The announcement by the Government of India on 13th August 2020, of Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest, it is an extension of E-assessment scheme 2019 launched by Government of India in September 2019. The CBDT passed Notification No. 60 & 61/2020 along with an Order F.No. 187/3/2020 dated 13th August, 2020.

The objective of the platform is to achieve Faceless Assessment, Faceless Appeal and implement Taxpayer’s Charter. Whereas, Faceless Assessment and Taxpayer’s Charter is implemented with immediate effect, the Faceless Appeal will be effective from 25th September 2020.

The GOI substituted the word “E-assessment” introduced in Finance Act, 2018 with “Faceless assessment” in the law. In E-assessment the assessee will be aware of the assessing officer carrying out the assessment proceedings but in Faceless Assessment, the assessee will only deal with a team headed by National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC).

scissors cut taxes - Tax deductions

The Search Assessments u/s 153A & 153C is still not covered under Faceless Assessment Scheme.

1. Structure for Faceless Assessment:

For the purpose of faceless assessment, the CBDT shall set up certain ‘centres’ and ‘units’ and specify their respective jurisdiction:

Ø National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) – to facilitate and centrally control the assessment.

Ø Regional e-Assessment Centre (ReAC) – under the jurisdiction of the regional Principal Chief Commissioner for making assessment

Ø Assessment units (AU) – for identifying points or issues, analyzing information, and other functions.

Ø Verification units (VU) – for enquiry, cross verification, examination of books of accounts, witness and recording of statements, and such other functions.

Ø Technical units (TU) – for technical assistance including any assistance or advice on legal, accounting, forensic, information technology, valuation, audit, transfer pricing, data analytics, management or any other technical matter.

Ø Review units (RU) – for reviewing the draft assessment order to check whether the facts, relevant evidence and law and judicial decisions have been considered in the draft order.

2. Procedure for Faceless Assessment:

All the notices & final order will be passed by NeAC only. The NeAC will assign the case selected for the purposes of e-assessment to a specific ‘assessment unit’ in any one ReAC through an automated allocation system. Once a case is assigned to an assessment unit, it may make a request to the NeAC for:

a) Obtaining such further information, documents or evidence from the taxpayer, as it may specify

b) Conducting of certain enquiry or verification by verification unit; and

c) Seeking technical assistance from the technical unit

The procedure for e-assessment is notified through Income Tax Notification 60/2020.

3. Procedure for Appeal:

The E-appeal scheme is yet to be notified and is expected to be made effective from 25th of September 2020.

4. Procedure for Penalty:

In case of non-compliance of any notice, direction or order issued under this scheme on the part of the taxpayer or any other person, any unit will send recommendation for initiation of any penalty proceedings to the NeAC. It will serve a notice calling for taxpayer’s response. Draft order will be prepared by the unit and the final order will be passed by NeAC.

5. Taxpayers’ Charter:

The ‘taxpayers’ charter’ is a significant step towards assuring the taxpayer of fair, courteous and rational behavior from the tax officials. A path breaking reform, the tax department is now committed to provide all facilities required to honour and make the lives of honest taxpayers easy, such as fairness, privacy, timely decisions, confidentiality and accountability.

The taxpayers’ charter also expects taxpayers to be honest, compliant, timely and aware.

Emphasis is on making every law and policy People Centric and Public Friendly rather than Power Centric

PM Shri Narendra Modi

Disclaimer: – The information compiled are my personal observation and Interpretation of the notification. The author disclaim any liability in connection with use of this information.

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October 2021