Faceless assessment eased by rule tweak

By Gireesh Chandra Prasad
Under Income Tax Act, authentication by electronic verification code—now defined as filing from the department’s portal—is available only for certain taxpayers other than companies and those needing tax audits.

NEW DELHI : The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Tuesday said income tax rules have been amended to offer a simplified way of authenticating electronic records used in faceless assessment proceedings. 

The amended rules say that electronic records submitted through the registered account of taxpayers in the department’s portal will be deemed to have been authenticated by the taxpayer by an electronic verification code (EVC). Such authentication is equivalent of the signature of the person. 

Under the Income Tax Act, authentication by EVC—now defined as filing from the department’s portal—is available only to certain taxpayers besides companies and those needing tax audits. 

In the case of companies and entities requiring tax audits, existing provisions do not allow such simplified process of authentication by EVC, and they were mandatorily required to authenticate the electronic records by digital signature. A decision has been taken to extend the facility to them also. 

“In order to provide the benefit of the simplified process of authentication by EVC to these persons, it has been decided to extend the simplified process of authentication by EVC to these persons also. Hence, the persons who are mandatorily required to authenticate electronic records by digital signature shall be deemed to have authenticated the electronic records when they submit the record through their registered account in the income tax department’s portal," CBDT said in a statement. Legislative amendments in this regard shall be proposed in due course, CBDT said.


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