The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has revised the ‘E-assessment Scheme, 2019’ notified on September 12, 2019. Now, e-assessment scheme shall be called Faceless Assessment. Now, the National e-Assessment Centre shall intimate the assessee for conduct of faceless assessment in case wherein notice has been issued by AO. The Board has also extended its scope to cover best judgment assessments.

Procedure for assessment

(1) The assessment under this Scheme shall be made as per the following procedure, namely:

(i) the National e-Assessment Centre shall serve a notice on the assessee under sub-section (2) of section 143, specifying the issues for selection of his case for assessment;

(ii) the assessee may, within fifteen days from the date of receipt of notice referred to in clause (i), file his response to the National e-assessment Centre;

(iii) where the assessee –

(a) has furnished his return of income under section 139 or in response to a notice issued under subsection (1) of 142 or sub-section (1) of section 148; and a notice under sub-section (2) of section 143 has been issued by the Assessing Officer or the prescribed income-tax authority, as the case may be;

or

(b) has not furnished his return of income in response to a notice issued under sub-section (1) of section 142 by the Assessing Officer; or

(c) has not furnished his return of income under sub-section (1) of section 148 and a notice under subsection (1) of section 142 has been issued by the Assessing Officer; the National e-Assessment Centre shall intimate the assessee that assessment in his case shall be

completed under this Scheme;

(iv) the National e-assessment Centre shall assign the case selected for the purposes of e-assessment under this Scheme to a specific assessment unit in any one Regional e-assessment Centre through an

automated allocation system;

(v) where a case is assigned to the assessment unit, it may make a request to the National e-assessment Centre for

(a) obtaining such further information, documents or evidence from the assessee or any other person, as it may specify;

(b) conducting of certain enquiry or verification by verification unit; and

(c) seeking technical assistance from the technical unit;

(vi) where a request for obtaining further information, documents or evidence from the assessee or any other person has been made by the assessment unit, the National e-assessment Centre shall issue

appropriate notice or requisition to the assessee or any other person for obtaining the information, documents or evidence requisitioned by the assessment unit;

(vii) the assessee or any other person, as the case may be, shall file his response to the notice referred to in clause (vi), within the time specified therein or such time as may be extended on the basis of an

application in this regard, to the National e-Assessment Centre;

(viii) where a request for conducting of certain enquiry or verification by the verification unit has been made by the assessment unit, the request shall be assigned by the National e-assessment Centre to a

verification unit in any one Regional e-assessment Centres through an automated allocation system;

(ix) where a request for seeking technical assistance from the technical unit has been made by the assessment unit, the request shall be assigned by the National e-assessment Centre to a technical unit

in any one Regional e-assessment Centres through an automated allocation system;

(x) the National e-assessment Centre shall send the report received from the verification unit or the technical unit, based on the request referred to in clause (viii) or (ix) to the concerned assessment unit;

(xi) where the assessee fails to comply with the notice referred to in clause (vi) or notice issued under subsection (1) of section 142 or with a direction issued under sub-section (2A) of section 142, the

National e-Assessment Centre shall serve upon such assessee a notice under section 144 giving him an opportunity to show-cause, on a date and time to be specified in the notice, why the assessment in his

case should not be completed to the best of its judgment;

(xii) the assessee shall, within the time specified in the notice referred to in clause (xi) or such time as may be extended on the basis of an application in this regard, file his response to the National

e-Assessment Centre;

(xiii) where the assessee fails to file response to the notice referred to in clause (xi) within the time specified in the notice or within the extended time, if any, the National e-Assessment Centre shall intimate such

failure to the assessment unit;

(xiv) the assessment unit shall, after taking into account all the relevant material available on the record make in writing, a draft assessment order or, in a case where intimation referred to in clause (xiii) is

received from the National e-Assessment Centre, make in writing, a draft assessment order to the best of its judgment, either accepting the income, or sum payable by, or sum refundable to, the assessee as

per his return or modifying the said income or sum, and send a copy of such order to the National e-assessment Centre;

