The existing system of scrutiny assessments in the income tax department involves a high level of personal interaction between the taxpayer and the taxman.
The existing system of scrutiny assessments in the income tax department involves a high level of personal interaction between the taxpayer and the taxman.

Income tax dept launches faceless e-assessment scheme. 5 things to know

  • You might never get to know your taxman as anonymity is maintained in processing your income tax returns (ITR)
  • Cases selected for scrutiny shall be allocated to assessment units in a random manner and notices shall be issued electronically

NEW DELHI : With the launching of faceless e-assessment facility, all your income tax returns (ITR) would be assessed and scrutinised in complete electronic mode without any human interface. As announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech, the income tax department has started e-assessment.

The move will not only curb corruption, bring transparency but also make it easier for you to respond to any income tax notice as everything will be online. The income tax department has been running e-assessment as a pilot project in few major cities before expanding it all over India.

5 things to know about faceless e-assessment of income tax:

1) It is now mandatory for the taxman to make all communication with you online. Tax notices will be issued by a centralised e-assessment centre requiring taxpayers to reply only through digital mode. Through mobile app, real time alerts would be sent to assessees updating about progress in the case.

However, in complicated matters the taxman may allocate a tax officer.

2) Faceless assessment and scrutiny of income tax returns eliminates the possibility of you knowing the tax officer dealing with your case. You might never get to know him as anonymity is maintained in processing your ITR.

3) Cases selected for scrutiny shall be allocated to assessment units in a random manner and notices shall be issued electronically by a Central Cell, without disclosing the name, designation or location of the assessing officer. The Central Cell shall be the single point of contact between the taxpayer and the Department. This new scheme of assessment will represent a paradigm shift in the functioning of the income tax department.

4) Moving to digital from the decades-old system of manual scrutiny, the tax department would use data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other latest tools to ascertain misreporting or evasion.

5) Rakesh Nangia, Managing Partner, Nangia Advisors (Andersen Global) said that the idea of e-assessments, is in principle, an outstanding one but the administrative systems and procedures need to be developed to ensure that it does not result in uncalled-for injustice to the taxpayers.

"The use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, video conferencing, telecommunication application software, mobile app etc. in e-assessment process are few measures which emerged economies have already adopted long back. However, the digital capabilities may pose significant implementation challenges in India," Nangia said.

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