1st October, 2019
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has recently notified the E-assessment Scheme, 2019 under Section 143(3A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The assessment under this Scheme shall be made in respect of territories and / or class of persons as may be specified.
In e-assessment, the assessment will be undertaken in a centralised manner. A National E-assessment Centre will be setup along with regional e-assessment centres. Four different units, namely, assessment, verification, technical and review units will undertake the process of e-assessment.
The elaborate e-assessment procedure as notified by Notification dated 12-9-2019 does not require personal appearance of parties from the stage of notice till passing of the assessment order.
In case an opportunity of personal hearing is provided to the assessee at the stage of review of draft order, the same would be done exclusively through video conferencing. For recording of statements in the course of survey also, the mode would be video conferencing.
As per the scheme, all communications between the National e-assessment Centre and the assessee, or his authorised representative, shall be exchanged exclusively by electronic mode. Even all internal communications between the National e-assessment Centre, Regional e-assessment Centres and various units shall be exchanged exclusively by electronic mode.
It may be noted that by way of Circular No. 26/2019, dated 26-9-2019, it has also been clarified that in all cases (other than the cases covered under the ‘E-assessment Scheme, 2019’ notified by the Board), where assessment is to be framed under Section 143(3) of the Income Tax Act during the financial year 2019-20, such assessment proceedings shall be conducted electronically subject to certain exceptions as elaborated in the circular itself.