Income Tax department issues revised instruction on action against officers for high-pitched assessments

In 2015, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had provided for the constitution of ‘local committees to deal with taxpayer grievances from high-pitched scrutiny assessment’ in each principal commissionerate region.

Income Tax department issues revised instruction on action against officers for high-pitched assessments
In a statement on Thursday, the CBDT said in line with the tax department's policy and commitment towards providing enhanced taxpayers' services and reduce taxpayers' grievances, on April 23, 2022, it has issued revised instruction for constitution and functioning of local committees to deal with taxpayers' grievances arising out of high-pitched scrutiny assessment. (Representational image)

The income tax department on Thursday said it has issued revised instruction, which provides for initiation of suitable administrative action against the officer concerned, in cases of high-pitched assessments.

In 2015, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had provided for the constitution of ‘local committees to deal with taxpayer grievances from high-pitched scrutiny assessment’ in each principal commissionerate region. Considering the implementation of faceless assessment regime, the CBDT has now issued a revised instruction regarding constitution and functioning of these committees.

In a statement on Thursday, the CBDT said in line with the tax department’s policy and commitment towards providing enhanced taxpayers’ services and reduce taxpayers’ grievances, on April 23, 2022, it has issued revised instruction for constitution and functioning of local committees to deal with taxpayers’ grievances arising out of high-pitched scrutiny assessment.

“This instruction also provides for initiation of suitable administrative action against the officer concerned, in cases where assessments are found by the local committee to be high-pitched or where there is non-observance of principles of natural justice, non-application of mind or gross negligence of assessing officer/assessment unit,” the CBDT said in the statement.

The local committees to deal with taxpayer grievances from high-pitched scrutiny assessment shall consist of 3 members of principal commissioner rank. The other members may be selected from the pool of officers posted as principal commissioner I-T, principle CIT (Central) or Judicial or audit of the respective region.

Grievances under faceless assessment regime would be received by email and the local committee would examine to ascertain whether there is a prima-facie case of high- pitched assessment, non-observance of principles of natural justice, non-application of mind or gross negligence of assessing officer/assessment unit.

The committee would ascertain whether the additions made in assessment order is/are not backed by any sound reason or logic, the provision of law have grossly been misinterpreted or obvious and well-established facts on records have outrightly been ignored, the instruction said.

The local committee shall endeavour to dispose of each grievance petition within two months, it added.

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