Tuesday, June 6, 2023

CBDT notifies e-Appeals Scheme, 2023; implements functioning of JCIT(A)

The Finance Act 2023 introduced the Joint Commissioner (Appeals) [JCIT (Appeals)], a designated income tax authority, to handle certain small appeal disputes. To operationalize the JCIT (Appeals), the CBDT has introduced the e-Appeals Scheme, 2023, effective from 29-05-2023. The scheme outlines the scope, procedure, penalty proceedings, rectification proceedings, and other provisions for smooth implementation. Here are the key highlights of the scheme:

Applicability (a): The scheme applies to individuals or classes of individuals covered under Section 246 of the IT Act.

Allocation of Appeals (b): The Principal Director General (Systems) or the Director General (Systems) will randomly assign or transfer appeals to the JCIT (Appeals).

Notice and Submissions (c): Upon assignment of an appeal, the JCIT (Appeals) will issue a notice to the appellant, requesting submissions within the prescribed time. A copy of the notice will also be sent to the Assessing Officer (AO).

Information and Evidence (d): The JCIT (Appeals) can request additional information, documents, or evidence from the appellant or any other person. They may also obtain a report from the AO regarding the grounds of appeal or information provided by the appellant.

Additional Grounds of Appeal (e): The appellant can file additional grounds of appeal with the JCIT (Appeals). The AO can request the JCIT (Appeals) to direct the production of relevant documents, evidence, or examination of witnesses during the appellate proceedings.

Show-Cause Notice (f): If the JCIT (Appeals) intends to enhance an assessment, penalty, or reduce the refund amount, they will prepare a show-cause notice stating the reasons for their decision.

Appeal Order (g): The JCIT (Appeals) will prepare an appeal order in accordance with section 251, specifying the points for determination, the decision, and the reasoning behind it.

Penalty Proceedings (h): In case of non-compliance with any notice, direction, or order, the JCIT (Appeals) can issue a show-cause notice to initiate penalty proceedings. After considering the relevant materials and response, they will prepare a penalty order or drop the penalty proceedings.

Rectification of Mistake (i): The JCIT (Appeals) can amend any order to rectify a mistake apparent from the record upon receiving an application from the appellant or the Assessing Officer. After examining the application and considering all relevant material, they will issue an order to rectify the mistake or reject the application.

Appeal to ITAT (j): An appeal against an order passed by the JCIT (Appeals) can be made to the ITAT having jurisdiction over the jurisdictional Assessing Officer of the appellant-assessee.

Personal Hearing (k): While personal appearance or representation is not required under this scheme, a request for a personal hearing can be made. The hearing can be conducted through video conferencing or video telephony.

Amendments and Filing of Appeals (l): The CBDT has also amended existing Rules 45 and 46A with Form 35 to enable the filing of appeals before the JCIT(A).