Prime Minister Narendra Modi today introduced faceless tax assessment and appeal, which aimed at streamlining the tax-paying process for people and reducing the scope for corruption and over reach by officials.
Unveiling the Transparent Taxation – Honouring The Honest Platform via video conference, the Prime Minister said, “While the number of people filing income tax returns has increased by about 2.5 crore in the past few years, actual taxpayers at just 1.5 crore out of a population of 130 crore is very very less.”
The government through this move also wants to improve tax compliance. It expects people to voluntarily pay taxes if they fall in the tax slab.
The Centre has put faceless assessment and taxpayers charter in place from today, while faceless appeal service will come in force from September 25.
What is faceless appeal?
Under this, if a taxpayer makes an appeal, it will be randomly assigned to any officer across the country. The identity of the officer deciding the appeal will not be revealed. The appellate decision will be team based and it will be reviewed. In this case, a person will not have to go to I-T office. Exceptions to the faceless appeal include serious frauds, major tax evasions, Black Money Act and Benami property.
What is faceless tax assessment?
This step is aimed at eliminating the human interface between the taxpayer and the Income Tax Department. Now, what will happen is, a taxpayer will not have to visit I-T office and the new system has also done away with territorial jurisdiction. Taxpayers will be selected for assessment with the help analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and their cases will be allotted on a random basis. It means the case of a taxpayer who may be residing in Delhi can be assigned to an officer in Mumbai. The assessment will be team-based.
However, the government has provided some exceptions for faceless assessment. It will not include cases of serious frauds, major tax evasion. Matters related to International tax, Black Money Act and Benami Property also don’t come under the ambit of this system.
What is taxpayer charter?
A taxpayer charter lists out commitments of tax officers and responsibilities of taxpayers. People can now reach out to the Taxpayers’ Charter Cell under the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income tax in each zone to ensure compliance.