The success of the portal will depend on operational convenience and efficiency as these are Statutory matters. However, as we move forward the acceptability and efficiency would improve. Professionals assess ITAT members and the tax department will adapt to the new mechanism.
Income Tax Appellate Tribunal ( ITAT) is the final fact-finding body, which disposes of all appeals of direct tax cases. Appeals are filed with ITAT either by assessee or by income tax department i.e. aggrieved party in case of disputes. The constitution of ITAT is as per guidelines framed By the Government of India. The tribunal comprises of judicial and an accountant as members.
ITAT functions are governed and administered by the Ministry of Law. Honourable Law minister in 2021 announced the commencement E portal of ITAT on 25 June 2021. This was part of the digital initiative undertaken by the Government of India. This step is in line with the larger narrative towards digital reforms. The portal would enable all appeals to be filled as required under section 253 of the income tax or any enactment by law. Electronic filing of appeals will be done through this portal instead of the physical submission. This is another initiative after the introduction of faceless assessment. This move will bring in transparency, accessibility and accountability. The detail of the portal is https://itat.gov.in/efiling/register
Benefits Of the Portal
The portal enables the parties and income tax department to file in electronic form from any location thus making it convenient to all concerned persons associated with the process. For professionals for whom time is an essence, the process is a real boon. The time spent going for physical appearances and the cost will drastically reduce. Moreover, all concerned parties can participate from any location. Reduction of travelling cost is another aspect which will be a great relief especially to taxpayers and assesses. Professionals had to spend considerable time from filling to appearances. For professionals who are new to the field of appeals, the process of learning is faster as they participate from anywhere.
The process will also bring in efficiency and transparency. In the physical set up considerable time was spent in each of the activities. Covid pandemic has also accelerated the launching of the portal. The Portal is getting stabilized and professionally are slowly adapting to the new digital regime. Traditional professionals are still of the view that physical presence can be more impactful. Presentation of evidence in person instead of written submissions is still preferred. The success of the portal will depend on operational convenience and efficiency as these are Statutory matters. However, as we move forward the acceptability and efficiency would improve. Professionals assess ITAT members and the tax department will adapt to the new mechanism.
This is a great step towards tax reforms and Nation building. it is another step towards ease of doing business and a step towards digital assessment.
The author is Partner, Ravi Rajan & Co LLP
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