Government looks to extend faceless assessment scheme to 8 more I-T proceedings

New Delhi: The government has proposed to extend the faceless assessment scheme to almost all proceedings under the income tax law, including for collection and recovery of tax and gathering of information.

The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday proposes to extend faceless assessment scheme to at least eight processes in income tax law.

It proposed faceless assessment of income escaping assessment, faceless rectification, amendments and issuance of notice or intimation.

Besides, faceless collection and recovery of tax, faceless revision and effect of orders and faceless approval or registration are proposed.

The legislation also proposes faceless inquiry or valuation and faceless collection of information.

Implementation of faceless scheme in these would eliminate the interface between the income tax authority and the assessees. It would also optimise utilisation of the resources through economies of scale and functional specialisation.

Also, it would help introduce a team-based exercise of powers by the tax authorities.

The Bill also proposes to formulate a scheme for ‘faceless jurisdiction of income-tax authorities’ which would “impart greater efficiency, transparency and accountability”.

Currently, faceless scheme is already implemented for scrutiny assessment and would be extended to appeal cases beginning September 25.

Under faceless scrutiny assessment, a central computer picks up tax returns for scrutiny based on risk parameters and mismatch and then allots them randomly to a team of officers.

This allocation is reviewed by officers at another randomly selected location and only if concurred, a notice is sent by the centralised computer system. All such notices need to be responded electronically without the requirement of visiting a tax office or meeting any official.