If you are a taxpayer who does not have an e-filing account or a PAN, the e-assessment system of income tax set to be launched from next month will not accept you.
A directive from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) lays out the exceptions for the new system. The exceptions include cases, where the Income Tax Return (ITR) was filed in the paper mode and the assessee concerned does not yet have an e-filing account, or assessment being framed in non-PAN (permanent account number). Cases where there are administrative difficulties and other complexities are certain extraordinary circumstances which will be exempted from e-assessment.
Assessees, who are part of the e-assessment system, will be required to produce their response, evidence to any notice, communication or show cause issued by the assessing officer (AO) electronically through their e-filing account on the official portal of the department.
The circular says that all such e-assessment communication and notices to taxpayers should bear the document identification number (DIN), a policy initiated recently to ensure transparency in the process.
E-assessment cases can even be instances where a personal hearing or attendance of the taxpayer is required.
A national e-assessment centre (NeAC) has been recently set up in Delhi as part of the central government’s plan to launch the faceless and nameless assessment for income taxpayers.
The NeAC will serve notices to assessees specifying the issues for selection of their case for assessment. After a response is received from them within 15 days, the Centre will allocate the case to an assessing officer using an automated system.
In cases where assessment proceedings are being carried out through the ‘E-Proceeding’, personal hearing/ attendance may take place where books of accounts have to be examined, where AO invokes provisions of section 131 of the Act, where examination of witness is required to be made by the assessee or the Department and where a show-cause notice contemplating any adverse view is issued by the AO and assessee requests through their ‘E-filing’ account for personal hearing to explain the matter.
You can access the CBDT circular here.
Reports say the Income Tax (I-T) Department has recognised around four lakh taxpayers who will face inspection under the new e-assessment scheme 2019. The new scheme was notified recently by the finance ministry for carrying faceless scrutiny of Income Tax Returns (ITR).