New Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2021

In order to provide efficiency, transparency and accountability by eliminating the interface between taxpayers, Income-tax authorities and Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals), Central Board of Direct Taxes (‘CBDT’) had notified Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2020 vide Notification nos. 76 and 77 dated 25 September 2020 for conducting appeal proceedings in a faceless manner. The said scheme provided discretionary power to the appellate authorities for granting personal hearing which was challenged in court of law. The matter travelled to Hon’ble Apex court and on 01 October 2021, the Apex Court deferred final adjudication on the matter for three months on CBDT’s submission that Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2020 is under consideration for modification.

CBDT has now notified the Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2021 applicable w.e.f. 28 December 2021, which is in supersession of the Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2020. Introduction of the New Faceless Appellate Scheme by the CBDT is a welcome step for the taxpayers as it will improve transparency and objectivity in appellate procedures. Under the new scheme, appellate authorities are mandatorily required to provide personal hearing through video conferencing / video telephony. Further, CBDT also issued guidelines to provide priority / out-of-turn hearings and disposal of appeals under specific circumstances. This provides guidance to the taxpayers as well for making early hearing application. 

In the newsflash, we have provided the salient features of new faceless appeal scheme, appeals covered under new scheme and appeals wherein out-of-turn hearing may be provided.


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