NEW DELHI :
A national e-assessment centre (NeAC) will be setup in the national capital as part of the government's ambitious plan to launch faceless and nameless assessment for income tax payers from next month.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), that frames policy for the Income-tax department, has issued an order for the creation of the Centre.
The Centre will have 16 officials and will be headed by a Principal Chief Commissioner of Income-tax (PCCIT) as its chief.
The NeAC will be an independent office looking after the exclusive work of e-assessment, a senior official told PTI.
While 1984-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer K M Prasad has been appointed as the chief or PCCIT of the new Centre, 1993-batch IRS officer Ashish Abrol has been appointed as the Commissioner or second-in-command of the new unit, they said.
Staff strength in the junior ranks will be bolstered in the future, officials said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the e-assessment scheme will be rolled out from October 8-- when 'Vijayadashami' will be celebrated.
The NeAC will serve notices to the assessees specifying the issues for selection of their case for assessment and after a response is received from them within 15 days, the centre will allocate the case to an assessing officer using an automated system, a government notification had earlier said.
"A person shall not be required to appear either personally or through authorised representative in connection with any proceedings under this scheme (e-assessment) before the income-tax authority at the National e-assessment Centre or Regional e-assessment Centre or any unit set up under this scheme," the notification stated.
In case assessees or their authorised representatives want personal hearing to make their submissions or present their case before the income-tax authority, they will be allowed to do so "in any unit" and such hearings shall be conducted exclusively through video links or any other such facility, it said.
In her budget speech, Sitharaman had said the existing system of I-T scrutiny assessments involves a high-level personal interaction between the taxpayer and the department, which leads to certain undesirable practices on the part of tax officials.
"To eliminate such instances, and to give shape to the vision of the prime minister, a scheme of faceless assessment in electronic mode involving no human interface is being launched this year in a phased manner."
"To start with, such e-assessments shall be carried out in cases requiring verification of certain specified transactions or discrepancies," she had said.