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CBDT chairman meets Income Tax field unit officers, seeks to assuage concern over faceless assessment hierarchy

New Delhi: In a bid to dispel concerns over the new faceless assessment scheme, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman P C Mody has met income tax field units to appraise them of the new scheme and explained the nitty-gritty of its implementation.

A source said that in a virtual meeting on Tuesday, Mody explained the faceless assessment and taxpayers' charter and detailed the reallocation and reorganisation aspects of the department's manpower.

"He elucidated that it was being done within the existing manpower preferably at the existing locations and sought to dispel all kind of misgivings and misapprehensions which may have been reflecting on the minds of the officials of the department with regard to the national launch of the faceless assessment scheme," according to the source.

Mody underlined the fact that the faceless assessment scheme's implementation would not cause any large-scale movement of officers or officials and there would be no reduction in the existing infrastructure and resources of the Department, the source added.

The meeting followed Income Tax Employees Federation & Income Tax Gazetted Officers' Association writing to Mody raising concerns over "the speed with which the Board has asked all the field formations to give back their suggestions on diversions of posts to be newly created NeAC/ReAC charges in their respective regions."

The unions felt that if the scheme was thoughtlessly implemented, it would lead to "displacement of manpower from one station to another".

"Any ill-conceived diversion of posts may lead to an exodus of posts and thereafter displacement of employees and their families, particularly in mofussil charges," they wrote adding that any large-scale diversion of posts and consequent transfer of promotee officers may result in complex problems.

Last week, the CBDT issued guidelines demarcating the role of officers for implementation of faceless assessment and notified the National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) at Delhi and various Regional e-Assessment Centres (ReACs) across 20 cities for its implementation.

The CBDT had said "the NeAC/ReACs hierarchy will be tasked with the management of faceless assessment proceedings".

All the functions would be through electronic means for which the NeAC will be the gateway and will function as such for all the flow of information.

"The officers and the staff in the ReACs will perform the functions relating to the assessment and verification function under the Income Tax Act, but all communications from the department to the taxpayer/assessee/third-party for the purposes of the Act will be in the name of the NeAC. "No communication of any nature such as above will be made by any of the ReACs," it had said.

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