The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has introduced the E-Appeals Scheme 2023 to expedite the resolution of income tax appeals. This scheme aims to reduce the backlog of pending cases at the level of the Commissioner of Income-Tax (Appeals). The new scheme, which goes into effect this year, makes significant changes to the appeals process.
The role of Joint Commissioner of Income-Tax (Appeals), or JCIT(A), for hearing appeals is introduced by the E-Appeals Scheme 2023. This authority will hear appeals from orders issued by income tax officials with less than the rank of Joint Commissioner. The scheme aims to shorten the appeals process and reduce the backlog by delegating appeals to officers in the JCIT(A) rank.
Under the new scheme, appeals will be allocated to the JCIT(A) based on the disputed tax demand, with an emphasis on smaller cases. This streamlined process is expected to benefit individual taxpayers by providing faster resolution and reducing the time gap in appeals disposal. The scheme offers an opportunity for personal hearings in certain cases, ensuring a fair and transparent appeals process.
It is important to note the differences between the E-Appeals Scheme 2023 and the Faceless Appeals Scheme 2021, which covers appeals before the Commissioner of Income-Tax (Appeals) or CIT(A). While the Faceless Appeals Scheme involves communication through the National Faceless Appeal Centre (NFAC), the E-Appeals Scheme allows direct communication between the JCIT(A) and taxpayers via a dedicated portal. This direct communication ensures a speedy flow of information and contributes to efficient appeals resolution.
The assigned JCIT(A) will make the final decision on an appeal under the E-Appeals Scheme. However, if necessary, the principal or chief commissioner retains the authority to transfer a case from one JCIT(A) to another. This provision ensures that cases are handled by officials with the necessary expertise and that workload is distributed appropriately.
The CBDT's E-Appeals Scheme 2023 represents a significant step towards expediting the resolution of income tax appeals. The scheme aims to reduce the backlog of cases and provide taxpayers with timely resolution by streamlining the process and allocating appeals to JCIT(A) officers. Direct communication between taxpayers and the JCIT(A) via a dedicated portal improves the efficiency of the appeals process even further. With these reforms, the CBDT is committed to promoting a transparent and effective tax administration system.