The income tax department’s National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) was launched in New Delhi Monday.
Why is this important?
The e-assessment process is aimed at minimising the level of interaction between taxpayers and the Income-Tax Department, which leads to “certain undesirable practices on the part of tax officials”.
With the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notifying the creation of the NeAC — which will serve as an independent office that will exclusively deal with e-assessment — the Centre’s plan to launch faceless and nameless assessment of tax payers has now kicked into motion.
The CBDT issued a circular few days ago directing that during the financial year 2019-20, all assessment proceedings should be conducted electronically.
It has also directed tax officers to smoothly conduct assessment proceedings through ‘E-Proceeding’ and that requisition of information in cases under ‘ E-Proceeding’ should be sought after a careful scrutiny of case records.
How the e-assessment system works:
Under the new system, tax assesses will receive notices on their registered emails as well as on registered accounts on the web portal http://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in with real time alert by way of SMS on their registered mobile number.
The issues will be specified on email and on the portal. All such communication will have a document identification number (DIN), using which you can search it on the income tax e-filing portal.
To reply to any income tax notice, the assessee is not supposed to visit any income tax office or send letters by post. All taxpayers have to reply to any notice or letter from the tax department electronically through their account on the income tax department’s e-filing portal.
After the reply is received, the NeAC will allocate the case to an assessing officer using an automated system.
“The new initiative shall impart greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the assessment process. There would be no physical interface between the tax payers and the tax officers,” the finance ministry said.