Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CBDT gives procedure for E Assessment for Fin. Year 2017-18

The CBDT on 12th of February, 2018 has issued important instructions to the conduct of proceedings in scrutiny cases electronically.

Section 2 (23C) of Income-tax Act, 1961 applicable from 01.06.2016, provides that “hearing” includes communication of data and documents through electronic mode.

CBDT had issued a revised format for Notices under Section 143(2) and in Para 3 of the notice provides that assessment proceedings in cases selected for scrutiny would be conducted electronically in ‘E-Proceeding’ facility through E-filing website of Income-tax Department.

The procedure as per revised guidelines for conduct of proceedings electronically, except for search related assessments; proceedings in other pending scrutiny assessment cases shall be conducted only through the ‘E-Proceeding’ functionality in IT website.

However, where the concerned assessee objects to conduct of the ‘E- Proceeding’ facility, such cases, for the time-being, may be kept on hold.
The stations with limited capacity where bandwidth is in the process of being upgraded, it has been decided that till 31.03.2018 may undertake and complete only 10% scrutiny cases getting barred by limitation on 31.12.2018 and having the potential to effect recovery during the current year.

All the stations, till 31.03.2018, the assessment proceedings may be conducted manually if e-assessment is not possible and at all other stations with exceptions as given by CBDT, the assessments would be conducted electronically only.
Important procedural aspects for ‘E-Proceeding’ assessment are as under:
1. Enquiry before assessment in electronic mode: For enquiries before assessment in terms of section 142(l)(ii) of the Act, notice shall be issued electronically and delivered upon the assessee in his ‘E-Filing’ account.

2. While filing the response electronically in compliance with notice under section 142(l)(ii) of the Act, the concerned assessee shall verify it in the manner prescribed under Rule 14 of Income-tax Rules, 1962.

3. Use of digital signature by Assessing Officer: All notices will be issued to the assessee through the ‘e-Proceeding’ facility under DSC of the officer.

4. Time for compliance: Online submissions may be filed till the office hours on the date stipulated for compliance.

5. Availability of facility for electronic submission of documents:

- In time barring situation the facility for electronic submission of documents through ‘E- Proceeding’ shall be automatically closed seven days before the time barring date.

- In other situations, upon completion of proceedings, before passing the final order, concerned Assessing Officer, on his volition, shall close the e-submission facility after mentioning in electronic order sheet that ‘hearing has been concluded’

- In exceptional circumstances, the concerned Assessing Officer may enable further filing of submissions electronically under intimation to the Range Head in ITBA.

6. In assessment proceedings being carried out through the ‘E-Proceeding’ facility, a particular proceeding may take place manually in following situation(s):

- where manual books of accounts or original documents have to be examined;
- where Assessing Officer invokes provisions of section 131 of the Act or a notice is issued for carrying out third party enquiries/investigations;
- where examination of witness is required to be made by the concerned assessee or the Department;
- where a show-cause notice contemplating any adverse view is issued by the Assessing Officer and assessee requests for personal hearing to explain the matter.

7. Maintenance of ‘Record’ in the context of ‘E-Proceeding’: 

The cases being assessed through ‘E-Proceeding’ the case-records and note sheet of proceedings shall be maintained electronically.