The Income-Tax Department on Monday launched a faceless e-assessment scheme to make tax compliance easier for businesses and individual taxpayers.
The National e-Assessment Scheme (NeAC) was launched by Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey in the presence of CBDT Chairman Shri P.C. Mody and Members Shri P.K. Das, Shri Akhilesh Ranjan and Shri Prabhash Shankar.
However, it was to be launched by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, but due to her official exigencies, she could not formally launch the initiative.
A total of 2,686 officials of the Income Tax Department have been deputed for implementation of the scheme. Sitharaman had announced the faceless assessment scheme in her July Budget speech.
The revenue department said the scheme will bring in a “paradigm shift” in taxation. There would be no physical interface between the tax payers and the tax officers.
About National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) :
- NeAC is established as an independent office that will look after the work of e-Assessment scheme which is launched on Monday for faceless e-assessment for income taxpayers.
- There would be a NeAC in Delhi to be headed by Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Pr.CCIT). There are 8 Regional e-Assessment Centres set up at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
- The regions would comprise Assessment unit, Review unit, Technical unit and Verification units. Each ReAC will be headed by Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT).
- Cases for the specified work shall be assigned by the NeAC to different units by way of automated allocation systems.
- In view of the dynamic and all India jurisdiction of all officers of NeAC and ReAC, this kind of connective and collaborative effort of officers is likely to lead to a better quality of assessments.
Some of the salient features of the scheme:
- Ease of compliance for taxpayers,
- Transparency and efficiency,
- Functional specialisation,
- Improvement in the quality of assessment,
- Risk-based and focussed approach,
- Better monitoring and expeditious disposal of cases
Therefore, the National e-Assessment Center (NeAC) will facilitate the faceless e-assessment scheme across the country and benefit taxpayers.
Further, during the launching of scheme, Pandey said, “Anyone whose case is selected for scrutiny will be able to file all the documents online. Now the officer who is going to assess the case will also be selected randomly,”
Also, the number of cases that are selected for scrutiny is based on certain criteria, including cases where there are serious discrepancies.
Apart from this, while questioning to the revenue secretary, it was asked that, if the government will be providing relaxation in personal income tax, the revenue secretary said: “I have no idea”.