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What's in a Face? - A Poetic Tribute to the New Era of Faceless Assessments

Mayank Mohanka , Last updated: 25 April 2022  
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Friends, it is often said that a "Poem" conveys your thoughts in lesser words but with a greater impact. So, here is my "Poetic Tribute to the New Era of Faceless Assessments" in my Poem titled, "What's in a Face?". The entire scheme of Faceless Assessments has been explained beautifully in a poetic manner in this Poem.

"What's in a Face?"

"What's in a Name?", said Shakespeare,
"What's in a Face?", CBDT Veers.

With "Anonymity" as the New Norm,
Faceless Assessments have Born.

Artificial Intelligence,
Captures Transactions' Evidence.

Machine Learning,
Digs into Assessee's Earnings.

Between the Assessee & Assessor,
NaFAC acts as a Match-maker.

Cases are assigned through automatic allocation,
Assessments are now agnostic location.

AOs have been Replaced with Dynamic Jurisdiction,
Assessments are now Expected to have more Conviction.

Thing of the Past is now Physical Appearance,
What will now Count is Assessee's Perseverance.

Notices are sent through e-Filing Portal,
Assessees need to e-file their replies, full Throttle.

Written Submissions have Replaced Verbal Pleadings,
All e-Filings to be done only through e-Proceedings.

Increasing the per-attachment uploading size from 5 Megabytes,
May act as Shining Armour in the Knight.

All Communications are to be in Electronic Mode,
Income Tax Offices, have become the Less Travelled Road.

Faceless Assessments do avoid 'Conveyance-kharcha',
Though Miss out on that 'Chai pe Charcha'.

High Courts set-aside Faceless Assessment Orders bringing Injustice,
And Mandate Adoption of Principle of Natural Justice.

With Personal Hearing through Video Conference,
Principle of Natural Justice gets the much-needed Credence.

Faceless Assessments strengthen, with VCs being Embodied,
Though Omission of Section 144B(9) could have been Avoided.

Assessment Units to prepare Income or Loss Determination Proposal,
Before giving Assessment Order, the Final Disposal.

Getting Acknowledgements of Filed Submissions is No More Difficult,
As Acknowledgements are Automatically Generated with Hash Result.

Technology gives Faceless Assessments, an Amazing Facelift,
Tax Administration undergoes a Paradigm Shift.

Lets' Accept & Embrace them, without any Dismay,
As Faceless Assessments are here to Stay.

(By Mayank Mohanka)

What s in a Face  - A Poetic Tribute to the New Era of Faceless Assessments

Time for Some Lighter Moments

Friends, very recently, the Hon'ble Delhi High Court, in the case of 'Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd vs. Union of India [2022] 134 taxmann.com 187 (Delhi), dated 14.1.2022, on the specific concern, put forth by the departmental representative, that grant of personal hearing through video conferencing to the assessee, would frustrate and defeat the concept of faceless assessments, has suggested quite interesting solutions and has observed,

"that the identity of the assessing officer can be hidden/protected while granting personal hearing by either creating a blank screen or by decreasing the pixel/density/resolution."

Well Friends, kudos to the innovative and creating thought process of the hon'ble Delhi High Court.

There may be other effective ways also, for hiding the identity of the assessing or appellate authority in faceless regime. The cartoon below practically demonstrates once such smart way of granting the opportunity of personal hearing through video conferencing to the assessee and still remaining faceless during the course of faceless assessment/appeal/penalty proceedings.

Cartoon

Source: Concept Conceived by Mayank Mohanka

Well, the cartoon may suggest anything on a lighter side, but this path breaking and pioneering reform of faceless adjudication regime, is indeed a game changer for overhauling the entire tax administration system.

Though for the taxpayers and tax practitioners, this will result in missing out on that odd cup of Tea (Chai pe Charcha) with the assessing and appellate authorities, but as long as that odd cup of Tea is being substituted by a far more rewarding and satisfying 'TEA' of Transparency, Efficiency & Accountability, no one is complaining.

Useful Reference

For having insights into the threadbare detailed analysis on all important and crucial litigative issues, in the faceless regime in Income Tax, a reference to the thoroughly re-written and curated fifth edition of the Book titled, "Faceless Assessment Appeals & Penalty Ready Reckoner with Real Time Case Studies, authored by the author of this Article, Shri Mayank Mohanka, FCA, and published by Taxmann publications, is desirable and useful.

This Book is a 'READY RECKONER' & Your 'Go-TO-GUIDE' for each and everything, which You may wish to Know, Understand & Learn about the New 'Faceless Taxation Regime'.

Crafted with acute precision, this Special & Exclusive Edition of the Book, will help and support the assessees and tax practitioners in carrying out of their faceless assessments, faceless appeals, faceless penalty and all other faceless proceedings, in an effective, qualitative, professional and timely manner.

This Book is characterised by its 'Thread Bare Analysis of the Newly Amended Faceless Regime by the Finance Act, 2022. An honest and sincere effort has been made in this Book to explain and demonstrate the practical aspects and nitty-gritties of the New 'Faceless Taxation Regime' in a 'step-by-step-manner' through 'real-time practical case studies' in the new e-Proceedings utility, in the new e-Filing portal of Income tax department, encompassing crucial and significant scrutiny and appeal issues having immense relevance and practical utility for all the assesses and tax practitioners.

 

This Book contains 25+ Practical Case Studies on important and recurring issues in assessments and appeals, along with their suggestive qualitative submissions.

This Book Deciphers & Decodes Many Critical & Litigative Issues in the Faceless Taxation Regime, like:

  1. What Would Constitute a Valid Issuance & Service of a Faceless Income Tax Notice;
  2. Whether Omission of section 144B(9), Makes Faceless Assessments conducted in Violation of Principle of Natural Justice, Immune?
  3. Whether NaFAC can be considered as a Lawful Substitute for Recording of Satisfaction by Jurisdictional AO?
  4. Validity of Frequent Transfer of Faceless Assessments & Penalty Cases, from Faceless Hierarchy to Jurisdictional AO
  5. Legality of the fixing of the maximum time limit for filing all the 'e-responses' by the assessee under the 'e-proceedings' functionality under faceless assessments.
  6. Validity of Exercise of Revisionary Powers by an Individual Jurisdictional CIT(Appeal) u/s 263/264, over an Order passed by a Dynamic Jurisdiction in Faceless Hierarchy.
  7. What are adequate Safeguards for Avoiding High-Pitched Assessments in Faceless Regime?
 
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Published by

Mayank Mohanka
(Chartered Accountant)
Category Income Tax   Report

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