The Ministry of Finance has gazetted the Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2020, where all income tax appeals will be finalized in an electronic manner, except for appeals relating to serious fraud, tax evasion, sensitive matters, international taxation and the Black Money Act.
This includes the electronic allocation of the appeal, communication of notices/questionnaires, verification, enquiry and hearings to the communication of the appellate order to the appellant.
The Faceless Appeal Scheme aims to provide greater convenience to taxpayers and ensure just and fair appeal orders, and minimize any further litigation. The new system is also important in imparting greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Income Tax Department.
The Faceless Appeal Scheme was announced in August 2020 as part of the government's "Transparent Taxation" platform. The scheme came into effect on 25 September 2020.