Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a new platform aimed at bringing more transparency and simplicity in the taxation process. “A faceless tax system will give the taxpayer confidence on fairness and fearlessness,” the PM said in a video address after rolling out the platform, called ”Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest”, in a big push for tax reforms. The main features of the initiative are: faceless assessment and appeal, and a taxpayers’ charter.
Here’s what the government’s latest move means for you, the taxpayer:
Faceless appeals and assessment
The move is part of the government’s efforts to bring more transparency in the tax assessment system. By making the tax process “faceless”, the government aims to minimise human interaction between the individual taxpayer and the tax officials.
Under the new system, appeals will be automatically allotted randomly to any tax officer in the country. The identity of the tax officer will remain unknown to the taxpayer, and vice versa. The scheme aims to eliminate the interface between the taxpayer and the income tax department.
Tax experts say this will bring more fairness and confidence in the country’s taxation system, as the taxpayer and the tax officer will not know each other’s identity.
“The faceless assessments and appeals is a reform in the right direction… The administration will need to ensure that the right of being heard (natural justice) is not denied to the taxpayer,” said Sandeep Bhalla, partner, Dhruva Advisors.
Also, there will be no intrusive and survey-related actions by field officers. Only the investigation and TDS (tax deducted at source) wings will be able to do so after prior approval by officers of the Chief Commissioner or higher ranks.
The initiative will deem any assessment outside the faceless framework as invalid, unless an exception has been made.
The new platform will enable the taxman to take up cases based on data analytics and artificial intelligence, eliminating human interface and abolishing territorial jurisdiction, with the exception of serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive matters, international taxes and black money or benami property-related cases.
The tax assessee will also not be required to visit an income tax office…Read more>>