INCOME TAX DEPARTMENT PLANS TO COMPLETE ALL THE FACELESS E-ASSESSMENT BY MID-SEPTEMBER 2020
The faceless income tax assessment scheme of the income tax department was announced by the finance minister in the 2019 budget.
It is being seen as a big step towards the establishment of a transparent tax system in India. Currently, 3,130 tax professionals are into the implementation of a faceless e-assessment scheme. The total number of cases selected for faceless assessment is 58,319.
Out of these 58,319 cases; 8,700 cases have been disposed of by the tax team till now. In order to speed up the proceedings, the income tax department is planning to complete all the pending faceless e-assessment cases by mid-September, 2020.
Shri S K Gupta, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that “This is the first time that we are doing the faceless e-assessment. The work has started since July, after having addressed all the issues and concerns related to infrastructure, manpower, hardware, and software.
Our target is to finish and close all the cases by mid-September”
What is Faceless e-assessment scheme
This scheme eliminates the need for physical interaction in the tax assessment procedure. There is no physical interaction between an assessing officer and an assesses in the faceless e-assessment. Currently, eight cities are covered under the ambit of the scheme. These cities are
As stated by Mr. Gupta, a faceless assessment system mainly takes up cases of the income tax return filed by individuals, businesses, MSME entities, and big companies also.
How this system functions
The National e-assessment Centre (NEC) is the core of this scheme. It is situated in Delhi and is the single point of contact for both the taxpayer as well as the income tax assessing units. NEC issues notice to the taxpayers under section 143(2).
Assesses are required to file their replies to such notices within a time period of 15 days from the receipt of the notice. NEC allocates the cases through an automated allocation system. NEC ensures complete anonymity during the allocation process.
Conventional assessment vs Faceless e-assessment
The conventional system involved a personal interaction between the taxpayer and the income tax department officials. But this is not the case with the faceless e-assessment system.
The taxpayer has no idea that which income tax official is assessing his case as the case is allocated through an automated allocation system.
Shri Gupta said, “The anonymity and the absence of human interface will go a long way in resolving the issue of harassment as well as restraint chances of corruption”.
“Instead of territorial jurisdiction, we have brought it dynamic jurisdiction” he also added.
A faceless e-assessment scheme is a revolutionary step for making the income tax system transparent. The department is leaving no stone unturned to make this system successful. They are speeding up the assessment process and are hoping to complete all the pending assessment by mid-September of this year.
Edited by Minu Mishra
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