The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has deployed two-third of its workforce to deal with the faceless assessment scheme. “Now, the National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) which is headed by Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax has a team of 32 Commissioners, 96 Principal Commissioner, 261 Assistant and Deputy Commissioners and 1274 Income Tax Officers,” senior Income Tax officers told ANI.
Faceless Assessment Scheme was inaugurated as Phase 1 on October 7, 2019, with 58,320 assigned cases. On August 13 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the platform for transparent taxation.
All cases other than those assigned to the Central charges (serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive and search matters, black money and benami cases) and international tax charges will be done through faceless assessment.
According to officials, Regional e-Assessment Centres (ReACs) have also been increased to 34 from 8 earlier.
Last year, the National e-Assessment Centre had 8 ReACs at New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bengaluru. Now, Mumbai has 5 ReAC, Kolkata has 4 ReAC, Delhi has 3 and Chennai has ReAC.
New ReAC centres have been set up after the Prime Minister launched the faceless assessment and taxpayer charter on August 13. ReACs have been established in Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Ranchi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bengaluru, Panaji, Indore, Panchkula, Shimla, Nashik, Thane, Jodhpur, Trichi, Bareily and Dehradoon after the approval of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 13.
Last year in September when CBDT appointed Krishna Mohan Prasad, a 1984 batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer as the first Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (PrCCIT) of NeAC, it had only 619 officers, including four Chief Commissioners, 25 Principal Commissioners, one Commissioner, 144 Additional Commissioners, 163 Deputy Commissioners and 281 Income Tax Officers.
NeAC had disposed off the first faceless assessment order on midnight at 12:15 am of 20th January 2020. NeAC disposed of 1st faceless assessment order of a Bengaluru-based assessee after review unit of Delhi ReAC reviewed the draft assessment order and assessment unit of Mumbai ReAC assessed the draft order which was sent to CPC Bangaluru unit for tax calculation followed by dispatched order given by NeAC.
This was a breakthrough by the newly setup team of NeAC and ReAC for faceless assessment. More than 7,000 cases have been disposed of through faceless assessment by July-end.