Introduce faceless assessment in indirect tax regime, demand textiles exporters

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A small and medium textiles exporters’ association has asked the government to introduce ‘faceless assessments and faceless appeals’ in the indirect tax regime as well so that exporters’ interaction with GST officials could be eliminated.

The income tax department on Thursday amended its e-assessment scheme to align it with the faceless assessment. Amending the e-assessment scheme launched last year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified changes to include the change in nomenclature of the scheme from “E-assessment scheme” to ”Faceless Assessment Scheme”.

Home Textile Exporters’ Welfare Association (HEWA) said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that the faceless assessments and taxpayers’ charter would come in force immediately, and faceless appeals would begin from September 25 onward. This scheme aims to eliminate the face-to-face interactions between taxpayers and Income Tax Department officers, it said in a statement.

“On the same footing HEWA urges the government to introduce the faceless assessments and faceless appeals in indirect tax regime also so that exporters’ interaction with GST officials is eliminated,” it said. HEWA further said that in case any exporter is red-flagged or declared as ‘risky exporter’, in that case the exporter must be informed by field formation the exact cause or the reason for his being red-flagged. Exporters are identified as ‘risky’ on the basis of specific risk indicators based on customs, GST, income tax and DGFT data. The identified risky exporters” information is shared with the CGST formations for physical and financial verification. Meanwhile, in a letter to the Prime Minister, HEWA has sought help for small and medium textiles exporters impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic by relaxing the GST tax regime.

The letter said that exporters are facing liquidity crunch due to delayed overseas payments and large scale migration of labourers and large scale migration of labourers and reduction of working hours, shortage of working space due to adherence of social distancing norms. HEWA further said Indian textile exporters are “not well versed” with the GST tax regime and depend on tax consultants who charge hefty amount as a professional fee. “In such troubled times, HEWA requests the government for extending its full support to textile export industry by relaxing the complicated new GST tax regime,” it said. The body sought the government’s “cooperation” so that textiles exporters can make their best possible contribution towards the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

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