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Faceless E-Assessment under Income Tax

In order to reduce face to face interaction between the taxpayer and the income tax department, Electronic Assessment or E-Assessment was introduced by the finance minister. The E-Assessment shall be made based on jurisdiction of taxpayers as per the regulations of CBDT.

Points covered in this article are

  1. Who conducts E-Assessment?

  2. Procedure of E-Assessment

  3. How to respond to E-Assessment notice?

  4. Important points to be considered during E-Assessment

  5. Record of Electronic data

1. Who conducts E-Assessment?

For E-Assessment, different Centres or Units will be made in the respective jurisdiction by the CBDT. The National E-Assessment Centre controls all the activities of regional centres. Different units are established to deal with specific areas such as

● Assessment unit

● Verification unit

● Technical unit

● Review unit

Every unit has a different function in the E-Assessment process. National e-assessment centre allots responsibilities to each unit

2. Procedure of E-Assessment

For E-Assessment of Income Tax, following procedure is followed

  1. The National E-Assessment centre sends a notice to the taxpayer under section 143 sub-section 2 stating the details of his case

  2. Within 15 days of receipt of notice, taxpayer should respond to the notice sent by National E-assessment Centre

  3. As per the nature of the case, the E-Assessment Centre will assign the case to a respective Regional e-assessment centre based on an automated computer system

  4. Once the case is assigned, Regional E-Assessment shall file a request with National Centre to obtain more documents, conduct verification on the case if required

  5. If Regional Centre makes request for verification, the National e-assessment centre shall send a notice to taxpayer about the requisition

  6. Once all the required documents are acquired by the Regional e-assessment centre, it shall be verified

  7. Draft assessment shall be prepared and if there is any penalty to the taxpayer it should be stated in such draft

  8. The draft assessment order filed by Regional E-Assessment shall be examined by National e-assessment centre based on various factors

  9. The taxpayer shall be given a chance to propose any modification to be made or request Regional assessment centre to review the draft

  10. On review of the draft, the review unit may decide to make specific modifications or not based on the documentation. The modifications given by review unit shall be communicated to the assessment unit

  11. After all the modifications are completed final draft is prepared and sent to National E-Assessment Centre

  12. When a notice is received by the taxpayer, he has to respond to such notice on or before the date specified in the notice

  13. On the assessee's response if any, modifications will be made after taking into consideration the response and send it to National E-Assessment Centre

  14. If the revised draft does not have any modifications, it shall be finalized. If there are any modifications opportunity shall be given to the assessee by following the same above mentioned steps

  15. On completion, all the electronic records of the case will be sent to the respective Assessing Officer of the Jurisdiction. The Assessing Officer is responsible for

● Collecting and recovery of the demand

● Rectification of any mistake

● Imposition of penalty

● Proposal for filing of prosecution or complaint in the court

The National e-assessment Centre may at any stage of the assessing the case, if necessary, may transfer the case to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over such case. Any assessee not responding to the notice served by National E-Assessment Centre within the specified time period shall be penalized

3. How to respond to E-Assessment notice

  1. To respond to a notice by National e-assessment Centre, Login to your e-filing account

  2. Select the assessment year for which assessment is held under the e-Proceeding menu

  3. Next screen will appear where partial or full response has to be selected and response has to be typed. Attach all the documents required as specified in the notice

  4. After uploading all the files, in the next screen, checkout the self declaration box and submit the response

  5. An assessee may choose to make verification of response through DSC/EVC or submit without verification

  6. After successfully submitting your response, Acknowledgement will be sent through mail

4. Important points to be considered during E-Assessment

Some aspects to be kept in mind while conducting assessment proceedings through ‘E-Proceeding are-

● All the enquiries regarding the case shall delivered electronically through the e-filing account of the assessee as per section 142(1) of Income Tax Act, 1961

● The E-Assessment procedure can take place manually also under certain circumstances where

1) Manual verification of books of accounts has to be made

2) Investigation of witnesses have to be made or

3) Personal hearing of assessee is held

● Every notice or intimation made by the assessing officer will be digitally signed by the Assessing Officer.

5. Record of Electronic data

Not only are all the communications between the assessee and Income Tax Department electronically recorded but the internal communication between the Assessing Officer/Regional E-Assessment and National E-Assessment office is recorded electronically.

All the notices sent shall be authenticated with the digital signature of the originator

The E-Assessment has made assessment procedures very dynamic. It brings transparency and standardization in the Income-tax assessment process

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