Key Pointers for Filing Income Tax Returns in India: 2022

The tax laws in India are perceived to be complicated by all. Having said that, the government of India, along with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), has over the years tried to make tax compliance simpler for the taxpayers. It is important to note that paying the taxes due and filing tax returns is everyone’s duty as well as responsibility towards building the nation of our dreams.

With the due date for filing your income tax return for the Financial Year 2021-22, i.e., Assessment Year 2022-23, just round the corner, we bring to you a few pointers while filing your tax return, which can ensure that your tax filing process is smooth and hassle-free:


1. Assessees for whom the due date of 31st July is applicable:

All assesees, except the following, are required to file their returns on or before 31st July:

  1. Assessees who are subject to a tax audit and/or transfer pricing.
  2. Partners of Partnership Firms/LLP to whom tax audit and/or transfer pricing is applicable.
  3. A company.
  4. Any person whose accounts are required to be audited under any other law.


2. Income Tax Website and Account:

  • To file your income tax returns, you need to visit the Income Tax website at
  • If you are a first-time filer, you will have to register yourself by clicking on the “Register” tab at the top right corner of the ‘’Home’’
  • If you are a registered user, you can click on the “Login” tab at the top right corner of the home page.
  • Your Permanent Account Number [PAN] is the default user ID to login to the income tax portal.


3. Sources of Income:

As per the tax laws in India, there are primarily, 5 sources of income, which are explained as under:

  1. Income from Salaries: If you are a salaried employee, your income will be chargeable under this category. Furthermore, pensions earned by retired people will be taxed under this head. Also, taxable portion of the gratuity earned on retirement and leave encashments received from employers, is also taxed under this head. Please ensure you have your Form 16 received from your employer handy while you proceed to file your tax returns.
  2. Income from House Property: The rentals earned from your house property rented out is taxable under this head. Further, if you own multiple house properties which are not let out, each of such house properties, other than one[1] self-occupied house property, shall be deemed to be let out and a notional rental shall be considered as income. You would be allowed to reduce from the aforesaid rentals, the municipal taxes paid during the year towards the said let-out properties. Further, there would be a statutory deduction of a flat 30% from the net income of each house property. The interest component of your housing loan EMI paid on your housing loan will be reduced up to a maximum of Rs. 2 Lakhs from the said income.
  3. Income from Business and Profession: If you own a business or are a professional, your net profits will be taxed under this head. It is advisable to reconcile the turnover as per books of accounts and as per the Goods and Services Tax [GST] returns filed during the year.
  4. Income from Capital Gains: If you have sold any shares, mutual funds, bonds, land, commercial or residential property, or any other capital asset during the year, the net gains, i.e., sale price less cost/indexed cost of acquisition of the same, shall be taxable under this head, unless you have made an eligible reinvestment, which gives you exemption from the capital gain tax. It is to be noted that a ‘’switch out’’ from a mutual fund scheme and a ‘’switch into’’ another mutual fund scheme is also a taxable transfer on which capital gains tax is required to be paid. It is advisable to obtain a capital gain statement from your broker or download it from the application/software used to transact in shares and mutual funds, to help you calculate the long-term and short-term capital gains amounts.

Long-term capital losses can only be set off against long-term capital gains in the event of a loss; however, short-term capital losses can be set off against both long-term and short-term capital gains. Unexhausted losses can be carried forward for the next eight assessment years.

5. Income from other sources: This head of income is a residual head where incomes such as dividends, bank interest, etc. are taxed.

It is critical to scrutinise all your bank statements thoroughly and verify the income received during the year and also obtain relevant interest certificates from the bank to enable you to compute the due taxes appropriately.


4. New Regime vs. Old Regime:

It is necessary to estimate your tax liability, both as per the old regime and the new regime, at the beginning of the financial year itself, to enable you to plan your taxes accordingly. Having said that, the Income Tax Department has clarified that you may, while filing your tax returns, select an option different from the option selected while filing your declarations and providing investment details to your employer.


5. Treatment of losses:

In the event the return is not filed by the due date, you will not be allowed to carry forward losses from business, capital gains, and activity of owning and maintaining racehorses. However, losses from house property and unabsorbed depreciation can be carried forward even if the return is filed belatedly.


