I-T notifies scheme aimed at eliminating physical interface with taxpayers

New Delhi: In a taxpayer-friendly move, the income tax department has notified a scheme aimed at eliminating the physical interface between taxpayers and the department.

The Centralized Communication Scheme 2018 will facilitate electronic issuance of notices to taxpayers, requiring them to furnish information or documents for the purpose of verification in a prescribed format.

As per details of the scheme, a centralized communication centre will issue a notice to a taxpayer under Section 133C of the Income Tax Act “through email or by placing a copy in the registered account on the portal, followed by an intimation by short messaging service”.

Further, for online furnishing of a response, the centralized communication centre will prescribe a machine-readable structured format for furnishing the information or documents.

“No person shall be required to appear personally or through authorized representative before the designated authority at the centralized communication centre in connection with any proceedings,” the notification said.

Rahul Jain, partner at consultancy firm Nangia & Co Llp, said this will reduce harassment of taxpayers.

“Though notices under Section 133C only seek information, the task of visiting the tax office to comply with the notices causes considerable stress and anxiety to the recipient of such notices. Such persons often complain of having been put through unnecessary harassment,” he said, adding that the scheme will eliminate the need for any visit to the tax office.

“People will be able to reply to such notices using a digital interface. The procedures and processes under the scheme will be notified going forward and it will be interesting to see how this will be actually executed on the ground,” Jain added.

The scheme also proposes setting up call centres to address taxpayer queries and a grievance redressal system. The director general of systems will prescribe the processes for implementation of the scheme.livemint