CBDT sets up panel to suggest e-scrutiny measures for tax assessment

The Income Tax department has constituted a 7-member committee to formulate 'Standard Assessment Procedure' for e-scrutiny to promote greater certainty, transparency and accountability.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has already started phased pilot projects for email-based assessments in 7 cities for individual assessees, and there is a need to evolve a standard procedure which could be followed by the department.

"However, for re-engineering the assessment procedure, it would be necessary to arrive at a standard assessment procedure through an e-system which should incorporate within itself the principles of certainty, transparency, accountability and natural justice on one hand and rules for addressing the revenue risks involved on the other."

"To study the issues involved and with a view to develop a re-engineered assessment procedure, a committee has been constituted," CBDT said in a office memorandum.

Headed by Harish Kumar, Principal DIT (Investigation), the other members of the committee include B K Sinha, CIT (C&S), Anand Jha, CIT (IT&CT) and Santosh Kumar, Additional Director (Investigation).

The Committee will submit recommendations within one month of its constitution to the CBDT Member (Income Tax).

To bring about this re-engineering, necessary changes in the Income Tax laws and Rules may also be necessary for implementing such an assessment procedure, the CBDT said.

The Tax Administration Reforms Commission (TARC) headed by Parthasarathi Shome, in its report in May 2014, had made specific recommendations to reform the current assessment procedure in scrutiny cases.

"Hearing in all tax cases by personal presence should be avoided, and data can be sought through an e-system. The taxpayer can upload the data on the e-system and personal hearing should be sought only in complex cases," the TARC had said.

CBDT, the policy making body for the I-T department, has accepted the TARC recommendation and hence constituted a committee to ensure effective assessment through the use of departmental database electronic system.

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