6. Return Form vis-a-vis Sources of Income:

Following are the ITR forms to be filed for the corresponding incomes:

  • ITR 1 – For residents with a total income of up to Rs.50 lakh from salaries, one house property, or other sources.
  • ITR 2 – For individuals and HUFs not having income from profits and gains of business or profession.
  • ITR 3 – For individuals and HUFs having income from profits and gains in business or profession.
  • ITR 4 – For Individuals, HUFs and Firms (other than LLPs) being a resident having total income up to Rs.50 lakh and income from business and profession computed under sections 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE (Presumptive Income).
  • ITR 5 – For persons other than- (i) individual, (ii) HUF, (iii) company and (iv) charitable trust, NGOs and similar organisations.

You can file the online utility of the aforesaid forms by logging into your income tax portal and clicking on E-File > Income Tax Returns > File Income Tax Return > Assessment Year – 2022-23 > Mode of filing: Online. You can also download the common Java utility for ITR 1 to 4 or ITR 5 from the Download tab on the income tax website, fill it in and submit it. The Income Tax Department also gives you the option to pre-fill your return using the data filed in the previous year by clicking on E-File > Income Tax Returns > Download Prefilled Data. Before submitting your return for the year, you must reconcile the information being submitted with the pre-filled data that is available on the portal against each assessee’s name, to ensure its correctness and also make necessary changes, wherever necessary.


7. Form No. 26AS and Annual Information Statement (AIS):

Before starting with the process of filling in details of income in the return of income, you should download Form No. 26AS from E-File > Income Tax Returns > View Form 26AS > click ‘view tax credit (form 26AS) < Assessment Year 2022-23 – View as HTML < Export as PDF, so as to ensure that all the incomes on which Tax Deducted at Source [TDS] has been deducted and the corresponding TDS amounts, are taken into consideration while calculating your taxes. In case Tax Collected at Source [TCS] has been collected from you, the credit  for that will be taken into account when calculating your tax payable.

Further, you need to download the AIS on the tab Services > Annual Information Statement (AIS), which has the information of various transactions reported to the Income Tax Department during the year. The same shall be taken into consideration, to the extent applicable, while computing the taxability during the year. (The password to open the AIS is your PAN in small case followed by your date of birth; eg: aaapa1111f15121960).


8. Deductions under Chapter VI A (80C, 80G, 80D, etc):

All the eligible deductions under Chapter VIA of the Income Tax Act 1961 [Act] can be claimed while filing the return of income, even if the same were inadvertently left out while making declarations, or while submitting actual proof of the same to the employer, for consideration on Form 16. The excess TDS deducted by the employers, consequently, can be claimed back as a refund.


9. Payment of Self-Assessment tax and Credit of Taxes Paid:

The taxes paid in the form of Advance Tax and TDS/TCS shall be available as a credit against the tax, cess, surcharge and interest as computed on the total income and the balance amount payable along with interest thereon shall be paid as self-assessment tax using challan 280 on


10. Consequence of late filing or non-filing of Income Tax Returns:

In case a taxpayer fails to file the return within the normal due date applicable to him, a penalty of Rs. 5,000 would be levied if the return is filed past the due date but before December 31st. In other cases, the fine could be up to Rs. 10,000. However, in the case of willful defaulters, failing to file the return can lead to a fine and even imprisonment.


11. Verification of the tax returns:

The return filed online needs to be verified by the taxpayer within 120 days from the date of filing. The tax return can be e-verified using the Aadhar OTP, Electronic Verification Code (EVC), or by using your net banking account with selected banks. If none of these options work, you may send a signed copy of the acknowledgment to CPC Bangalore. A tax return filed but not verified is treated as an invalid return by the I.T. department. It would mean that you have not filed the return at all.


12. Donations made to charitable institutions are eligible for deduction u/s 80G:

If you have made donations to charitable institutions and wish to claim a deduction for the same u/s 80G of the Act, kindly ensure such institutions have reported your donations to the Income Tax Department and obtained a certificate of donation on Form No. 10BE.


