Income tax: Faceless assessment not mandatory for users without e filing account/PAN

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Published: September 28, 2019 7:24:33 AM

Additionally, e-assessment will also not be necessary in cases which involve administrative difficulties, or have certain extraordinary circumstances and these will be exceptions for the new system, the circular said.

 

The NeAC will serve notices to assesses, 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.

The income-tax department will start faceless assessment from October 8, 2019 but it won’t be mandatory for taxpayers who don’t have an e-filing account or a PAN, a directive from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued on Thursday stated. Further, in cases where the department has conducted raids and instances categorised under ‘extraordinary circumstances’ will also not be covered under the e-assessment system.

Additionally, e-assessment will also not be necessary in cases which involve administrative difficulties, or have certain extraordinary circumstances and these will be exceptions for the new system, the circular said.

Naveen Wadhwa, DGM at Taxmann said, “Every year income-tax department prescribes guidelines to be followed by the assessing officers for conducting e-assessment through e-filing portal. For the financial year 2019-20, similar guidelines have been issued. These guidelines include a list of cases where e-proceeding is not mandatory, like cases where examination of witness is required to be made by the assessee or department. Further, the situations wherein personal hearing of assessee is allowed have also been prescribed.”
The circular added that even in e-assessment process, certain cases can be considered where ‘personal hearing or attendance’ of the taxpayer would be warranted. This will be invoked in instances where books of accounts have to be examined or the taxman has invoked provisions of section 131 (power regarding discovery, production of evidence) of the I-T Act.

Further, the department would also seek personal appearance if examination of witness is required to be made by the assessee or the department and where a show cause notice contemplating any adverse view is issued by the assessing officer, and assessee requests personal hearing to explain the matter.

“The option provided to the taxpayer to request for personal hearing, in cases where a show cause notice contemplating any adverse view is issued by a tax officer, would ensure that there is enough opportunity available to substantiate the facts in the course of assessments itself,” Sandeep Jhunjhunwala, director at Nangia Advisors (Andersen Global) said.

The circular further said that the assesses, who are part of the e-assessment system, will be ‘required to produce their response, evidence to any notice, communication or show cause issued by the assessing officer electronically through their e-filing account on the official portal of the department’.

“It is further directed that requisition of information in cases under e-proceeding should be sought after careful scrutiny of case records,” the circular said. It added that all such e-assessment communication and notices to taxpayers should bear the document identification number (DIN), a policy initiated recently to ensure transparency in the process.

A national e-assessment centre (NeAC) has been recently set up in Delhi as part of the central government’s plan to launch the faceless and nameless assessment for income tax payers. The NeAC will serve notices to assesses, 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.

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