Press Trust of india

Govt operationalises ‘Faceless Income Tax Appeals’ system

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New Delh:  The government on Friday issued a notification operationalising ‘Faceless Income Tax Appeals’ system which seeks to honour honest taxpayers of the country and promote transparency in tax collection.

Under faceless appeals, all Income Tax appeals will be finalised in a faceless manner under the faceless ecosystem with the exception of appeals relating to serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive and search matters, international tax and Black Money Act, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Necessary Gazette notification has also been issued in this regard, it added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 13, while launching the faceless assessment and taxpayers’ charter as part of “Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest” platform, had announced launching of faceless appeals on September 25 on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay.

In recent years, the Income Tax Department has carried out several reforms in direct taxes for simplification of tax process and ease of compliance for taxpayers.

“Under the Faceless Appeals, from now on, in income tax appeals, everything from e-allocation of appeal, e-communication of notice/questionnaire, e-verification/e-enquiry to e-hearing and finally e-communication of the appellate order, the entire process of appeals will be online, dispensing with the need for any physical interface between the appellant and the Department,” the ministry said.

There will be no physical interface between the taxpayers or their counsel/s and the Income Tax Department.

The taxpayers can make submissions from the comfort of their home and save their time and resources, it added.

The faceless appeals system will include allocation of cases through data analytics and artificial intelligence under the dynamic jurisdiction with central issuance of notices which would be having Document Identification Number (DIN), the statement said.

As part of dynamic jurisdiction, it said, the draft appellate order will be prepared in one city and will be reviewed in some other city, resulting in an objective, fair and just order.

It further said that faceless appeal will provide not only great convenience to the taxpayers but will also ensure just and fair appeal orders and minimise any further litigation.

The new system will also be instrumental in imparting greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Income Tax Department, it said.

As per the data with CBDT, as on date, there is a pendency of almost 4.6 lakh appeals at the level of the Commissioner (Appeals) in the Department, the statement said.

Out of this, about 4.05 lakh appeals, that is about 88 per cent of the total appeals will be handled under the faceless appeal mechanism, and almost 85 per cent of the present strength of Commissioners (Appeals) shall be utilised for disposing of the cases under the mechanism, it added.

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