  • If your total income does not exceed Rs. 2,50,000 no tax is due. Further, if your total income does not exceed Rs. 5,00,000, you are eligible to claim a rebate u/s 87A to the extent of Rs. 12,500/-, which effectively would result in nil tax payable.
  • For non-resident taxpayers, only their Indian income is chargeable to tax in India.
  • In cases where Indian tax residents own foreign assets, including shares of foreign companies, foreign bank accounts, etc., the same needs to be disclosed in their income tax returns.
  • Every individual having a total income of over Rs 50 Lakh is required to give a list of his/her assets and liabilities at cost while filing his/her tax returns.
  • Though clarity on taxing crypto currencies came vide Finance Act 2022, the sale of crypto currencies prior to Finance Act 2022 would also be chargeable to tax as per the prevailing law. You may need to seek a detailed opinion if you have traded in crypto currencies and made a profit thereon.
  • If you are a legal heir to a taxpayer who has died during the year and has earned taxable income or is required to file his/her tax returns as per the law, you are required to register yourself as a ‘legal heir’ to such a deceased taxpayer through your Income Tax portal and file his/her tax return through your income tax portal using his/her PAN.

For further advice and detailed assistance in filing your Income tax returns kindly contact our following Fox Mandal and Associates representatives:



Nikhil Bhise –

Akshita Bhandari –


[1] Increased to two in last Finance Act, subject to conditions being met.

With the due date for filing your income tax return for the Financial Year 2021-22, i.e., Assessment Year 2022-23, just round the corner, we bring to you a few pointers while filing your tax return, which can ensure that your tax filing process is smooth and hassle-free.


OECD BEPS Framework: Recent Development

Addressing tax issues arising in the digital economy has been a priority of the international community since past several years. It aims to deliver a consensus-based solution and ensure Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) pay a fair share of tax in the jurisdiction they operate. After years of intensive negotiations, the Organization for Export Co-operation and Development (OECD) / G20 has recently introduced a major reform in the international tax framework for taxing the Digital Economy.

The OECD / G20 inclusive framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) [“IF”] has issued a Statement, on 8th October 2021, agreeing on a two pillar-solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy. There are 136 countries, including India, out of a total of 140 countries, representing more than 90% of the global GDP, that have agreed to this Statement. All members of the OECD countries have joined in this initiative and there are four G20 country members  (i.e. Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan & Sri Lanka) who have not yet joined. The broad framework of the two-pillar approach as per the Statement is as follows:


Pillar One


Introduction and applicability:

  • Pillar One focuses on fairer distribution of revenue and allocation of taxing rights between the market jurisdictions (where the users are located), based on a ‘’special purpose nexus’’ rule, using a revenue-based allocation.
  • Applicable to large MNEs with a global turnover in excess of  Euro 20 Billion and profitability above 10% (i.e. profit before tax)[1]. This revenue threshold is expected to be reduced to Euro 10 Billion, upon successful review, after 7 years of the IF coming into force.
  • The regulated financial services sector and extractive industries are kept out of the scope of Pillar One.


Calculation Methodology:

  • Such allocation will help determine the ‘’Amount A’’ under Pillar one.
  • The special-purpose nexus rule will apply solely to determine whether a jurisdiction qualifies for Amount A allocation based on which 25% of residual profits, defined as profit in excess of 10% of revenue, would be allocated to the market jurisdictions using a revenue-based allocation key.
  • Allocation vis-à-vis nexus rule will be provided for market jurisdictions in which the MNE derives at least Euro 1 Million  of revenue  [Euro 250,000  for smaller jurisdictions (i.e. jurisdiction having  GDP lower than Euro 40 Billion )]
  • Profits will be based on financial accounting income, subject to:
    • Minimal adjustments; and
    • Carry forward of losses
  • Detailed revenue sourcing rules for specific categories of transactions shall be developed to ensure that revenues are sourced to end market jurisdiction, where goods or services are consumed.
  • Safe harbour rules will be separately notified, so as to cap the allocation of baseline marketing and distribution profits of the MNE, which may otherwise already be taxed in the market jurisdiction.


Tax Certainty:

  • Rules will be developed to ensure that no double taxation of profits gets allocated to the market jurisdiction, by using either the exemption or the credit method.
  • Commitment has been provided to have mandatory and binding dispute prevention and resolution mechanisms to eliminate double taxation of Amount A and also resolve issues w.r.t transfer pricing and business profits disputes.
  • An elective binding dispute resolution mechanism for issues related to Amount A will be available only for developing economies, in certain cases. The eligibility of jurisdiction for this elective mechanism will be reviewed regularly.



