Boon Or Bane?

India Business Journal|November 2019

Boon Or Bane?
With some adequate safeguards, the government's e-assessment scheme can be a win-win situation for both tax department and taxpayers.
Shivanand Pandit

A recent notification by the government pertaining to e-Assessment Scheme 2019 has made the Income Tax Department's scheme of assessing tax returns electronically effective. The e-assessment measure is a part of the government's attempts to erase the probabilities of corruption by eliminating human interaction in the tax return assessment process. However, personal representation is permitted according to the scheme in certain circumstances, namely with regard to petitions against the assessment.

As mentioned by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the e-Assessment Scheme 2019 was formally rolled out from October 8, the day the nation celebrated Vijayadashami. In 2017, speaking at a seminar of senior tax officials, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the need for e-assessment in the Income Tax proceedings and secrecy of procedures by utilising information technology.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has ordered for the creation of the National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) in capital city New Delhi. At a later stage, Regional e-Assessment Centres (ReACs) are also expected to be established across the country. These centres will support the government's proposal of impersonal and anonymous scrutiny of tax returns.

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November 2019