Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Tuesday told Rajya Sabha that 82,072 faceless income tax assessment cases have been completed till March 10, 2021. His remark came in response to a question about the status of such assessments.
Talking about the need for faceless assessments, Thakur said, "Faceless assessments have been initiated for the purposes of making assessment of total income or loss of the assessee under section 143(3) or 144 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 to impart greater efficiency, transparency and accountability by eliminating the interface between the Assessing Officer and the assessee in the course of proceedings to the extent technologically feasible, optimising utilisation of the resources through economies of scale and functional specialisation and introducing a team-based assessment with dynamic jurisdiction."
The minister explained that faceless tax assessments are being done for all income tax assessees, except for cases assigned to central charges or international tax charges.
Thakur also told the Upper House that an independent study to ascertain assessees' experiences with faceless assessments is also underway. The survey is being conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in a tripartite arrangement with Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), he added.
Responding to a question on whether faceless assessments will be extended to the Goods and Service Tax (GST), Thakur said no such proposal is under consideration.
"No such proposal for scrutiny of GST assessment in a faceless mode is under consideration of the Government presently as the GST laws and rules made thereunder already provide for electronic filing and assessment of returns on the common portal. With regard to Serious Fraud Investigation Office the information is also nil," he said.