Opinion | Faceless Assessment – towards realizing vision of ease of business

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On 13 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the implementation of faceless assessments with immediate effect and faceless appeals from 25 September. These announcements and initiatives were made towards accomplishing the vision of ease of doing business in India.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This new scheme of assessment will represent a dramatic shift in the functioning of Income Tax Department. Further, to enlarge the scope of this, the government introduced the scheme of faceless appeals in the Finance Budget, 2020.

How is it a faceless scheme and how will it benefit tax payers?

The assessment will be finalized using online mechanism, so there is no need for physical presence. Further, this scheme is designed in such a manner that both taxpayer as well as the assessing officer does not know the identity of each other.

Since there is no need for physical presence, it will save time as well as cost of the tax payer. It will also help curb unethical practices from the system.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

How the scheme works?

NEC is responsible for issuing notice to the taxpayer for assessment, specifying the reason for selection of his case for assessment. On receipt of the notice, the taxpayer may file his response to NEC.

The NEC will assign the selected case to a specific assessment unit through automated allocation method and on the receipt of the case by assessment unit, it may request NEC for any additional information from the taxpayer, or conduct an enquiry and/or verification or request for technical assistant from the technical unit.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Upon receipt of draft assessment order, NEC shall review the same. Upon his satisfaction, NEC shall issue the demand/refund order to the taxpayer or issue a show cause notice to taxpayer calling upon him to show cause as to why the assessment should not be completed as per the draft assessment order. Further, if NEC is not satisfied with the draft order of assessment unit, they may assign the draft assessment order to the review unit for conducting review of such order.

Upon receipt of draft order from NEC, the review unit may either agree with the draft assessment order or suggest modification to the NEC and the same shall be communicated by the NEC to the assessment unit.

The assessment unit after considering the suggestions of review unit, will send a final draft assessment order to NEC.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Conclusion:

The shift is an attempt to honour the honest with an objective to strengthen the government’s direct tax reforms. The tax department’s way of dealing with tax payers is considered an unpleasant one. These changes in the tax filing process point to a shift in the focus of the government from considering the department from a revenue needs to thinking of it as one supposed to serve the taxpayer. Faceless e-assessments have been introduced to ease evaluation system. The move will do away with physical interface to remove unethical practices. Faceless e-assessments will eventually benefit honest tax filers.[/vc_column_text][vc_wp_posts number=”10″][/vc_column][/vc_row]