New Delhi, February 26, 2018

Asseessees will no longer be expected to appear personally or through a rep before the I-T Dept

Hoping to cut down harassment of asseessees by tax officials, the Finance Ministry has notified a new online assessment scheme.

The Centralised Communication Scheme will be used for centralised issuance of notices.

“The Centralised Communication Centre shall issue notice to any person requiring him to furnish information or documents for the purpose of verification of information in his possession,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes said.

The notice will be delivered by e-mail or by sending a copy in the registered account on the portal followed by an intimation through text message.

Asseessees will no longer be expected to appear personally or through a representative before the Income Tax Department but can respond to the notice online.

A web portal, call centre as well as a grievance redressal mechanism will also be started in the Centralised Communication Centre to respond to queries of taxpayers.

The new scheme is expected to cut down the physical interface between taxpayers and officials and instil confidence and improve the image of the income tax department.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, in the Union Budget, announced that the electronic assessment of tax returns would be launched in the country to eliminate person-to-person contact and lead to greater efficiency and transparency.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has asked the tax officials to become more taxpayer friendly.

In a recent circular, the CBDT had said that except for search related assessments all other scrutiny assessments would be conducted electronically.

The department had already conducted pilot tests of e-assessments over the last two years and officials have been satisfied with its results. “The scheme will provide relief to the recipients of such notices since a visit to the tax office will not be required any more. People will be able to reply to such notices using a digital interface. This is indeed a positive step and should provide much needed relief,” said Rahul Jain, Partner, Nangia & Co.

[The Hindu Business Line]