Faceless tax assessment and appeals unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday will promote transparency, certainty, and empower honest taxpayers, India Inc., and experts said.
In a major overhaul of tax administration, Modi unveiled faceless tax assessment and appeals to reduce the scope for corruption and overreach by officials, and said a taxpayers’ charter is being implemented to ensure a free, fair, and transparent tax environment.
Launching the ”Transparent Taxation – Honouring The Honest Platform” through video conferencing, he said the taxpayer base, at just 1.5 crores in India, is very low, and urged those who owe taxes to come forward and honestly pay their dues and contribute to nation-building.
The taxpayers’ charter and faceless assessment are the next phases of direct tax reforms aimed at easing compliance and rewarding honest taxpayers as the government looks to rebuild the pandemic-hit economy.
While faceless assessment, that does not require the taxpayer to visit any office or meet any official, and taxpayers’ charter will be implemented from Thursday, the faceless appeal will come into force from September 25, Modi said.
“The platform lays down the framework for big reforms such as faceless assessment, faceless appeal, and taxpayers charter, and will greatly benefit taxpayers,” CII President Uday Kotak said.
“Such reforms would further lay the roadmap for making the income tax system seamless, painless, and faceless, and promote ease of living in line with Prime Minister’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision,” he added.
FICCI President Sangita Reddy said, “This is another milestone in our journey of structural reforms and will tremendously boost the confidence of the taxpayers in the country.”
She said Prime Minister Modi has clearly articulated that the government is committed to honour and respect honest taxpayers and make them a part of the team that is working towards realising the vision of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.’
ASSOCHAM Secretary General Deepak Sood said the overall feeling among taxpayers is that such schemes can go a long way in bringing reforms in direct taxation.
“The relationship between the taxpayer and the government should be seamless, fearless, and the one that cements mutual confidence. The e-assessment is a step in that direction,” he added.
Himanshu Parekh, Partner and Head, Corporate and International Tax, KPMG in India, said, “The aspects related to faceless assessments and appeals will ensure that there is no opportunity for personal bias and assessments or appeals are conducted in a fair and transparent manner, which will avoid unnecessary controversy and long drawn litigation, which has been a bane for taxpayers.”