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 Income-tax Notification No. 08/2020 Central Board Of Direct Taxes

E-assessment scheme for faceless scrutiny of income tax returns notified
September, 16th 2019

The notification was issued by the CBDT on Septemeber 12, 2019.

The finance ministry has notified the e-assessment scheme 2019 for conducting faceless scrutiny assessment of income tax returns (ITR). The scheme involves creation of e-asssessment centres at national and regional levels; auto-allocation of cases among these centres.

Further, it states that all communication with tax payers and among assessment centres etc will be purely electronic; communications to be digitally authenticated; and most importantly assessees will not to make personal appearance at centres.

Even the assessment will be governed by certain pre-determined risk assessment criteria and other pre-fixed broad parameters. The notification was issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on September 12, 2019.

Abhishek Soni, Founder & CEO, tax2win.in, an ITR filing website says, "The new scheme notified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes will change the way ITR will be scrutinised. Earlier, the ITR was scrutinised by the assessing officer of the individual taxpayer through online process. However, the new scheme will not only make the assessment faceless but you will not have to go meet any assessing officer during the proceeding period. Your ITR will be scrutinised through a computerised randomly selected regional unit which will be set up under the scheme."

Rishi Kapadia, Partner, Dhruva Advisors LLP says, "The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified E-assessment Scheme, 2019. The objective of the Scheme is to reduce interface between the taxpayer and the tax department, impart greater transparency and accountability. The scheme marks a significant modification in the manner in which tax assessments will be undertaken. Both the taxpayers and the tax department will need to gear up theirs systems to adapt to the scheme. Personal representation by a taxpayer will be limited and will be allowed only through video conferencing. Considering that there is a limited window of interaction, taxpayers will need to focus on submitting detailed documentation to explain a tax position."

Here are 10 things you need to know about the E-assessment Scheme, 2019:
1. Under the scheme, the scrutiny notice will be issued to the individual under section 143(2) if he has under-reported his income or over-stated losses.

2. The individual will have to reply within 15 days from the date of receipt of notice. The notice issued will be sent electronically on the taxpayer's account on the e-fling website, to the registered email address of the taxpayer or on the mobile app of the income tax department which has the registered mobile number.

3. Individual will be required to respond to the notice or order received through the registered account only. The response shall be considered successfully submitted once individual has received the acknowledgement from the National e-assessment Centre.

4. Individual taxpayers would not be required to appear either personally or through authorised representative in relation to the proceedings related to the scheme before income tax authority, National e-assessment centre or Regional e-assessment Centre or any unit set up under the scheme.

5. All the communication between the department and taxpayer would be done electronically. Even all the internal communication within the income tax department will be electronic.

6. The e-assessment scheme will be fully automated. Under the scheme, the National e-assessment centre can assign the scrutiny case to any regional e-assessment centre through an automated allocation system.

7. If the regional assessment required assistance from verification unit or technical assistance from technical unit, then such requests will be processed through automated allocation system.

8. If the regional assessment unit wants further information or documents from the taxpayer, then such request first has to be made to the National e-assessment centre.

9. The regional assessment unit will make a draft assessment order and send it to the National e-assessment Centre.

10. The National e-assessment Centre will examine the draft received in accordance with the risk management strategy specified by the CBDT.

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