there.
Taxpayer charter – expectation from Tax Department:
To provide fair, courteous and reasonable treatment to taxpayer
Treat Taxpayer as honest unless there is reasonable reason the believe otherwise
To prepare and provide fair and impartial review mechanism
Department shall provide complete and accurate information to taxpayers for fulfilling compliance obligations under law
To provide timely decision in every proceedings with in time prescribed.
To collect the correct amount of tax due as per law.
To respect the privacy of taxpayers
To maintain confidentiality, not to share with anyone unless authorised under law.
To hold its authorities accountable for their actions
To enable representatives of their choice
To provide mechanism to lodge the complaint
To provide fair and just system.
To provide service standards and report periodically
To reduce cost of compliances when administering tax litigation
Taxpayer charter – expectation from Tax Payers:
Be honest and disclose full information
Be informed about your compliance obligations under tax laws and seek help from department if needed
Keep accurate records required as per law
Know what representative do on your behalf and what reply is being submitted
Respond in time as per the notice received
Structure of faceless e-assessment:
All above will be through National e-assessment centres.
Recently Central Board of Direct Taxes has announced 30 evaluation centres across 20 Cities.
The e-assessment scheme involved jurisdictional assessing officer issuing notices through an on-line portal and assesses are required to reply on the portal.
Cases will be reviewed by National e-assessment centre (NeAc). Tax payers will not have information about the assessing officer.
The Tax Payer should be careful and update their contact details to enable them to receive notices in time.
Issues having complex nature need to be properly replied to get it in proper understanding to assessing officer to avoid unwanted additions in the taxable income.
A Central computer will pick up the tax returns for scrutiny based on risk parameters and mismatch. Allot them randomly to a team of officers. It is reviewed by officers sitting at another remote location and only if concurred, a notice is sent to tax payer by centralized computer system.
Further it will be allocated to regional centres and then to Assessment Units.
The Tax payers has to respond in the time period given in the notice.
In case tax payer does not file the reply in the given or extended time frame, the assessment will completed on best judgement basis.
Assessment unit will submit the draft assessment order along with penalty proceedings if any to National e-assessment centre, who in turn forward to review unit after that finalise it.
The allocation of cases by NeAc will be on automated and randomised basis.
It will eliminate the human interfaces.
Communications will be sent through online viz E-mails, SMS etc. No need to contact any Income Tax Officer / Tax Professionals. Tax payer can reply even by sitting at home.
Appeal against the assessment order/ penalty order can be filed with jurisdictional Commissioner –Appeal.
All the communications between e-Assessment centre and tax payer will be in electronic form and will be available in record. Notices, replies, submissions will be available in electronic mode.
On special request from tax payers, the oral or personal hearing will be made through video conferencing mode as per the procedure laid down by Central Board of Direct Taxes.
This is very good step taken by Government towards lessening the corruption in the Income Tax Department. It will boost investment in India.