Conduct of Assessment Proceedings through ‘E-Proceeding’ facililty during 2018-19-regd.
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue (CBDT)
North Block, New Delhi, the 20th of August, 2018
Subject:Conduct of Assessment Proceedings through ‘E-Proceeding’ facililty during 2018-19-regd.
It has been a constant endeavor of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (the Board) to reduce human interface in scrutiny assessment proceedings through use of Information Technology in 2015, on a voluntary basis, a pilot project for purposes of conduct of scrutiny assessment proceedings in five metros through the e-mail based assessment was introduced, which was extended to two more metros in 2016. In addition, in 2016, while issuing notices in scrutiny cases under section 143(2) of the Income tax act, 1961 [Act], an option for conduct of assessment proceedings through the e-mail based assessment’ was given to all assessees of these seven metros.
2. In a significant step, in 2017, Income-tax Department developed an integrated platform i.e income tax Business Application [ITBA] for electronic conduct of various functions/ proceeding including assessment. This is integrated with the ‘E-filing’ portal which is used by the assessee to electronically communicate with the Income tax Department During the course of assessment proceeding. Assessing Officer is required to send communications through the ‘ Assessment Module’ of ITBA which is delivered in the ‘E-filing; account on the ‘E-filing’ portal [www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in]. The response submitted by the assessse is viewed by the Assessing Officer electronically in ITBA. This communication of data and documents between the Income-tax Department and assessee through electronic mode is termed ‘E-Proceeding’
3. Consequently, vide Instruction No. 8/2017 dated 29.09.2017, on an optional basis for the assessees, besides the scrutiny cases at seven metro charges already under ‘e-mail based assessment’ scope of E-Assessment through ‘E-proceeding was further extended to pending time-barring limited scrutiny cases at those stations where Principal Commissioner of Income tax were headquartered Further, in 2017, while issuing notices for scrutiny under section 143(2) of the Act, it was provided that assessment proceeding would be conducted electronically through the ‘E-Proceeding’ facility Thereafter, vide Instruction No. 1/2018 dated 12.02.2018 Board has further widened scope of ‘E-Proceeding’ for conduct of assessment proceedings.
4. In partial modification of Instruction No. 1/2018 dated 12.02.2018 and in accordance with provision of section 2(23C) of the Act, the Board hereby directs that in all cases (subject to exceptions in para below), where assessment is required to be framed under section 143(3) of the Act during the year 2018-19, assessment proceeding shall be conducted electronically through the ‘E-Proceeding’ facility. Consequentially, assessees would now be required to produce/ cause to produce their response/evidence to any notice/communication/ show-cause issued by the Assessing Officer electronically (unless specific otherwise) through their ‘E-filing’ account on the ‘ E-filing; portal for smooth conduct of assessment proceedings through ‘E-Proceeding’ it is imperative that requisition of information in cases under ‘E-Proceeding’ should be concise and sought with due-diligence after a careful scrunity of case records.
5. In following cases where assessment is required to be framed during the year 2018-19, ‘E-Proceeding’ shall not be mandatory:
i. where assessment to be framed under section (s) 153A, 153C, 147 and 144 of the Act;
ii. in set-aside assessments;
iii. assessment being framed in non-PAN cases;
iv. cases where income tax return was filed in paper mode and the concerned assessee does not yet have an ‘E-filing’ account;
v. in cases at stations connected through the VSAT or with limited capacity of bandwidth (list of such stations shall be specified by the Pr. DGIT (system);
vi. in cases under para 4 above, where substantial hearing had already taken place in the conventional mode prior to issue of instruction No. 1/2018 dated 12.02.2018. Assessing Officer may complete such cases with prior administration approval of the concerned pr. CIT/CIT;
vii. in cases covered under para 4 above where the jurisdictional pr CIT/CIT, in exceptional circumstances such as complexities of the case or administrative difficulties in conduct of assessment through ‘E-Proceeding’ has permitted conduct of assessment proceedings through the conventional mode.
However, in these cases, as far feasible, Assessing Officer should generate all departmental Communication and notices through the ITBA, Further, in these cases, the earlier existing mode of notice should be utilized by the assessing Officer only when it is not possible to serve the communication electronically in the ‘E-filing’ account of the concerned assessee.
6. In cases where assessment proceedings being carried out through the ‘E-Proceeding’ as per para 4 above, personal hearing/attendance may take place in following situation(s)
i. where books of accounts have to be examined;
ii. where Assessing Officer invokes provision of section 131 of the Act;
iii. where examination of witness is required to be made by the concerned assessee or the Department;
iv. where show cause notice contemplating any adverse view is issued by the Assessing Officer and assessee requests through their ‘E-filing’ account for personal hearing to explain the matter.
However, details have to be uploaded on ITBA subsquently.
7. This may be brought to the notice of all concerned for immediate compliance
8. Hindi version to follow.
Director (ITA.II), CBDT
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