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I-T dept to use video conference sparingly in faceless assessment scheme

I-T dept to use video conference sparingly in faceless assessment scheme

The income-tax department’s faceless assessment regime will leave room for interaction between a taxpayer and officials through video conference (VC) in specific circumstances but the government’s intention is to use it sparingly, so that the new system built on anonymity isn’t jeopardised, senior tax officials said in a webinar on Friday.
The webinar on faceless assessments was organised by Dhruva Advisors and Ficci .

The system of fully digitised and anonymous assessment and appeal was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. The regime seeks to eliminate the interface between taxpayers and the tax official, which is expected to cut the discretionary power enjoyed by the officials while also restricting the opportunity for the taxpayers to enter into illegal arrangements with their assessors.

However, this has unnerved many taxpayers who have asked the department whether the absence of oral or physical hearing would rob the proceedings of ‘fair exchange of information’ as only written submission would be allowed. “Can the taxpayer be assured that their written points would be understood by the tax officer and taken into consideration, and therefore can the taxpayer be assured of justice in the current scheme,” S Nageswari, tax head at Tata Group, asked the tax officials at the webinar

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