CBDT panel set up to look at e-assessment

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has constituted a nine-member committee to work out details of how to implement paperless assessment of income tax returns where interface of taxpayers with I-T officers will be negligible.

Income tax paperless assessment or e-assessment was launched by the CBDT as a pilot project in 2015. E-assessment recorded phenomenal growth, up from 1,000 in 2015-16 to 14,000 last fiscal and is likely to touch 78,000 in the current fiscal year.

E-assessment will be rolled out across India from 2018 to reduce interface of taxpayers with tax officials. This is part of the endeavour to take all I-T proceedings online with minimal or no interface between tax officials and taxpayers. The I-T department had earlier made it mandatory for all tax queries to be sent through emails and responses were also to be received from taxpayers through mails.

The pilot project was initiated in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Hyderabad. From the next fiscal, the CBDT is likely to introduce e-proceedings for assessment of all cases across India. A scrutiny process entails submission of multiple documents by the taxpayer to the assessing officer before the case is processed. A new link called ‘e-proceeding’ has been added on the personal login of the taxpayer on the e-filing website of the I-T department.

The new regime of e-communication, however, will be voluntary and a taxpayer can decide whether to conduct her dealings with the taxman over the e-system or through the existing procedure of manual submissions of documents by visiting the tax office.

Once a taxpayer registers on the web portal, she will get a confirmation text message and email on her registered mobile number and email ID, indicating success. The functionality to conduct e-proceeding will be available for all types of notices, questionnaires, letter issued under various sections of the I-T Act

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