CBDT has notified the E-Appeals Scheme, 2023 to ease the caseload of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT). The scheme will allow taxpayers to file appeals electronically, which is expected to reduce the time and cost of filing an appeal.
The Finance Ministry has notified the e-appeals scheme, 2023 under which aggrieved assessees can appeal certain orders before JCIT (Appeals) passed by an assessing officer below the rank of JCIT.
"The Joint Commissioner (Appeals) shall dispose of the appeals filed before it or allocated or transferred to it, in accordance with the provisions of this scheme," said the notification. The JCIT (A) will have income-tax authority, ministerial staff, executive or consultant to assist in the disposal of appeals, as may be considered necessary by the board.
The Finance Act, 2023 inserted a new Section 246 in Chapter XX of the Income Tax Act. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had in the Union Budget 2023-24 proposed to deploy about 100 joint commissioners for disposal of small appeals to reduce the pendency of appeals at commissioner level.
Till now, the first appellate authority for an assessee aggrieved by any order was the Commissioner (Appeals) but they are overburdened due to the huge number of appeals and the pendency being carried forward every year. The JCIT (A) is expected to handle certain class of cases involving small amount of disputed demand.
Under the scheme, taxpayers can file appeals with the JCIT (Appeals) against orders relating to assessment in cases such as an intimation issued under Section 143(1) for a scrutiny assessment where the assessee objects to the making of adjustment; or any order of assessment passed under Section 143(3) or best judgment assessment order passed under Section 144 where- the assessee objects to amount of income assessed or the amount of tax determined or the amount of loss computed or the status under which he is assessed.
All communication between the JCIT (A) and the appellant as well as internal communication would be through electronic mode. A person shall not be required to appear either personally or through authorised representative in connection with any proceedings under this scheme. The appellant can, however, request a personal hearing, which would be done through video conferencing or video telephony.
"The board shall establish suitable facilities for video conferencing or video telephony, including telecommunication application software which supports video conferencing or video telephony at such locations as may be necessary, so as to ensure that the appellant, or his authorised representative, or any other person is not denied the benefit of this scheme…," said the notification.
Official copy of the notification can be accessed here