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Government Notifies Faceless Appeals Scheme 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 August 2020 launched a ‘Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest’ platform aimed at easing compliance and expediting refunds, benefitting honest taxpayers. Three main features of the platform are:

  • Introducing faceless assessment;
  • Adopting taxpayer’s charter; and 
  • Introducing faceless appeals. 

While the faceless assessment scheme and taxpayers’ charter were introduced on 13 August 2020, the Faceless Appeals Scheme, 2020 was notified on 25 September 2020 with immediate effect. 

Main features of the Faceless Appeals Scheme, 2020 are summarized below:

Setting up of faceless appeal centres

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (‘CBDT’) will set up the following centers to facilitate the conduct of e-appeal proceedings in a centralized manner:

  1. National Faceless Appeal Centre (‘NFAC’),
  2. Regional Faceless Appeal Centre (‘RFAC’)
  3. Appeal units (‘AU’) 

Procedure in Appeal

The Scheme provides for a detailed procedure to be followed from the filing of appeal till the disposal of such appeal, e.g. admission and rejection of appeal, collection of information from the appellant, admission of additional grounds of appeal, admission of additional evidences, opportunity of being heard to the appellant etc. 

Rectification proceedings:

With a view to rectify any mistake apparent from records, the Scheme provides that such application for rectification of appeal orders shall be assigned to any AU in any RFAC by NFAC through an automated allocation system which based on the examination of application and after giving opportunity of being heard to the appellant may rectify the order. 

No personal appearance in the Centres or units 

The appellant shall not be required to appear either personally or through authorized representative in connection with any proceedings. However, the appellant or his authorized representative may request for personal hearing which may be approved by concerned authorities only in prescribed circumstances. All such hearing shall be conducted through video conferencing or video telephony. 

Our comments

After faceless assessment, faceless appeals is yet another welcome move towards increasing tax transparency.

Read full text of the Notification No. 76/2020 dated 25 September 2020 on Faceless Appeal Scheme 2020.
 

 

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