Finance Minister Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her 2019 budget speech about the faceless assessment scheme which was seen as a big leap towards transparent tax administration. Therefore around 3,130 tax personnel that includes 600 IT officers are busy working to implement the Faceless e-Assessment scheme of Income Tax. Out of 58,319 cases selected for faceless assessment, already 8,700 cases are completed.
Shri S K Gupta, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and Member of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said, “This is the first time that we are doing the faceless e-assessment. The work has picked up since July, after having addressed all the issues related to infrastructure, manpower, hardware and software. Our target is to finish all the cases by mid-September.”
Mr. Gupta further stated about the cases that are taken up for faceless e-assessment include a mix of returns filed by individuals, businesses, MSME as well as big companies.
In October 2019 the I.T. department adopted the faceless e-assessment scheme which tries to eliminate the physical interface between an assessing officer and an assessee. Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune are the eight cities that are covered under this scheme.
All the taxpayers are contacting to the National e-Assessment Centre (NEC) in Delhi for the e-assessment. The NEC only issues the notices under Section 143(2) to the assessee for which the assessee is required to respond within 15 days of receipt of the notice. After the notice is issued NEC will allocate the case to any of its Assessment Unit with the help of an automated allocation system which ensures the identity of the persons to remain anonymous.
The Principal Chief Commissioner said, “The anonymity and the absence of human interface will go a long way in addressing the issue of harassment as well as curb instances of corruption,” and he also added, “Instead of territorial jurisdiction, we have brought it dynamic jurisdiction”.
Because of this faceless e-assessment system, the taxpayer would not know by whom his /her return is being assessed or in which city, and also the high level of personal interaction between the taxpayer and the Income Tax Department officials will be maintained which is very important in the scrutiny assessment system.
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