The CBDT, in 2015, provided for the constitution of ‘local committees to deal with taxpayer grievances from high-pitched scrutiny assessment’ in various regions across the country.
On implementation of the faceless assessment regime, various courts observed that income addition and imposition of penalty for underreporting of income were being done without following the laid out procedure.
On 16th June 2022, the CBDT issued a revised instruction. It instructed the income tax department regarding the constitution and functioning of the committees, action against officers for high-pitched assessments, and timely reports on actions taken. The instruction entrusted the principal chief commissioners of income tax and zonal members with regular monitoring of local committees, analysis of the reports, follow-up actions and review. As we read this, local committees are being set up to assuage the concerns of taxpayers about high-pitched scrutiny assessments.
In Thursday’s statement, the CBDT said, “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 taxpayers are requested to send their grievances related to high-pitched scrutiny assessment under the faceless assessment regime to this e-mail id: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The local committee is directed to examine and ascertain if, prima-facie, it is a case of high-pitched assessment, non-application of mind, non-observance of principles of natural justice or gross negligence of assessing officer/assessment unit.
It added that the local committee should endeavour to dispose of each grievance petition within two months.
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