faceless penalty scheme: Govt introduces faceless penalty scheme

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The government has introduced the Faceless Penalty Scheme 2021 which will digitise issuing of penalties on assessees under the faceless taxation regime.

The scheme, notified on Wednesday, specifies setting up of national faceless penalty centres, regional penalty centres, penalty units and review units for execution of penalty proceedings, such that a penalty order is issued correctly and undergoes review before being issued to an assessee.

For appeals, an assessee can approach the commissioner looking after appeals or the national faceless appeal centre.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes said in the notification that till the time the faceless penalty centres, both at national and regional levels, are set up, the penalty actions will be undertaken by the faceless assessment system.

All communication between units and assessees will be done either via email.or through mobile app, while physical hearing will be allowed only with approval from CBDT.

The government has been trying to make faceless taxation a reality, having introduced faceless assessment and faceless appeals last year.

More than 58,000 cases identified for faceless assessment in the first phase, final orders have been passed in more than 24,700 cases, revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey had said in an interview earlier this month.

The government has been relying heavily on technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning to plug as evasion and in turn making assessment of taxes for assessees as seamless as possible.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said last month that the government was inclined to introducing faceless assessment for indirect taxes as well.

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