The Central Board of Direct Tax’s ‘Faceless E-assessment of Tax Returns’ (now referred to as the Faceless Assessment Scheme (FAS) was notified on 12th September 2019 to facilitate a simple, transparent, efficient and accountable way of carrying out and concluding income tax assessment proceedings. The scheme is implemented by CBDT in the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, through a National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) and a network of eight Regional e-Assessment Centres (ReACs). The FAS is a major team based digital initiative of CBDT to further simplify tax administration and introduce greater efficiency, transparency, speed and convenience for the taxpayer in income tax assessments and in tax collection. Building on CBDT’s prior e-Proceedings tax protocol, this scheme is a double-blind anonymization procedure (hence “faceless”) where the taxpayer is unaware of who the Assessment Officer (AO) is and where she/he sits. This is in contrast to the earlier e-Proceedings scheme in which scrutiny assessments were housed in the same jurisdiction assigned to the taxpayer. The Department of Economic Affairs and Central Board of Direct Taxes Ministry of Finance, Government of India has requested NCAER to take up an independent, third-party assessment on the ease of compliance of taxpayers with the FAS, as well as obtain and evaluate the responses of taxpayers on their overall experience on the efficiency, speed, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of the new scrutiny process. This evaluation by NCAER would also suggest areas of improvement in the Faceless e-Assessment Scheme based on the feedback received from taxpayers.
Sanjib Pohit is a Professor at NCAER. He is an experienced modeler in the area of trade and environment with 20 years of modelling experience. His domain of research experience includes science and technology policies, institutional economics, transport economics, input-output models, FDI, informal trade, automobile industry, and South Asian integration. Previously, he held position at... Read More
Asrar Alam is an Associate Fellow at NCAER. Since January 2011 he has been working on NCAER’s landmark study, the “National Survey of Household Income and Expenditure (NSHIE)”. Involved since its inception, Asrar has actively contributed to the sampling process, data collection and cleaning techniques. Other than this, he has also worked on two other projects... Read More