The plan was first introduced in the Union Budget 2019 by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. From 13 August 2020, the e-assessment scheme of 2019 stands amended and hence known as Faceless assessment scheme. The faceless assessment scheme applies to scrutiny assessment and best judgment assessment.
SOLEMNLY SEEKING FOR
Existing system of scrutiny assessments in the Income Tax Department involves a high level of personal interaction between the taxpayer and the department, which leads to certain undesirable practices on the part of tax officials.
The aim of this scheme is to eliminate the face-to-face interactions between taxpayers and Income Tax Department officers.
- Selection of a tax payer only through system using data analytics and AI i.e. A central computer picks up tax returns for scrutiny based on risk parameters and mismatch and then allots them randomly to a team of officers.
- Abolition of territorial jurisdiction which means a tax payer may belong to one city but the ITR may be assessed in some other city through random selection by computer.
- Central issuance of notices with Document Identification Number.
- This allocation is reviewed by officers at another randomly selected location and only if concurred, a notice is sent by the centralized computer system. All such notices need to be responded electronically.
- Income tax surveys to collect information for scrutiny assessment will be undertaken only by the investigation wing.
- Appeals will be allotted at random to officers, taxpayers will not need to visit offices or meet any officials, the identities of the officers deciding the appeal will remain unknown, the appellate decision will be team-based and reviewed.
- It would give the taxpayers the feeling of ‘fairness and fearlessness’. “Effort is to make tax system seamless, painless and faceless.
- The e-assessment would be made in respect to such territorial area, or persons or class of persons, or income or class of income, or cases or class of cases, as may be specified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).