  • Amount A will be implemented through a Multilateral Convention (MLC), which will be developed to introduce a multilateral framework for all the jurisdictions that join the IF.
  • The IF has mandated the Task Force on the Digital Economy (TFDE) to define and clarify the features of Amount A (e.g. elimination of double taxation, Marketing and Distribution Profits Safe Harbour), develop the MLC, and negotiate its content so that all jurisdictions that have committed to the Statement will be able to participate.
  • MLC will be developed and is expected to be open for signature in the year 2022, with Amount A expected to come into effect in the year 2023.
  • IF members may need to make changes to domestic law to implement the new taxing rights over Amount A. To facilitate consistency in the approach taken by jurisdictions and to support domestic implementation consistent with the agreed timelines and their domestic legislative procedures, the IF has mandated the TFDE to develop model rules for domestic legislation by early 2022 to give effect to Amount A.
  • The tax compliance will be streamlined allowing in-scope MNEs to manage the process through a single entity.


Unilateral Measures:

  • The MLC will require all parties to remove all digital service tax (DST) and other similar taxes (eg: Equalisation levy from India perspective) with respect to all companies and to commit not to introduce such measures in the future.
  • No newly enacted DST or other relevant similar measures will be imposed on any company from 8 October 2021 and until earlier than 31 December 2023 or coming into force of the MLC.


Pillar Two




  • Pillar Two consists of Global anti-Base Erosion Rules (GloBE) to ensure large MNEs pay a minimum level of tax thereby removing the tax arbitrage benefit which arises by artificially shifting the base from high tax jurisdiction to low tax jurisdiction with no economic substance.
  • Pillar Two is a mix of several rules, viz. (i) Income Inclusion Rule (IIR); (ii) Undertaxed Payment Rule (UTPR); and (iii) Subject to Tax Rule (STTR).
  • IIR imposes a top-up tax on parent entity in respect of low taxed income of a constituent entity
  • UTPR denies deductions or requires an equivalent adjustment to the extent low tax income of a constituent entity is not subject to tax under an IIR.
  • STTR is a treaty-based rule which allows source jurisdiction to impose limited source taxation on certain related-party payments subject to tax below a minimum rate. The STTR will be creditable as a covered tax under the GloBE rules.
  • There would be a 10-year transition period for exclusion of a certain percentage of the income of intangibles and payroll which will be reduced on year on year basis
  • GloBE provides de minimis exclusion where the MNE has revenue of less than Euro 10 Million and profit of less than Euro 1 Million and also provides exclusion of income from international shipping.


Calculation Methodology:


  • Pillar Two introduces a minimum effective tax rate (ETR) of 15% on companies for the purpose of IIR and UTPR and would apply to MNEs reporting a global turnover above Euro 750 Million under country-by-country report.
  • The IIR allocates top-up tax based on a top-down approach, subject to a split-ownership rule for shareholdings below 80%. The UTPR allocates top-up tax from low-tax constituent entities, including those located in the Ultimate Parent Entities (UPE) jurisdiction. However, MNEs that have a maximum of EUR 50 million tangible assets abroad and that operate in no more than 5 other jurisdictions, would be excluded from the UTPR GloBE rules in the initial phase of their international activity.
  • IF members recognize that STTR is an integral part of Pillar Two for developing countries and applies to payments like interest, royalties, and a defined set of other payments. The minimum rate for STTR will be 9%, however, the tax rights will be limited to the difference between the minimum rate and tax rate on payment.
  • GloBE rules would not be applicable to Government entities, international organizations, non-profit organizations, pension funds or investment funds that are UPE of an MNE Group or any holding vehicle used by such entities, organizations, or funds.



  • Model rules to give effect to the GloBE rules are expected to be developed by the end of November 2021. These model rules will define the scope and set out the mechanics of the GloBE rules. They will include the rules for determining the ETR on a jurisdictional basis and the relevant exclusions, such as the formulaic substance-based carve-out.
  • An implementation framework that facilitates the coordinated implementation of the GloBE rules is proposed to be developed by the end of 2022. This implementation framework will cover agreed administrative procedures (e.g. detailed filing obligations, multilateral review processes) and safe-harbors to facilitate both compliance by MNEs and administration by tax authorities.
  • Pillar Two is proposed to be effective in the year 2023, with the UTPR coming into effect in the year 2024.


