Platform for Transparent Taxation and faceless appeals launched by PM Modi – Government of India on August 13, 2020:

With the noble motive to honour the honest taxpayers and facilitate faceless assessments & appeals, PM Narendra Modi launched a platform for ‘Transparent Taxation’. Needless to mention this shall also expedite the refund process. This is a landmark decision in the Indian history, though implementation of the same will encounter some challenges and impediments in the initial phase. The journey of implementing tax reforms by the government continues even post implementation of GST with the launch of this platform. This reinforces government’s reform of tax simplification and a move towards advancement by exploiting the technology. Effective date September 25, 2020. 

Appealing features of Transparent Taxation platform:

Transparent Taxation platform - Appealing features

*Taxpayer charter comes with responsibilities for taxpayers too! 

Table 1 – Revised monetary limit of faceless appeals:

(INR in lacs)

Sr. No Authority Previous limit Revised limit
1.             ITAT 20 50
2.             High Court 50 100
3.             Supreme Court 100 200

 The only exceptions to the above have been noted below:

  • Serious fraud
  • Major tax evasion,
  • Sensitive & search matters
  • International tax
  • Black Money Act & Benami Property

Brief overview on the functioning of the Transparent Taxation platform:

Last year the government had launched this scheme as a pilot programme. Pursuant to this, notices were being received under the “e-proceedings”. Pilot programme turned out to be successful.

With the introduction of a transparent taxation platform, the need to build relationships with taxpayer and tax offices has been eliminated. Needless to mention this reduces the interface between the Assessing officer and Assessee. Currently, scrutiny notices, surveys, etc. are handled / managed by the officer of the respective city but this shall no longer prevail. With this system in place, selection of assessment will be determined by artificial intelligence. Also, end to end finalization of assessment order will be without any personal interaction. This means that the order may be drafted in 1st city, reviewed in 2nd city and finalized in 3rd city. Artificial intelligence shall randomly decide who gets to handle the tax cases which means a Noida officer may be handling an assessment of an Assessee located at Kerala’s. Though the operating effectiveness of the platform enshrines taxpayers’ interests and facilitates refund processing, assessments and appeals, the only concern for taxpayer here is passing of non-speaking orders without considering the assessee’s representation. This shall be unveiled with time!

Attractive tax rate accompanied by the simplified compliance will lure the global / foreign investors and instil their confidence to invest in India specifically in the post Covid-19 era. Incessant moves by the government to simply tax structure in India (implementation of GST i.e. uniform tax across India, reduction in corporate tax rates, new tax regime for individuals and transparent tax platform) reflects clear intent of the government to not act like a band-aid on a festering wound, but fetch in a structural solution.

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