New Delhi: With the objective to reduce the personal contact between officials and taxpayers while assessing the Income Tax Returns (ITR) and to do it electronically for smooth functioning, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Saturday said it has set up a National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) for the purpose. The Union Ministry of Finance had earlier this month issued a notification to this effect.

To look after the functioning of the whole system, the CBDT has appointed Krishna Mohan Prasad, a 1984 batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, as the first Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (PrCCIT) of NeAC. A notice to this effect was also issued earlier this week.

Part of the government effort to reduce human intervention in assessments and scrutiny of the ITR, the initiative will eliminate possibilities of corruption by using new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, video conferencing, telecommunication application software and mobile applications.

As part of the team, the NeAC will in total have 619 officers, including four Chief Commissioners, 25 Principal Commissioners, one Commissioner, 144 Additional Commissioners, 163 Deputy Commissioners and 281 Income Tax Officers.

Eight regional centres at New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bengaluru have also been set up to assess the cases of ITR.

The move from the CBDT comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the National Conference of Tax Officials in 2017 had urged officials of the CBDT and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) to ensure a transparent and corruption-free assessment system.

(With inputs from ANI)