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I-T Dept launches faceless penalty scheme; here's how it works

The scheme proposes to set up a National Faceless Appeal Centre (NFAC), Regional Faceless Appeal Centres (RFACs) and Appeal units (AUs) which will allocate a recommendation for penalty made under the faceless assessment programme

I-T Dept launches faceless penalty scheme; here's how it works

The Income Tax Department has introduced Faceless Penalty Scheme, 2021

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has introduced a "Faceless Penalty Scheme, 2021" to handle recommendations for penalty issued under its faceless assessment programme. The scheme has laid down the procedure to issue penalty through electronic mode, including the procedures for admission of additional grounds and the admission of additional evidence during the appellate proceedings.

The penalty under this scheme shall be imposed in respect of such territorial area, or persons or class of persons, or income, as specified by the board. It aims to ensure that any penalty order issued by the authority is fool proof and has undergone multiple layers of review before it is confirmed or dropped.

The Income Tax Department had launched the Faceless Assessment Scheme in August last year to provide greater transparency, efficiency and accountability in income tax assessments. The objective of the scheme is to eliminate human interface between the taxpayer and the income tax department and to optimise the utilisation of resources through economies of scale and functional specialisation.  

The scheme proposes to set up a National Faceless Appeal Centre (NFAC), Regional Faceless Appeal Centres (RFACs) and Appeal units (AUs) which will allocate a recommendation for penalty made under the faceless assessment programme to its regional units which can confirm or reject the penalty. The NFAC will facilitate the conduct of e-appeal proceedings in a centralised manner, and with jurisdiction to resolve appeals in accordance with the provisions of the scheme. It would be the sole point of contact between the appeal unit and the appellant, any other person, the NeAC, or the AO with respect to information, documents, evidence, and other details necessary for the purpose of the scheme.

The NFAC may rectify any mistake apparent from the record in respect of any penalty order passed by it, and amend the mistake by passing an order in writing in accordance with the procedure. Besides, an appeal against penalty order made by the National e-Assessment Centre under this scheme can be filed before the Commissioner (Appeals) having jurisdiction over the jurisdictional Assessing Officer.

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