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The Faceless Assessment Scheme that was launched by the Indian Government on the 7th of October (2019) is a huge step forward in the direction of achieving a more digitally and technically empowered functionality of the government authorities and department.

With regard to the revenue and income tax department, the assessment process for filing income tax was previously quite prolonged and required the physical presence of the individual. However, under this scheme, the Individual will be able to carry out the assessment process digitally and in a much-fast-tracked manner. The Faceless Appeal Scheme has been notified in continuation of this scheme on 25th September (2020).

The Faceless Assessment Scheme Focuses On

  • No human interface
  • Eased compliance for taxpayers
  • Efficiency and transparency
  • Quality of assessment improved
  • Fast-tracking of disposal of disputes and cases
  • Specialization in functionality

Important Features Of Faceless Assessment Scheme

  • National E-Assessment Center (‘NEAC’) will be acting as a nodal agency and a single point of contact and facilitator of all interaction between the taxpayer and the Income-tax authorities.
  • Regional E-Assessment Centers (‘REAC’)- Assessment proceedings will be carried out by this agency with support from various units such as the Assessment Unit, Verification Unit, Technical Unit, Review Unit.
  • All written submissions to the income tax authorities will happen through virtual and digital means.
  • From the date of 13th of August (2020), all assessment orders including those for ongoing assessments are passed by NEAC under this particular scheme, except:- Assessment Orders (cases assigned to central charges) and Assessment Orders (cases assigned to international tax charges)
  • Those assessment orders which are not passed in accordance with this scheme are to be treated as non-est and are deemed to not have passed ever.
  • The proceedings before the Dispute Resolution Panel (‘DRP’) would also become faceless as provisioned by the faceless assessment scheme of the government.
  • Under this scheme, personal appearances for hearing are prohibited or not required. The tax authorities lay down standards, procedures, and processes, with approval from CBDT
  • Certain key functions of taxation and other laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions Act, 2020,) are provisioned to be carried out in a faceless manner by NEAC and These include –  Reassessment proceedings, Approvals, Registration, Revision, Rectification, Transfer Pricing, stay of demand and tax recovery, Appeal efforts to appellate orders, TDS Proceedings, Application for NIL or lower tax withholding certificate prosecutions.

Process Of Assessment Through The Scheme

  • A notice is issued by the NEAC to the assessee.
  • The assessee is required to respond to that notice within 15 days.
  • Through the REAC, an official is assigned to the assessment unit of the concerned center.
  • The NEAC then interacts and contacts with the assessee along with the verification unit and technical unit of the concerned REAC.
  • All information from the units will be sent to the NEAC.
  • Once the REAC will receive the information from the center, it will review it and prepare a draft assessment order.
  • Once the order has been sent to NEAC, the assessee is given a chance to defend his/her case and then deal with the stipulated fine/penalty.

     

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