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Income tax department had launched faceless assessment last year.
Income tax department had launched faceless assessment last year.

Income tax scrutiny notice: No need to visit any office or meet the taxman

  • The income tax department has eliminated physical interface between the taxpayer and the taxman
  • You can now reply to an income tax scrutiny notice online easily

NEW DELHI : With the launch of the faceless assessment scheme, income tax assessees who have got scrutiny notices do not need to go visit the any office or meet any official.

"If you get a scrutiny notice from the Income Tax Department, don't worry! No need to go to the IT Office or meet the local IT Officer! Use the #FacelessAssessment Scheme & file your reply online. No physical interface between taxpayer & IT Dept," the income tax department said on Twitter.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Mody said all such notices need to be responded to electronically without the requirement of visiting a tax office or meeting any official.

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. This allocation is reviewed by officers at another randomly selected location and only if concurred, a notice is sent by the centralised computer system.

Earlier during assessment proceedings in scrutiny cases, taxpayers or tax professionals were required to make multiple visits to the income tax office. There were allegations and some incidence of discretion and subjective approach, which often resulted in high-pitched assessments.

"Ultimately taxpayer does not know who the assessing officer is. This will improve the confidence of taxpayers as their compliance burden of visiting tax offices is reduced," Mody said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the faceless assessment scheme in her Budget speech on July 5, 2019 and it was subsequently inaugurated on October 7, 2019.

Since then, a total of 58,319 cases have been assigned in an automated way randomly and these were kept away from the geographical jurisdiction of the case, based on computer algorithms.

Out of these, around 8,000 cases have been disposed of until now with assessment orders issued without any additions and 291 cases wherein additions are proposed to be made, have been submitted to the risk management unit.

"The target is to complete assessment of these 58,319 cases by October-end. So far, we have done close to 8,000 cases. So far, the experience has been good," Mody said.

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