New Delhi: Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey inaugurated National e-Assessment Scheme (NeAC) here in the capital on Monday in the presence of CBDT Chairman P.C. Mody and Members P.K. Das, Akhilesh Ranjan and Prabhash Shankar.
While inaugurating the NeAC, Pandey said that it is a matter of great pride and achievement for the Income Tax Department to bring NeAC to life in a small span of time. Retracing the origins of NeAC in 2017, Pandey lauded the IT Department for striving to achieve transparency with speed.
The secretary said that with the launch of NeAC, the Income Tax Department will usher in a paradigm shift in its working by introducing faceless e-assessment to impart greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the assessment process. He said that with NeAC, there would be no physical interface between the taxpayers and the tax officers.
The setting up of NeAC of the Income Tax Department is a momentous step towards the larger objectives of better taxpayer service, reduction of taxpayer grievances in line with Prime Minister's vision of 'Digital India' and promotion of Ease of Doing Business.
"This new initiative of faceless assessment is expected to increase ease of compliance for taxpayers as the cost and anxiety of taxpayers are likely to be greatly reduced. No human interface with the Department would be a game-changer"
In the first phase, the Income Tax Department has selected 58,322 cases for scrutiny under the faceless e-Assessment Scheme 2019 and the e-notices have been served before 30th of September 2019 for the cases of Assessment Year 2018-19.
The taxpayers have been advised to check their registered e-filing accounts/ email ids and have been requested to furnish a reply within 15 days. The Department hopes that with the ease of compliance for taxpayers, the cases would be disposed off expeditiously.
NeAC will be an independent office that will look after the work of e-Assessment scheme which is recently notified for faceless e-assessment for income taxpayers. There would be a NeAC in Delhi to be headed by Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax. There are 8 Regional e-Assessment Centres (ReAC) set up at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad which would comprise Assessment unit, Review unit, Technical unit and Verification units. Each ReAC will be headed by Chief Commissioner of Income Tax. Cases for the specified work shall be assigned by the NeAC to different units by way of automated allocation systems. In view of the dynamic and all India jurisdiction of all officers of NeAC and ReAC, this kind of connective and collaborative effort of officers is likely to lead to a better quality of assessments.
Centre Government had recently notified the e-Assessment scheme to facilitate the faceless assessment of income tax returns through completely electronic communication between tax officials and taxpayers.
Under the new system of faceless e-Assessment, taxpayers will receive notices on their registered emails as well as on registered accounts on the web portal www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in with real-time alert by way of SMS on their registered mobile number, specifying the issues for which their cases have been selected for scrutiny. The replies to the notices can be prepared at ease by the taxpayers at their own residence or office and be sent by email to the National e-Assessment Centre by uploading the same on the designated web portal.
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This new initiative of faceless assessment is expected to increase ease of compliance for taxpayers as the cost and anxiety of taxpayers are likely to be greatly reduced. No human interface with the Department would be a game-changer. This is another initiative by CBDT in the field of ease of compliance for our taxpayers.