In High-pitched Assessments, Action Against Officers can be taken; Income Tax Deptt Issues Instructions
On Thursday, the income tax department announced that it had released new guidance that calls for initiating the appropriate administrative action against the officer in question in cases of high-pitched assessments.
In each primary commissionerate region, “local committees to deal with taxpayer grievances from high-pitched scrutiny assessments” were to be established by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in 2015. The CBDT has just released a new instruction addressing the creation and operation of these committees in light of the implementation of the faceless assessment regime.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had provided for the constitution of ‘local committees to deal with taxpayer grievances from high-pitched scrutiny assessment’ in each principal commissionerate region.
“This instruction also provides for the initiation of suitable administrative action against the officer concerned, in cases where assessments are found by the local committee to be high-pitched or where there is non-observance of principles of natural justice, non-application of mind or gross negligence of assessing officer/assessment unit,” the CBDT said in the statement.
The local committees to deal with taxpayer grievances from high-pitched scrutiny assessment shall consist of 3 members of principal commissioner rank. The remaining members may be chosen from the group of officers serving as principal commissioners for information technology (I-T), principal CIT (Central), judicial, or audit in the relevant region.
Grievances under the faceless assessment regime would be submitted via email, and the local committee would review them to determine whether there was a prima facie case of exaggerated assessment, a violation of the natural justice principles, a failure to use one’s judgment, or blatant negligence on the part of the assessing officer or assessment unit.
According to the instructions, the committee would determine whether or not the additions to the assessment order were supported by any reasonable justification or logic, whether a legal provision had been egregiously misapplied, or whether plainly obvious and well-documented facts on file had been willfully disregarded.
It further said that the local committee would make every effort to resolve each grievance petition within two months.