Central Board of Direct Taxes has Introduced a new scheme of the assessment called E-assessment,2019 by amending the Income Tax act by way of notification no.61/2019, 62/2019 dated 12th September 2019.
Under the new E-assessment Scheme,2019, the entire procedure of assessment shall be carried out in a faceless manner via electronic mode with an intention to eliminate the face to face interaction between Assessing officer and Assessee/Taxpayer so as to impart greater efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
A framework of E-assessment Scheme 2019
To facilitate the smooth flow of E-assessment scheme,2019, the CBDT has set up the following E-assessment centers
- National e-assessment Centre- to aid the conduct of the e-assessment proceedings in a centralized manner and to make the assessment in accordance with the provisions of this Scheme.
- Regional e-assessment Centre’s- to aid the conduct of the e-assessment proceedings in the cadre controlling region of a Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax.
Following are the units Set up to aid the conduct of the e-assessment proceedings
- Assessment Units- to execute assessment making functions, which includes identification of points or issues material for the determination of any liability (including refund) under the Act, seeking information or clarification on points or issues so identified, analysis of the material furnished by the assessee or any other person, and such other functions that may be required for the assessment making function.
- Verification units- to execute verification functions, which shall include inquiry, cross verification, the examination of books of accounts, the examination of witnesses and recording of statements, and such other activities as may be required for verification purposes.
- Technical units- to execute the technical assistance providing a function which shall include any assistance or advice on legal, accounting, forensics, information technology, valuation, transfer pricing, data analytics, the management or any other technical matter as that may be required in a particular case or class of cases.
- Review units- to execute the review function of the draft assessment order, which shall include checking whether the relevant and material evidence has been brought on record, whether the draft order is duly incorporated with all relevant points of fact and law, whether the issues on which addition or disallowance should be made have been discussed, whether the applicable judicial decisions have been considered and dealt with, checking for arithmetical correctness of modifications proposed, if any, and such other operations/activities that may be required for the review purpose.
All the communications between aforesaid units or with the assessee or any other person regarding the necessary requisite information or documents or evidence or any other details, for the assessment making purpose under this Scheme, shall be routed via National e-assessment Centre.
The Procedure for assessment under E-assessment Scheme,2019 shall be as follows
- National e-assessment Centre shall serve a notice u/s 143(2) on the assessee/taxpayer mentioning the issues for selecting his case for assessment.
- The assessee/taxpayer within the period of 15 days from the date of receipt of aforesaid notice has to file his response to the National e-assessment Centre
- Via an automated allocation system, National e-assessment Centre shall assign the case selected for the e-assessment purpose under this scheme to the specific assessment unit in any one of the Regional e-assessment centers.
- The assessment unit may request the National e-assessment Centre for
- obtaining further information, documents or evidence from the assessee/taxpayer.
- conducting of certain inquiry or verification by the verification unit;
- seeking technical assistance from the technical unit;
- Where the request made by the assessment unit for obtaining further information, documents or evidence from the assessee, the National e-assessment Centre shall issue appropriate notice or requisition to the assessee for obtaining such information, documents or evidence requested by assessment unit.
- Where a request made by the assessment unit for conducting certain inquiries or verification by the verification unit, the request shall be assigned by the National e-assessment Centre to a verification unit through an automated allocation system.
- Where a request made by the assessment unit for seeking technical assistance from the technical unit, the request shall be assigned by the National e-assessment Centre to a technical unit in any one Regional Assessment Centre’s through an automated allocation system.
- The assessment unit shall make draft assessment order in writing either accepting or modifying the returned income of the assessee, as the case may be after taking into account all the relevant material records available and send a copy of such order to the National e-assessment Centre.
- In case of penalty proceedings if any to be initiated the same shall be provided in the draft assessment order.
- draft assessment order shall be examined by the National e-assessment Centre in accordance with the risk management strategy specified by the CBDT, including by way of an automated examination tool and may decide to
- Finalize the assessment as per the draft assessment order and serve a copy of such order on the assessee or
- Provide an opportunity to show cause notice to the assessee, if any modification is proposed,(the assessee has to furnish his response to National e-assessment Centre on or before the date specified on the notice, in case no response is furnished, the assessment shall be finalized as per the draft assessment order) or
- Via an automated allocation system assigns the draft assessment order to a review unit in any one Regional e-assessment Centre to conduct a review of such order.
- On conducting the review of the draft assessment order, referred by the National e-assessment Centre, the review unit may decide to,
- concur and intimate the National e-assessment Centre about such concurrence of the draft assessment order.
- suggest the required modifications to the draft assessment order and send the same to the National e-assessment Centre.
- National e-assessment Centre shall, upon receiving
- the concurrence of the review unit follow the aforesaid procedure as the case may be
- suggestions for modifications from the review unit, communicate the same to the Assessment unit.
- After considering the suggestions for modifications made by the review unit, the final draft assessment order shall be sent to the National e-assessment Centre.
- On receiving the final draft assessment order, the National e-assessment Centre shall follow the aforesaid procedure as the case may be.
- On receipt of the response to the show-cause notice, sent to the assessment unit, a revised draft assessment order shall be made and send it to the National e-assessment Centre after taking into account such a response.
- On receiving the revised draft assessment order the National e-assessment Centre
- Finalize the assessment as per the draft assessment order and serve a copy of such order on the assessee, if in case no modification prejudicial to the interest of the assessee is proposed.
- in case of modification prejudicial to the interest of the assessee is proposed, provide an opportunity to show cause notice to the assessee
- On completion of the assessment, the National e-assessment Centre shall transfer all the e-records to the respective Assessing officer of the jurisdiction, for
- Penalty imposition
- Demand recovery
- Mistake rectification
- To give effect to appellate orders
- Submission of remand reports
- Prosecution proceedings, etc..,
- National e-assessment Centre is empowered to transfer the assessment at any stage to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction.
Penalty Proceedings on Non-compliances
In case of non-compliance of any of the notice, direction or order issued under this Scheme in course of assessment proceedings on the part of the assessee, the unit may send recommendations for initiation of any penalty proceedings under Chapter XXI of the Act to the National e-assessment Centre, if it considers necessary to do so. And such recommendations have to undergo into the penalty procedure as specified in the e-assessment scheme,2019.
An appeal against an assessment made by the National e-assessment Centre under the Scheme shall lie before the Commissioner (Appeals) having jurisdiction over the jurisdictional Assessing Officer.
No personal appearance
- No need for the personal appearance either personally or through an authorized representative in relation to any of the proceedings under the e-assessment scheme,2019 before the income-tax authority at the National e-assessment Centre or Regional e-assessment Centre or any unit set up under this Scheme.
- In a case of modification is proposed in the draft assessment order, and the assessee has been provided with an opportunity of being heard, the assessee shall be designated to seek personal hearing so that he can make his oral submissions or present his case before the income-tax authority in any unit under e-assessment scheme,2019, and such hearing shall be conducted only through video conferencing.
- Any examination or recording of the assessee statement or any other person (other than statement recorded in the course of survey u/s 133A of the Act) shall be conducted by an income-tax authority in any unit under the e-assessment scheme,2019, only through video conferencing.
- The CBDT shall establish suitable facilities for video conferencing, so as to ensure that the assessee, or his authorized representative, or any other person is not denied the benefit of e-assessment scheme,2019 merely on the consideration that such assessee or his authorized representative, or any other person does not have access to video conferencing at his end.