The assessment of taxpayers is set to become jurisdiction-free from October, the income tax (I-T) department will launch a pilot project covering 100 cities, to identify the loopholes.
In the existing system, taxpayers are assessed in the specific region where they are based. In new system special software has been developed through which particular taxpayer’s profile can be allocated to any officer across the country.
Senior Department Officer says that: The move aims to curb corruption in the department along with harassment faced by the assessee. “This is a first-of-its-kind initiative. Under this, neither the assessee nor the tax officer would know the other’s identity,”
The system would be equipped to deal with all kinds of tax-related matters, including filing of returns, scrutiny cases, and others, he added.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted several defects in existing tax laws and directed the I-T department to build a new system for taxpayers.
In the new system, if the tax department launches scrutiny against a person in Pune, the software will provide the related correspondence and generate a unique identification number. This number, or code, would be randomly assigned to any assessing officer (AO).
The AO will not be able to identify the person against whom the scrutiny has been launched. The investigation will be pursued based on the case details and the relevant documents pertaining to the matter.
The new system would also do away with the AOs’ discretionary powers to call for additional documents, records, and most importantly, ask the taxpayer to appear in person.
Under the pilot project, the additional documents, if required, will be sought through the system, which will automatically send a request to the assessee for submission of the same.
The jurisdiction-free assessment system aims to minimise interaction between the taxpayer and the tax officer, ensuring a transparent and no-harassment culture. “The e-communication is expected increase voluntarily participation, and give more comfort to the assessee,” added the officer.
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