Income Tax Department hopes to finalize all faceless e-Assessments by mid-September.
3.130 tax officers, including 600 Income Tax officers, are engaged in the operation of the Faceless Income Tax Assessment Scheme. Of the 58,319 cases selected for faceless assessment, 8,700 cases have already been disposed of.
The system, 1st announced by FM Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the 2019 budget speech, is seen as a significant leap towards transparent tax administration.
In October 2019, the IT Department launched a faceless e-assessment system that removes the physical interaction between the assessor and the assessee. The system includes eight cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Pune. Shri Gupta said that the cases of faceless e-assessment involve a mix of returns filed by individuals, firms, MSME, and large corporations.
The National E-Assessment Center in Delhi is the sole person responsible for the taxpayer as well as for all assessment units. It is the NEC that issues notifications under Section 143(2) to the assessee for which the assessee is expected to respond within fifteen days of receipt of the notification. Upon publication of a notice, NEC assigns the case to any evaluation unit via an automated allocation system, ensuring anonymity.
The traditional method of auditing required a high degree of personal contact between taxpayers and officials of the Tax Department. Under the faceless e-assessment scheme, the taxpayer does not know by whom his or her return is being assessed or in which city. "Anonymity and lack of a human interface will go a long way towards addressing the issue of harassment as well as alleviating instances of corruption," added Shri Gupta. "We brought it dynamic jurisdiction instead of territorial jurisdiction," he said.
Central Board of Direct Taxation issued Order under section 119 of the Income Tax Act of 13 August 2020 directs that all assessment orders be subsequently issued by the National E-Assessment Center through the Faceless Assessment Scheme of 2019. Except for in 2 situations:
Assessment orders for cases assigned to central charges.
Assessment orders for cases assigned to Overseas Taxation Charges.
Any order of assessment that is not in accordance with the foregoing shall be considered as non-est and shall be deemed never been passed.
You can view the Press Release at https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1643289