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Direct Tax Alert - CBDT notifies exceptions to faceless assessment scheme

24 September 2021


With a view to bring transparency in assessment proceedings, the Faceless Assessment Scheme, 2019 (the Scheme) was introduced. Subsequently, the Taxation & Other Laws (Relaxation & Amendment of Certain Provisions) Act, 2020 codified this Scheme1 by introducing section 144B in the Income-tax Act, 1961 (IT Act). In order to implement the Scheme, CBDT issued an order2 directing that all the Assessment Orders shall be passed by the National Faceless Assessment Centre (NFAC) through the scheme except the following:

  • Assessment Orders in cases assigned to Central Charges
  • Assessment Orders in cases assigned to International Tax Charge

Subsequently, CBDT issued another order3 to extend the exemption from the Scheme to assessment orders in cases where pendency could not be created on the ITBA portal because of technical reasons or cases not having PAN.

Recently, the CBDT had issued another order4 to further expand the exemption list. We, at BDO in India, have analysed and summarised the said order hereunder:

The exemption is extended to which Assessment Orders?

Assessment Orders in cases:

  • Set aside to be done de novo; or
  • to be done under section 147 of the IT Act.

Are there any conditions attached?

Yes. The exemption will be applicable to these orders only if following conditions are satisfied:

  • The time limit for completion expires on 30 September 2021
  • Such cases should be pending with the jurisdictional Tax Officer as on 11 September 2021 or thereafter
  • It could not be completed as per the procedure laid down under section 144B of the IT Act due to technical / procedural constraints in the given period of limitation

Is this exemption applicable for orders whose time limit for completion is other than 30 September 2021?

No. The CBDT has reiterated that this exception is applicable only to cases for which the time limit for completion expires on 30 September 2021.

What is the effective date?

The order is effective immediately (i.e., from 22 September 2021)

BDO Comments

The income tax portal was revamped with an intent to provide a seamless experience to the taxpayer. However, since its launch, taxpayers are facing technical glitches. Considering this issue, this seems to be a welcome move for the taxpayers as well as tax officers.  However, till date, no announcement had been made with respect to extension of timelines for assessment getting barred on 30 September 2021.


1Refer our tax alert-

2CBDT Order F. No. 187/3/2020-ITA-I dated 13 August 2020

3CBDT Order F. No. 187/3/2020-ITA-I dated 06 September 2021

4CBDT Order F. No. 187/3/2020-ITA-I dated 22 September 2021