Income Tax dept launches dedicated emails for taxpayers’ grievances
The Central government has created three dedicated email addresses for income taxpayers to register grievances related to faceless tax assessment, penalty and appeals, the Income-Tax (I-T) department said on Saturday.
The three email addresses are email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; and email@example.com, it said.
The move is aimed to further improve services in alignment with the taxpayers’ charter, the department said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released India’s first charter of taxpayers’ rights and duties on August 13, 2020 ahead of the 74th Independence Day.
Launching the ‘Honouring the Honest’ platform on August 13 last year, PM Modi said: “This platform consists of major reforms such as faceless assessment, faceless appeal and taxpayers’ charters. The faceless assessment and the taxpayers’ charter have been implemented from today, while the facility for faceless appeal will be available to the people of the country from 25 September, which is the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay ji.”
Meeting the objectives of the charter, the I-T department adopted technology-driven faceless schemes to make tax administration transparent and to end overreach by officials.
The faceless tax processing system was first proposed by the Prime Minister in 2017 and received a mention in the first budget tabled by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5, 2019. The system enables a random selection of tax cases through artificial Intelligence and machine learning, with reduced discretion of tax officials.
The objective of faceless assessment is to completely eliminate physical contact between the taxpayer and the taxman to make tax administration objective, transparent and corruption-free.
The faceless appeal was launched by the government on September 25, 2020 to eliminate discretionary powers of the taxman, curb corrupt practices and provide ease of compliance to taxpayers. Under the new system, I-T appeals are being finalised in a faceless manner with the exception of appeals relating to serious frauds, major tax evasion, search matters, international tax issues and matters pertaining to the black money.
After implementing faceless assessment and faceless appeal systems on income-tax matters, the government also set up a National Faceless Penalty Centre (NeAC) to have an unbiased and transparent digital faceless mechanism for imposing penalties on tax defaulters. The system provides adequate opportunity to income tax payers to be heard and also have provisions for review on legal and technical grounds.