After the launch of e-assessment facility in October last year, out of 58,322 cases selected for faceless assessment, digitally signed notices were served in 44,285 cases (as on date), as announced by ministry of finance. The e-assessment scheme will usher a paradigm shift in a way tax proceedings are carried out. In a bid to curb harassment of taxpayers, a faceless e-assessment scheme was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting her maiden budget in 2019. The scheme is part of the government’s efforts to reduce human discretion in the assessment and scrutiny of tax returns that in turn could help eliminate possibilities of corruption.
What is e-assessment scheme?
An individual or a taxpayer is not required to appear either personally or through authorised representative before an income-tax authority in connection with any proceeding under the e-assessment scheme that entails reply to a notice issued by the taxman.
Expected benefits of the faceless e-assessment of income tax:
1)Tax notices will be issued by a centralised e-assessment centre requiring taxpayers to reply only through digital mode.
2) Taxpayers will also be alerted through text messages. Taxpayers can email their responses to the National e-Assessment Centre
3) The scheme is part of the government’s efforts to reduce human discretion in the assessment and scrutiny of tax returns.
4) Under e-assessment, cases will be referred to eight different e-assessment units across the country automatically. This is expected to improve transparency and reduce grievances related to over-pitched assessments, as well as litigation.
5) A national e-assessment centre along with some regional e-assessment centres have been created under the income tax department as per the scheme.