Faceless scrutiny, appeals to ease taxpayers’ compliance burden, increase fairness in tax system: FM

PTI, Aug 13, 2020, 1:11 PM IST

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said the faceless tax scrutiny assessment and appeal would help ease the compliance burden of taxpayers and increase fairness and objectivity in the tax system.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the platform ”Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest” which provides for launch of faceless assessment and adoption of a taxpayer charter.

Also the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which administers personal income tax and corporate tax, will launch faceless appeals beginning September 25, as part of the process to reduce physical interface between tax officers and taxpayers.

“Today is a landmark day in the history of tax administration,” Sitharaman said, adding that the vision of the Prime Minister is to empower the taxpayers, to provide a transparent system and to honour the honest taxpayers.

“To realise this vision, the CBDT has given a framework and put in place a system in the form of this platform, a transparent efficient and accountable tax administration is what this platform brings in. It uses technology, data analytics, and also uses artificial intelligence.

“What does this mean to the taxpayer in the country. It eases compliance burden, it brings in fair objective and a just system, there shall not be any physical interface between the department and the tax payer and to an extent, it shall bring in certainty of Information,” she added.

She said the Income Tax department has undertaken several reforms, including lowering corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 22 per cent for existing manufacturing units.

In a series of tweets, the Finance Ministry said the I-T department has taken up several reforms to make tax compliance easier for taxpayers.

“Our way to reward your honesty!”. “#FacelessAssessmentScheme is our way of #HonoringTheHonest. With dynamic jurisdiction & team-based assessment you can respond to the scrutiny notice online. No need to go to IT Office or meet local IT Officer! Speedy completion of cases is another hallmark of the Scheme,” the Ministry tweeted.

Tweeting with hashtag ”HonoringTheHonest”, the Ministry said Faceless Appeals would involve random allotment of cases. “With electronic replies, zero physical interface of authorities & instant solutions your way, this is the newest, most convenient & easiest way to tackle your IT litigation issues,” it said.

It further said that the ”Taxpayer Charter” is another step to provide a transparent and taxpayer friendly tax regime and will enhance trust between taxpayer and I-T department.

Faceless Asssessment, the Ministry said, has benefits like making tax assessment fair, transparent, ensuring ease of compliance and improved quality of assessment.

“#FacelessAssessment & #FacelessAppeals brings greater transparency,efficiency & accountability in assessment/appellate procedure. It uses AI &data analytics,with team-based assessment & review,removing physical interface ensuring objectivity & fairness,” the Ministry said.

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