FM Comments :


With the introduction of the OECD/G20 inclusive framework on BEPS, OECD expects revenues of developing countries to go up by 1.5-2% and increase in overall reallocation of profits to developing countries of about USD 125 Billion. India, being a huge market to large MNEs, has always endorsed this global tax deal. However, with the introduction of this framework, India will have to abolish all unilateral measures, such as equalization levy tax and Significant Economic Presence (digital permanent establishment) provisions. MNEs will also have to re-visit their structure to ring-fence their tax positions based on the revised digital tax norms.  This Statement lays down a road map for a robust international tax framework w.r.t taxing of the digital economy,  not restricted to online digital transactions.


[1] Calculated, using an “averaging mechanism”, details of which are awaited.

Image Credits: Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

With the introduction of the OECD/G20 inclusive framework on BEPS, OECD expects revenues of developing countries to go up by 1.5-2% and increase in overall reallocation of profits to developing countries of about USD 125 Billion. India, being a huge market to large MNEs, has always endorsed this global tax deal.


Tax Alert: Clarifications on Section 194Q-TDS on Purchase of Goods

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) introduced a new Section 194Q in Finance Act, 2021, which is effective from 01st July 2021, for withholding tax at source on payments made for the purchase of goods.

The provision of Section 194Q states that:

  • Any person, being a Buyer, having a turnover or gross receipts exceeding INR 10 crores during the preceding financial year;
  • While making payment of any sum to any resident (Seller) for purchase of any goods of the value, where the aggregate of such value exceeds INR 50 lakhs in the previous year
  • Shall at the time of credit of such sum to the account of the Seller or at the time of payment, whichever is earlier, deduct an amount equal to 0.1% percent as income tax.

The above provision is not applicable, where:

  • Tax is deductible under any other provision of the Act; or
  • Tax is collectible under the provision of section 206C of the Act, other than transactions covered u/s. 206C(1H) therein.

The CBDT has received several representations with respect to practical challenges that may arise in the implementation of section 194Q. To address the difficulties that may arise, the CBDT has issued Circular No 13[1] of 2021 providing various clarifications regarding section 194Q.

194Q is not applicable in the following situations:

As per the Circular, ambiguity is removed on the applicability of section 194Q in a number of cases. CBDT has clarified that section 194Q is not applicable in the following situations:

  • Transactions relating to securities and commodities, which are carried through recognized stock exchanges, including exchanges that are located in the International Financial Service Centre.
  • Transactions in electricity, renewable energy certificates, or energy certificates traded through registered power exchanges.
  • Payments by non-resident Buyers unless if the purchase of goods is not effectively connected with the Permanent Establishment / fixed place of business of such non-resident in India.
  • On purchase of goods from a Seller whose income is exempt from tax. Similarly, it is clarified that tax collection at source (TCS) provisions under section 206C (1H) of the Act would not be applicable if the Buyer’s income is exempt from tax. However, these exemptions would not be applicable if only part of the Seller’s/Buyer’s income is exempt.
  • In the year of incorporation of the Buyer, the threshold of INR 10 crore would not be satisfied.
  • Transactions, where either payment or credit for the transaction happened before 1st July 2021.
  • TDS would not be applicable on the GST amount if the GST amount is separately indicated in the invoice. However, in the case of advance payments, the TDS under section 194Q will have to be discharged on the entire amount, as it is not possible to identify the GST component.

Calculation related clarifications

  • It has been clarified that for calculating the threshold of INR 50 lakhs in respect of a particular Seller, the transaction for the whole FY 2021-22 shall be considered, starting from 1st April 2021 and not from 1st July 2021.
  • For computing threshold of INR 10 crore in respect of the Buyer, only business turnover or gross receipts from business activities is to be considered. As such, turnover or gross receipts from non-business activities would not require to be taken into consideration.
  • In case of purchase returns, the TDS deducted on such purchases under section 194Q shall need to be adjusted against subsequent purchases from the same Seller, if the money is refunded by the Seller to the Buyer. However, no adjustment will be required in cases where the purchase return is replaced by goods by the Seller.

The interplay between sections 194O, 194Q, and 206C(1H) of the Act:

  • If Section 194O is applicable on any particular transaction, then Section 194Q shall not be applicable;
  • If both section 194O and section 194Q are applicable, then section 194O will prevail;
  • Section 206C(1H) is not applicable if TDS is deductible u/s. 194O or Sec 194Q;
  • If both sections 194O and 206C(1H) are applicable, then 194O shall prevail. Even if TCS is collected by the Seller still tax deduction responsibility of the E-commerce operator under section 194O cannot be condoned; this is because the prescribed tax rate under section 194O is higher than the prescribed tax rate u/s. 206C(1H);
  • If both sections 194Q and 206C(1H) are applicable, then section 194Q shall prevail. However, for ease of business, if TCS under section 206C(1H) has already been collected by the Seller then section 194Q would not be applicable; this is because the prescribed tax rate for deduction under section 194O and the prescribed tax rate for collection under section 206C(1H) are the same.


