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I-T dept moves towards transparency with ‘faceless assessment system’

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In a giant leap towards a transparent tax administration, the income tax (I-T) department has introduced the ‘faceless assessment system’.  The new system aims to eliminate the physical interface between the taxpayer and tax officers.

The faceless e-assessment scheme was initially notified on September 12, 2019. A pilot project was inaugurated on October 7 last year.

58,319 cases taken under scheme

Under the scheme, notices were issued by the central cell in 58,319 cases, without disclosing the identity of the assessing officer. Of the total cases, assessment has been finalised in 8,701 cases without addition. Notably, the central cell was the single point of faceless contact between the taxpayer and the department.

Benefits of the scheme

The I-T department enumerated a number of benefits of the scheme for taxpayers. It said any taxpayer who has been served a notice for scrutiny of his return will not have to visit the department’s office. Such taxpayers can easily submit their documents online from the comfort of their home or office.

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The department also said that assessments under the new scheme are finalised within a very short period. It also said that the cases are not chosen manually and everything is done through the central cell.

The taxpayer, whose returns are getting scrutinised, and the tax officers do not have to interact with each other.

As a result, the income tax department said, the scheme will bring in a “paradigm shift” in taxation. Also, it added that the scheme will eliminate human interface in the income tax assessment system.

 

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