The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Friday launched the Centre's much-publicised reform measure of faceless income tax appeals. Under faceless appeals, all income tax appeals will be finalised online under the faceless ecosystem with the exception of appeals relating to serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive and search matters along with international tax and the Black Money Act.
On August 13, while launching the Faceless Assessment and Taxpayers' Charter as part of "Transparent Taxation - Honoring the Honest" platform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launching of 'Faceless Appeals' on September 25.
"From now on in income tax appeals, everything from e-allocation of appeal, e-communication of notice/questionnaire, e-verification/e-enquiry to e-hearing and finally, e-communication of the appellate order, the entire process of appeals will be online, dispensing with the need for any physical interface between the appellant and the department," said the statement.
There will be no physical interface between the taxpayers or their counsel/s and the Income Tax Department, it said, adding that the taxpayers can make submissions from the comfort of their home and save their time and resources.
According to the CBDT, the faceless appeal system will include allocation of cases through data analytics and artificial intelligence 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.
As per the CBDT, the faceless appeal will provide not only great convenience to the taxpayers but also it will ensure that it will ensure just and fair appeal orders and minimise any further litigations. The new system will also be instrumental in imparting greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Income Tax Department, it said.
As on date, there is a pendency of almost 4.6 lakh appeals at the level of the Commissioner (Appeals) in the Department.
Out of this, about 4.05 lakh appeals, or about 88 per cent of the total appeals, will be handled under the faceless appeal mechanism and almost 85 per cent of the present strength of Commissioners (Appeals) shall be utilised for disposing off the cases under the faceless appeal mechanism.