This Circular is an extremely welcome one and has several important clarifications that have been issued by the CBDT before the enactment of the provisions of sections 194Q and 206C(1H). The Circular provides clarity vis-à-vis the scope of the relevant provisions, calculation of thresholds, interplay between overlapping provisions etc.

However, there are still some niggling doubts that prevail, requiring further clarity. For instance, while calculating the threshold of turnover or gross receipts of INR 10 crore w.r.t the Buyer, whether the amount considered should include or exclude the GST component.  

Also, it would help if it is prescribed for the Seller to obtain a “no deduction” declaration from the Buyer w.r.t TDS under section 194Q, in a situation where both sections 194Q and section 206C(1H) are jointly applicable on the same transaction and tax has already been collected and paid under section 206C(1H) by the Seller.


[1] Circular No 13 of 2021 dated 30th June 2021 (F No. 370142/26/2021 – TPL


Image Credits: Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This Circular is an extremely welcome one and has several important clarifications that have been issued by the CBDT before the enactment of the provisions of sections 194Q and 206C(1H). The Circular provides clarity vis-à-vis the scope of the relevant provisions, calculation of thresholds, interplay between overlapping provisions etc.


'Honoring the Honest'- A Perspective on Transparent Taxation

The administration of a country makes headway with fiscal reforms when the revenue framework starts hindering effectiveness. Further, the redesigning of tax administration is done to widen the tax base and to achieve budgetary objectives.

Over the years, policymakers have understood the need for having a balance between innovation and compliance systems. The Tax Administration Reform Strategy that has been adopted, therefore, entails a simplified compliance system. At the innovation front, it has prompted the introduction of E-assessments; revamping of the E-filling portal and strengthening of Central Processing Centers (CPCs) for processing the ITRs. 

In addition, mandating the need for computer-generated Unique Document Identification Number (DIN) followed by the announcement by the Finance Minister of Faceless Assessment Scheme in her Budget Speech on July 5th, 2019, has sequentially nourished the Tax administration with a unique technological advancement, the “Transparent Taxation System”. 

Now India has embraced its policy reforms by introducing a scheme to “Honour the Honest” and to balance automation with compliance. By adopting a system of process simplification, India has become the first on an International platform to set a unique practice of “Faceless Assessment Scheme.” 



Need for Transparent Taxation 


The policymakers widely felt that the current tax system had components of arbitrary use of power, and direly needed to have fair play and transparency. The human interface and the multiplicity of visits to tax offices were prejudicial to the spirit of an honest taxpayer paving the way for corruption and favoritism.  

The tax system was called for and the Government also recognized the need for having an administrative mechanism with a minimal interface between a Tax-officer and a Taxpayer.  

The complications in efficiency and effectiveness demanded a transparent taxation system. Thus, the Government presented before us a Faceless Assessment Scheme and a scheme of Faceless Appeals at the level of Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals).  

Towards the Transparent Taxation regime, the Hon’ble Prime Minister on August 13th, 2020, on behalf of the Central Board of Direct Taxes launched a new platform to meet the requirements of the 21st-century Taxation system. The New facilities launched are a part of the Government’s initiative to provide “Maximum Governance with Minimum Government”. 

The platform, apart from being faceless, is also aimed at boosting the confidence of the Taxpayer and making him/her fearless. It aims to make the tax system indefectible, faceless and painless for the Assessee. After Banking the Unbanked, Securing the Unsecured and Funding the Unfunded”, the “Honoring the Honest” initiative by the Tax Department has given the Indian Tax system, global recognition. 



Elements & Features of Faceless Assessment 


In respect of the features of the scheme, it enumerates the selection of a case for scrutiny through Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. The approach is to abolish Territorial Jurisdiction for assessment proceedings. It prescribes automated and random allocation of cases where notices, when served, will have Document Identification No. (DIN).  

