A national e-assessment centre (NeAC) will be
setup in the national capital as part of the government’s ambitious plan to
launch faceless and nameless assessment for income tax payers from next month
(October). The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), that frames policy for the
Income-tax department, has issued an order for the creation of the centre.
The centre will have 16 officials and will be headed
by a Principal Chief Commissioner of Income tax (PCCIT).
The NeAC will be an independent office looking
after the exclusive work of e-assessment.
Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer K.M. Prasad
has been appointed as the chief or PCCIT of the new centre, IRS officer Ashish
Abrol has been appointed as the Commissioner or second-in-command of the new
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the
e-assessment scheme will be rolled out from October 8 when ‘Vijayadashami’ will
The NeAC will serve notices to the assesses
specifying the issues for selection of their case for assessment and after a
response is received from them within 15 days, the centre will allocate the
case to an assessing officer using an automated system, a government
notification had earlier said.
“A person shall not be required to appear either
personally or through authorised representative in connection with any
proceedings under thsi scheme (e-assessment) before the income-tax authority at
the National e-assessment Centre or Regional-assessment Centre or any unit set
up under this scheme”, the notification stated.
In case assesses or their autghorised
representatives want personal hearing to make their submissions or present
their case before the income-tax authority, they will be allowed to do so “in
any unit” and such hearings shall be conducted exclusively through video links
or any other such facility, the notification stated.
In her budget speech, Sitharaman had said the
existing system of I-T scrutiny assessments involves a high-level personal
interaction between the taxpayer and the department, which leads to certain
undesirable practices on the part of tax officials.
“To eliminate such instances, and to give shape
to the vision of the prime minister, a scheme of faceless assessment in
electronic mode involving no human interface is being launched this year in a