PM Modi launches ‘Transparent Taxation’ portal, a new faceless tax system…

Faceless assessment and taxpayers’ charter will begin from August 13, while faceless appeal will begin from September 25 for all Indian citizens.

New Delhi: Prime Mini ..

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched faceless assessment, faceless appeal and taxpayers’ charter, as key features of Transparent Taxation on Thursday, as the government took to honouring honest taxpayers of the country.

Faceless assessment and taxpayers’ charter will begin from August 13, while faceless appeal will begin from September 25 for all Indian citizens.

“Our effort is that our tax system should be seamless, painless, faceless. Seamless means that the tax administration should work to solve the problem instead of confusing every taxpayer,” the Prime Minister said while launching the portal via video conferencing.

Faceless assessment will eliminate physical interface between assessing ..

officers and assessees, moving away from the conventional system of scrutiny assessment that involved a high level of personal interaction between taxpayers and income tax department officials. The new system means that taxpayers will no longer have to visit territorial jurisdiction tax officers – attached to the case – or the income tax department on receiving notices.

The tax system becoming faceless will give sense of fairness and fearlessness to all taxpayers, he said, adding that the government has been moving in the direction of minimum government and maximum governance for the past six years.

Through faceless appeals, the government aims to bring greater transparency, efficiency and accountability in assessment or appellate procedure. It will use artificial intelligence and data analytics, with team-based assessment and review, while removing physical interface ensuring objectivity.

Our focus has been to banking the unbanked, securing the unsecured and funding the unfunded. And now, we are honouring the honest,” he said underlining the importance of honest taxpayers in the development of the country and quality of life.

The government has introduced a slew of measures to ease taxpayer compliance besides reducing corporate tax rates to 22% from 30% earlier, and to 15% for new manufacturing units. Pre-filled income tax forms have been made available to make it easier for taxpayers, while handholding taxpayers on how to use the forms, aiding in compliance.

The direct tax Vivaad Se Vishwas dispute resolution scheme was introduced has got good response from taxpayers for dispute resolution to ongoing tax disputes. During Covid, statutory timelines were extended, refunds that were due to taxpayers were also released expeditiously.

“We have decreased complexity, litigation, taxes, increased transparency, tax compliance, and trust on the taxpayer,” the Prime Minister said.

He highlighted that scrutiny of cases had come down to a fourth of 2012-13 levels, where 0.94% of all cases were scrutinised. This has come down to 0.26% in 2018-19, showcasing effectiveness of change.

The Prime Minister stressed on reducing government intervention through faceless assessment, adding that the step was in the way of facilitating ease of doing business, where India’s ranking has improved to 63 from 134 in the past six years.

Modi said that India had become one of the few countries in the world to introduce taxpayers’ charter, giving rights and responsibilities to taxpayers, adding that the income tax department will have to keep in mind taxpayer dignity, deal with them with sensitivity and not suspect them unreasonably.

“The Income Tax department will now have to trust the taxpayers, who will also have the right to appeal in case of any suspicion from the department,” he said.

However, he also urged taxpayers who can pay taxes but do not do so, to come forth. “Those who are able to pay tax but are not paying taxes, should come forward with self-motivation. This is my request,” the PM said.

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