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India Makes Mandatory E-Filing of Tax Appeals

Certain taxpayers in India will in future be required to lodge appeals before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) in electronic format, under new rules announced by the Ministry of Finance on December 30.

The changes are being made as part of the Income Tax Department's digitization plan, aimed at making interactions between the tax authority and taxpayers less time-consuming and more efficient. The new rules apply to taxpayers who are already required to file their tax returns electronically.

In India, the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) is the first appellate authority for taxpayers in tax disputes. Under existing rules, appeals to the CIT (Appeals) are made using paper Form 35. However, this form is being replaced as part of the changes.

"Electronic filing of appeal along with the documents relied upon before CIT (Appeals) will remove human interface, reduce paperwork, and decrease the transaction cost for the taxpayer," the Ministry of Finance said. "It would ensure consistent and error free service as validations will be in-built resulting in fewer deficient appeals."

"The new format for filing of appeals is more structured, objective, systematic, and aligned with the current provisions of the Income-tax Act," the Ministry added. "With these changes, the burden of compliance on the taxpayers in appellate proceedings will be significantly reduced."


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