Income Tax Dept warns public against cash dealings of Rs 2 lakh or more saying that the receiver of the amount will have to cough up an equal amount as penalty.

CBDT issues fresh guidelines for panels looking into high-pitched scrutiny assessment grievances

  New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) The CBDT has issued fresh directions for the functioning of the 2015 constituted Income Tax department's regional or local committees of officers to deal with grievances of tax payers who have been served with "high-pitched" assessments during scrutiny.

    The new guidelines for the functioning of these committees, according to a CBDT order dated April 23, have been issued keeping in mind the changes in the organisational setup of the department following the launch of the faceless aseessment regime in 2019-20 where taxpayers, whose cases fall under scrutiny, were given the option to contest their cases with taxmen over the Internet and without going to the tax office.
    The system of creating these committees in every region of the tax department across the country was aimed to "effectively and efficiently deal with the genuine grievances of taxpayers and help in supporting an environment where assessment orders are passed in a fair and reasonable manner."
    These local committees have been created under each regional head or Principal Chief Commissioner of I-T (PCCIT) office to "expeditiously deal with taxpayers' grievances arising from high-pitched scrutiny assessment" in November, 2015.
    Each such committee has three principal commissioners of I-T rank officers and one of these now will be an officer of the local assessment unit in order to have a "perspective of the process involved in faceless assessment".
An exception of not having an officer of the regional assessment unit has been provided to a local committee dealing with international taxation scrutiny cases, which are "outside" the purview of the faceless aseessment regime, the new guidelines issued by the CBDT said.
    The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) frames policy for the tax department.
    The committees have been directed that after they receive a grievance petition, they should examine it "to ascertain whether there is a prima facie case of high-pitched assessment, non-observance of principles of natural justice, non-application of mind or gross negligence of assessing officer or assessment unit".
    It said these committees would "ascertain whether the addition(s) made in assessment order is/are backed by any sound reason or logic, the provisions of law have grossly been misinterpreted or obvious and well-established facts on record have outrightly being ignored".
    The guidelines said the committee would also take into consideration whether principles of natural justice have been followed by the assessing officer or the assessment unit.
    "Thereafter, the local committee shall submit a report treating the order as high-pitched/not high-pitched, along with the reasons, to the jurisdictional Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax," it said.
    Taxpayers whose scrutiny assessments have been completed under the faceless assessment system can send their grievances to the email id "", while those finalised under the non-faceless regime can send their complaints through e-mail to the Principal CCIT or to his office physically.
    The committees, the CBDT said, shall "endeavour to dispose off each grievance petition within two months from the end of the month in which such petition is received by it" and their meetings should be held at least twice in a month.
    The Board has asked all the regional heads of the tax department to ensure that the new instructions are incorporated in the functioning of the committees within a fortnight.
    The CBDT also asked the supervisory officers to give adequate publicity regarding the constitution and functioning of the local committees and display their communication address at prominent places in their office premises. 
    These committees are not an alternative forum to dispute resolution or appellate proceedings, the CBDT said.

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