Faceless Appeals launched by CBDT today, paving way for faster resolutions of assessments

The Income Tax Department today launched the Faceless Appeals. Under Faceless Appeals, all Income Tax appeals will be finalized in a faceless manner i.e. there would be no physical interaction between the Assessee and the tax departments.

Now, only certain appeals relating to serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive & search matters, International tax, and Black Money, etc. will be assessed as per the old procedure.

The necessary Gazette notification has also been issued today.

Earlier, on 13th August, 2020, Hon’ble PM while launching the Faceless Assessment and Taxpayers’ Charter as part of “Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest” platform, had announced the launching of Faceless Appeals on 25th September, 2020 on the birth anniversary of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay.

Also, in recent years the Income Tax Department has carried out several reforms in Direct Taxes for the simplification of tax processes and for ease of compliance for the taxpayers.

Under the Faceless Appeals, from now on, in income tax appeals, everything from e-allocation of appeal, e-communication of notice/ questionnaire, e-verification/e-inquiry to e-hearing, and finally e-communication of the appellate order, the entire process of appeals will be online.

There will be no physical interface between the taxpayers or their counsel/s and the Income Tax Department. The taxpayers can make submissions from the comfort of their home and save their time and resources.

The Faceless Appeals system will include the allocation of cases through Data Analytics and AI under the dynamic jurisdiction with central issuance of notices which would be having Document Identification Number (DIN).

As part of dynamic jurisdiction, the draft appellate order will be prepared in one city and will be reviewed in some other city resulting in an objective, fair and just order.

The Faceless Appeal will provide not only great convenience to the taxpayers but will also ensure just and fair appeal orders and minimise any further litigation. The new system will also be instrumental in imparting greater efficiency, transparency, and accountability in the functioning of the Income Tax Department.

As per data with CBDT, as on date, there is a pendency of almost 4.6 lakh appeals at the level of theCommissioner (Appeals) in the Department.

Out of this, about 4.05 lakh appeals, i.e., about 88 % of the total appeals will be handled under the Faceless Appeal mechanism and almost 85% of the present strength of commissioners (Appeals) shall be utilized for disposing off the cases under the Faceless Appeal mechanism.

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