Faceless E-Assessment scheme is a right step towards Minimum Government, Maximum Governance and the foundation stone for a transparent tax system. This is how Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Mumbai, Shri Patanjali Jha summarizes the new platform of Income Tax Department.
He added that providing Ease of Tax Compliance and Opportunity to taxpayers before finalizing of Assessment Order are the core features of this scheme, while speaking at a webinar on ‘Faceless Assessment, Appeals & Taxpayer’s Charter’ jointly organized by the IMC Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Making a comparison between the faceless assessment system and the current system it replaces, the Principal Chief Commissioner explained how the new system is one designed for the 21st century. “There is no discretion in selection of assessment cases, while earlier, case selection used to happen manually.
In place of single territorial jurisdiction, we now have automated random allocation of cases. While notices used to be issued both manually and on the system, issue of notices will now be done through a central mechanism (by NeAC) in electronic mode.
There will be no physical meeting with any officer, no officer will call you to office and no more waiting outside office”, explained Shri Jha. He also noted, wide discretion and subjective assessment are being replaced by team-based assessment and a system wherein draft order is issued in one city, review is done in another city and finalization is done in yet another city, said the Principal Chief Commissioner.
This apart, the scheme gives opportunity to taxpayers, in case of any order prejudicial before finalizing the Assessment order.
The Principal Chief Commissioner urged all taxpayers to visit the e-filing portal to understand how easy it is to use the platform from where all issues with the Department can be resolved easily. “On our part we expect you to understand and try to adapt; We will also provide suitable infrastructure facilities and ensure tax compliance is easy for tax payers”, stated Shri Jha
A National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) and a network of Regional e-Assessment Centres will be set up to implement the Faceless Assessment Scheme of the Income Tax Department, launched nation-wide by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 13th August, 2020.
The regional assessment network would comprise assessment units, verification units, technical units and review units. The system allows for dynamic jurisdiction, team-based working, and functional specialization and does away with human interface altogether.
The Chief Commissioner of Income-Tax (ReAC) Mumbai, Smt. Lekha Kumar and Principal Commissioner of Income-Tax, Mumbai, Shri. Kaushal Shrivastava also addressed the participants and responded to their queries.
Faceless Assessment Scheme was rolled out in the Income Tax Department as a pilot project in September, 2019. Initially, a limited number of cases were picked up for faceless assessment which was being done at eight centres in the country.
The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi announced the extension of the scheme to the entire department on 13th August 2020. The scheme is also being extended to the first appellate authority i.e. Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) from 25th September, 2020.