The scheme provides for team-based assessments and team-based review whereby draft assessment orders from one city will undergo review in a different City and finally be issued by the Nodal Agency located in Delhi. The Government has made the facility of Faceless Appeal available from September 25th, 2020, and it will randomly allot such Appeals to any Tax officer in the country. The identity of officers deciding an appeal will remain unknown, and the appellate decisions will be team-based and reviewed.  

Most importantly, the scheme of both the Faceless Assessment and Faceless Appeal, curbs the practice of physical interface. Therefore, from now, there is no need for an assessee to visit the Income Tax Office. 

In respect of efficiency and effectiveness, the scheme intends to benefit the Taxpayer through the ease of compliance, functional specialization, improved quality of assessments, and most notably expeditious disposal of cases.  



Implementation and Execution


The scheme prescribes the constitution of the National E-assessment Centre (NeAC) & Regional E-assessment Centres (ReAc). The NeAC will function as a nodal agency in coordination with the ReACs located at different places supported by Assessment Units (AUs), Verification Units (VUs), Review Units (RUs), and Technical Units (TUs). Towards the completion of the Assessment, NeAc will pass and issue final orders.  

In respect of the operational perspective of the scheme, the new set-up formulated under the Faceless Assessment Scheme will administer all assessment proceedings u/s 143, 144, 148 read with 143(2)/ 142(1) of the Income-Tax Act 1961. 

However, the scheme holds exceptions as well. It would not apply to cases assigned to Central Circles, matters related to International Taxation, and facts constituting offenses under the Black Money Act and the Benami Property Act.  

Henceforth two-third of the department officers will be deputed to perform the functions of faceless assessments. The balance one third will perform residual functions enumerated under the Act including rectification proceedings, statutory powers u/s 263/264 of the Act, handling of grievances, demand management, recovery, collection, prosecution, and compounding and administrative/HRD matters. The Officers of the Directorate of Investigation and TDS units will exercise power to conduct survey u/s 133A of the Act. 

Within the folds of the new system lies the roots of the Tax Charter, which addresses the expectations of both the Revenue Department and the Assessee. The Revenue Department by way of the Charter assures fair, courteous and rational behaviour towards the Assessee. The Charter holds statutory backing with a binding character anticipating a commitment from the Assessee to fulfill the expectations of the Income Tax Department.  



Incidental Tools, towards Transparency 


Alongside the reforms pertaining to tax administration, the Government also revived the existing framework in terms of disclosure and reporting of transactions.  

Accordingly, Income Tax Return will now seek details of House ownership, Passport number and details of Cash deposit exceeding prescribed limits. An Assessee must now also disclose expenditure incurred on foreign travel if it exceeds INR 2 lakh and even aspects of spending on electricity bills exceeding INR 1 lakh during a Financial Year.  

Under the newly developed Tax Regime, Form 26AS (Form) will now be a complete profile of the taxpayer w.e.f. June 1st, 2020. It will cover under its scope “Specified financial transactions” covering transactions of purchase/ sale of goods, property, services, works contract, investment, expenditure, taking or accepting any loan or deposits.  

Furthermore, the Form will include information about income tax demand, refunds, pending proceedings, and proceedings completed under section 148,153A 153C of the Act. 

Revision to an assessment and details of an appeal will also be shared under the new format of the Form and it will not be a one-time affair anymore, it will be live and updated quarterly. The Form will also address information received by the Tax Department from any other country under a Tax Treaty/Tax Information Exchange Agreements. 

The Government has also proposed to expand the scope of Section 285BA of the Act for reporting of Specified Financial Transactions following which the Revenue Department may have on record the payment towards educational fee/donation and purchase of jewelry and paintings exceeding a value of INR 1 lakh.  

Thus, in a nutshell, the consumption and investment patterns of the Taxpayer will fall under the tax radar. It will now be difficult for any taxpayer to hide any transaction with a vendor, Bank/Financial Institution, etc. notified under the Income Tax Law.  





On the face of it, the initiative is promising. Keeping in view, the intended simplicity and structure of the new administrative regime introduced for inducing better tax compliance in the Country. The question is how effectively it will overcome the challenges of and meet the intended objectives of the policymakers. The answer would depend on how seamlessly is the plan executed.   

Image Credits: Photo by Samantha Borges on Unsplash

On the face of it, the initiative is promising. Keeping in view, the intended simplicity and structure of the new administrative regime introduced for inducing better tax compliance in the Country. The question is how effectively it will overcome the challenges of and meet the intended objectives of the policymakers.