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July 13, 2022

Brief note on ‘e-proceedings’ and ‘Faceless Assessment’ for reference of concerned taxpayers

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Income Tax

Brief note on ‘e-proceedings’ and ‘Faceless Assessment’ for reference of concerned taxpayers

Note on ‘e-Proceedings’

  1. As a part of e-governance initiative, to facilitate conduct of assessment proceedings electronically, Income-tax Department has developed the ‘e-Proceedings’ facility. It is a simple way of communication between the Department and assessee in a hassle-free manner, through electronic means, without the necessity to visit Income-tax Office for conduct of assessment proceedings. This new facility is also environment friendly as assessment proceedings have now become paperless.
  2. In assessment proceedings through the ‘e-Proceedings’ functionality, there is a seamless flow of letters, notices, questionnaires, orders etc. from Assessing Officer to assessees’ e-Filing account. On receipt of Departmental communication, assessee is able to submit his response along with attachments, if any, by uploading the same on the e-Filing portal. The response submitted by the assessee is also viewed by the Assessing Officer electronically. Thus, besides saving precious time of the taxpayer, ‘e-Proceedings’ also provides a 24X7 anytime/anywhere convenient facility to submit response to the Departmental queries in course of assessment proceedings.
  3. In proceedings being carried out through the ‘e-Proceedings’ facility, assessee retains complete information of all e-submissions made during the course of assessment proceedings in his e-filing account, which is very useful for reference & record purposes.
  4. In cases under ‘e-Proceedings’, physical hearing/attendance may take place in following situation(s):
    1. where books of accounts have to be examined; or
    2. where provision of section 131 of Income-tax Act, 1961 has been invoked; or
    3.  where examination of witness is to be made by assessee or Assessing Officer; or
    4.  where a show-cause notice contemplating any adverse view is issued and assessee requests for personal hearing to explain the matter.
  5. The response to the notice, if any, is to be submitted to the Assessing Officer by the assessee through ‘e-Proceedings’ facility, as mentioned above.
  6. This taxpayer friendly measure has substantially reduced the compliance burden for assessees. The assessees who do not yet have an e-Filing account, are requested to get themselves registered by visiting the home page of website website website website website https://www.incometax.gov.in

Note on ‘Faceless-Assessment’

Faceless Assessment is a step forward towards bringing in an efficient and transparent tax regime in the country. The salient features of Faceless Assessment are as under:

  1. A National Faceless Assessment Centre (NaFAC) has been set up to facilitate the conduct of Faceless Assessment proceedings in a centralized manner.
  2. Further to facilitate the conduct of Faceless Assessment various Assessment Units, Verification Units, Technical Units, Review Units have been set-up.
  3. All communication with the assessee or any other person for the purpose of making faceless shall be made in electronic mode.
  4. An electronic record shall be authenticated by the NaFAC by sending it through electronic communication while an electronic record shall be authenticated by respective Units by their digital signature. An electronic record originated by the assessee or any other person shall be authenticated by affixing his digital signature if he is required under the rules to furnish his return of income under digital signature and in any other case affixing his digital signature or under electronic verification code.

Every notice, order or any other electronic communication shall be delivered to the assessee by way of –

a) Placing an authenticated copy thereof in the assessee’s registered account or

b) Sending an authenticated copy thereof to the registered e-mail address of the assessee or his authorized representative or

c) Uploading an authenticated copy on the assessee’s Mobile App and followed by a real time alert.

vi .The assessee shall file his response to any notice or order or any other electronic communication through his registered account on the e-filing website http://www.incometax.gov.in and once an acknowledgement is sent by the National Faceless Assessment Centre containing the hash result generated upon successful submission of response, the response shall be deemed to be authorized.

vii. A person is not required to appear before the Centre or any unit either personally or through authorized representative. Personal hearing, if required, shall be conducted through video conferencing or video telephony, to the extent technologically feasible, in following situation(s):

  1. In a case where a variation is proposed in the income or loss returned, the assessee or his authorized representative, as the case may be, may request for personal hearing on the e-filing portal http://www.incometax.gov.in so as to make his oral submissions or present his case before the income-tax authority of the relevant unit and the income-tax authority of the relevant unit shall allow such hearing.( Procedure for seeking of personal hearing is available at the end of this note.)
  2. Where any examination or recording of the statement of the assessee or any other person (other than statement recorded in the cause of survey under section 133A of the Act) is required.

viii. Pr.CCIT(NaFAC) may, at any stage of the assessment, if considered necessary, transfer the case to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over such case, with the prior approval of the Board.

For further details, please refer to Section 144B of the Act at www.incometaxindia.gov.in.

Procedure for seeking personal hearing

1. Seeking personal hearing through Video Conferencing

• Step 1: The Assessee shall Logon to the ‘e-Filing’ portal http://www.incometax.gov.in

• Step 2: The Assessee shall select “e-Proceeding” under “Pending Actions” menu. Proceeding details are classified under three tabs “Self”, “Of Other PAN/TAN” & “As Authorized Representative”. The Assessee can select applicable tab.

• Step 3: A screen showing details of proceedings such as proceeding name, assessment year, PAN, proceeding limitation date, proceeding closure date will appear.

• Step 4: The Assessee shall click on “View Notice” button of proceeding to view notice details. Additional proceeding details such as notice/communication reference id, notice section, notice description, document id, notice issue date, response due date, will be displayed.

• Step 5: The Assessee shall click on “Seek Video Conferencing” button against a particular notice. A new screen will open with details of notice. The Assessee shall select appropriate item from drop-down menu under the ‘Reason for seeking video conferencing’ field, enter details of the reason in the textbox and attach relevant document (if any).

• Step 6: The Assessee shall click on “Submit” button. A success message will be displayed confirming the submission of request.

2. Post approval of Video Conferencing Request by Faceless Assessment Unit

• ‘VC Scheduled’ letter shall be served on the email id of the Assessee available on records with Faceless Assessment Unit and the Assessee can also independently download ‘VC Scheduled’ letter from Income Tax e-Filing portal. ‘VC Scheduled’ letter will contain details of scheduled Date & time and Video conferencing URL.

• On the ‘Video Conferencing’ screen under e-Proceedings tab, the Assessee shall be able to see changed status as ‘Approved’ & VC Scheduled Date & Time.

• Video conferencing link shall also be shared by SMS and same will also be updated on e-filing portal.

3. Seeking adjournment of Video Conferencing Request

• Follow steps 1 to 4 of Seeking personal hearing through Video Conferencing

 • Step 5: The Assessee shall click on “Seek Video Conferencing” button against a specific notice. A new screen will open with details of earlier submitted request. The assessee shall click on ‘Seek Adjournment of video conferencing’ button.

• Step 6: The Assessee shall select ‘Reason for Seeking adjournment of Video Conferencing’ and enter relevant details and submit request.

• Once the adjournment request is approved by the Faceless Assessment Unit, new line item with Updated status, VC Scheduled Date & Time, Link along with other details be displayed in e-Filing portal under e-Proceedings tab.

Note:

• After successful conduct of personal hearing through Video Conferencing, Video conferencing Recording link will be available on e-Filing portal under e-Proceedings menu.

• Video conferencing adjournment can be sought only once for a notice and the same can be sought up to the VC Scheduled time or response due date, whichever is earlier.

Brief-note-on-‘e-proceedings-and-‘Faceless-Assessment-for-reference-of-concerned-taxpayers

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