The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) top brass assured tax department officials that the faceless assessment regime would not lead to any large-scale movement of personnel and would be implemented without draining the existing resources at the department’s disposal, the finance ministry sources said. The meeting on Wednesday was aimed at dispelling any misgiving or apprehensions among I-T officials about the scheme.
During the online meeting, the chairman of the board also emphasised the need of the new system to turn around the image of tax officials from what is currently perceived with negative undertones.
Recently, the I-T employees’ associations had written to the Board that a majority of the workforce felt left out due to the possible disruption to the employees caused by the restructuring of the department, owing to the implementation of the faceless assessment scheme.
The system of fully digitised and anonymous assessment and appeal was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. The regime seeks to eliminate the interface between taxpayers and the tax official, which is expected to cut the discretionary power enjoyed by the official while also restricting the opportunity for the taxpayers to enter into illegal arrangements with their assessors.
Sources said the I-T department officials were given a detailed presentation in the online meeting on faceless assessment and taxpayers’ charter and their proposed implementation. They were also told abut the role and constitution of National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) and Regional e-Assessment Centres (ReACs), including the reallocation and reorganisation of the manpower.
Further, it was discussed that the department would adopt a demand management strategy to identify and clean-up pending demands so that the correct demand could be made available to the taxpayers. “As a part of cleaning-up of demand, all pending rectifications and appeal effects were to be attended on priority as this was also one of the key factors of a transparent tax administration,” a source said.