Changes in Faceless Appeal Scheme,2021

Last Updated On: Jan. 19, 2022, 11:37 p.m.
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CHANGES IN FACELESS APPEAL SCHEME,2021

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-sections (6B) and (6C) of section 250 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), and in supersession of the Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2020 of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance published in the Official Gazette vide number S.O. 3296(E) dated 25th September 2020 and S.O. 3297(E) dated 25th September 2020, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government hereby makes the following Scheme names as Faceless Appeal Scheme.

 

What is the Scope of the scheme?

The appeal under this Scheme shall be disposed of in respect of such territorial area or persons or class of persons or incomes or class of incomes or cases or class of cases, as may be specified by the Board.
 

 

According to the Scheme, unless the context otherwise requires, –

(i) “Act” means the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961);

(ii) “addressee” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000);

(iii) “appeal” means appeal filed by a person under sub-section (1) of section 246A or section 248 of the Act;

(iv) “appellant” means the person who files appeal under section 246A or section 248 of the Act;

(v) “authorised representative” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in sub-section (2) of section 288 of the Act;

(vi) “automated allocation system” means an algorithm for randomised allocation of cases, by using suitable technological tools, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, with a view to optimise the use of resources;

 

Let us Compare the old Faceless Appeal Scheme,2020 and Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2021 and get to know the changes:

  • The CBDT has renamed the National e-Assessment Centre to National Faceless Assessment Centre. However, the board has already changed the name vide Circular F. No. 187/3/2020-ITA-I dated 8-4-2021, but that was done in the Faceless Assessment Scheme, 2019. Now, the same has been incorporated in the Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2021.
  • The new scheme has replaced the word ‘may’ with ‘shall’ with respect to allowing requests for a personal hearing. Thus, it would be mandatory for the Commissioner (Appeals) to allow a personal hearing if the taxpayer requests it during e-proceedings.
  • In the new scheme, there is no concept of a draft order, now the commissioner (Appeals) shall prepare an appeal order and send it to National Faceless Appeal Centre (NFAC) after signing the same digitally. After that, the NFAC shall communicate such order to the appellant. Instead in the old scheme, the appeal unit first prepare the draft order and that order was sent to another appeal unit for review. It reduces the duplicity of work
  • Under the new Faceless Appeal Scheme, all the orders (appeal order, penalty order, or rectification order) shall be signed digitally by the Commissioner (Appeals) before sending to National Faceless Appeal Centre. There were no such provisions of signing orders digitally by the Appeal Units in the previous scheme.
  • In the new scheme, the department reduces the level of RFACs for the conduct of e-appeal proceedings, now, an appeal is directly assigned to the Commissioner (Appeals) of a specific Appeal Unit. Rather in the old scheme, where NFAC assign the appeal to RFAC and then the e-appeal proceedings are taken by one or more commissioner (Appeals).
  • The erstwhile scheme of faceless appeal had provided that the appeal unit shall have one or more Commissioner (Appeals) and other income-tax authority/staff to assist them. Under the Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2021, the appeal unit shall have one Commissioner (Appeals) and other income-tax authority/staff to assist him.
  • Under the erstwhile scheme, for any non-compliance with any notice, direction or order, the Appeal Unit was required to send a recommendation to the NFAC to initiate penalty proceedings. The new scheme has removed the requirement to send such a recommendation. The Commissioner (Appeals) has been authorized to send a notice to the appellant through the NFAC to initiate any penalty proceedings.
  • In the New scheme, the same commissioner (Appeals) who has completed the appeal proceedings is also authorized to initiate penalty proceedings, however, in the erstwhile scheme, NFAC assigns the initiation of penalty proceedings to any RFAC which might be the same or different who conducted the appeal proceedings.
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