(xv) the assessment unit shall, while making draft assessment order, provide details of the penalty proceedings to be initiated therein, if any;

(xvi) the National e-assessment Centre shall examine the draft assessment order in accordance with the risk management strategy specified by the Board, including by way of an automated examination tool,

whereupon it may decide to, —

(a) finalise the assessment as per the draft assessment order and serve a copy of such order and notice for initiating penalty proceedings, if any, to the assessee, alongwith the demand notice,

specifying the sum payable by, or refund of any amount due to, the assessee on the basis of such assessment; or

(b) provide an opportunity to the assessee, in case a modification is proposed, by serving a notice calling upon him to show cause as to why the assessment should not be completed as per the draft

assessment order; or

(c) assign the draft assessment order to a review unit in any one Regional e-assessment Centre, through an automated allocation system, for conducting review of such order;

(xvii) the review unit shall conduct review of the draft assessment order, referred to it by the National e-assessment Centre whereupon it may decide to, —

(a) concur with the draft assessment order and intimate the National e-assessment Centre about such concurrence; or

(b) suggest such modifications, as it may deem fit, to the draft assessment order and send its suggestions to the National e-assessment Centre;

(xviii) the National e-assessment Centre shall, upon receiving concurrence of the review unit, follow the procedure laid down in sub-clause (a) or sub-clause (b) of clause (xvi), as the case may be;

(xix) the National e-assessment Centre shall, upon receiving suggestions for modifications from the review unit, assign the case to an assessment unit, other than the assessment unit which has made the draft

assessment order, through an automated allocation system;

(xx) the assessment unit shall, after considering the modifications suggested by the review unit, send the final draft assessment order to the National e-assessment Centre;

(xxi) The National e-assessment Centre shall, upon receiving final draft assessment order, follow the procedure laid down in sub-clause (a) or sub-clause (b) of clause (xvi), as the case may be;

(xxii) the assessee may, in a case where show-cause notice under sub-clause (b) of clause (xvi) has been served upon him, furnish his response to the National e-assessment Centre on or before the date and

time specified in the notice or within the extended time, if any;

(xxiii) the National e-assessment Centre shall,- (a) in a case where no response to the show-cause notice is received, finalise the assessment as per the draft assessment order, as per the procedure laid down in sub-clause (a) of clause (xvi); or (b) in any other case, send the response received from the assessee to the assessment unit;

(xxiv) the assessment unit shall, after taking into account the response furnished by the assessee, make a revised draft assessment order and send it to the National e-assessment Centre;

(xxv) the National e-assessment Centre shall, upon receiving the revised draft assessment order,—

(a) in case no modification prejudicial to the interest of the assessee is proposed with reference to

the draft assessment order, finalise the assessment as per the procedure laid down in sub-clause (a) of clause (xvi); or

(b) in case a modification prejudicial to the interest of the assessee is proposed with reference to the draft assessment order, provide an opportunity to the assessee, by serving a notice as per the procedure

laid down in sub-clause (b) of clause (xvi);

(c) the response furnished by the assessee shall be dealt with as per the procedure laid down in clauses (xxii), (xxiii), and (xxiv);

(xxvi) The National e-assessment Centre shall, after completion of assessment, transfer all the electronic records of the case to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over the said case for such action as may be required under the Act;”

Exchange of communication exclusively by electronic mode.–– 
For the purposes of this Scheme,-

(a) all communications between the National e-assessment Centre and the assessee, or his authorised representative, or any other person shall be exchanged exclusively by electronic mode; and
(b) all internal communications between the National e-assessment Centre, Regional e-assessment Centres and various units shall be exchanged exclusively by electronic mode;

Authentication of electronic record. 

For the purposes of this Scheme, an electronic record shall be authenticated by ––

(i) the National e-Assessment Centre by affixing its digital signature; and
(ii) the assessee or any other person, by affixing his digital signature if he is required under the Rules to furnish his return of income under digital signature, and in any other case by affixing his digital signature or under electronic verification code

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