Mandatory e Filing of First Appeal before CIT (Appeals)
A. e Filing of First Appeal before CIT(Appeals) also made mandatory where e-Filing of ITR is already mandatory
To digitise the Appeal function, the Income Tax Department/ CBDT has decided to make electronic filing (e-Filing) of appeals before CIT(Appeals) as mandatory for persons who are already required to file the return of income electronically. Electronic filing of appeal along with the supporting documents will remove human interface, reduce paperwork and decrease the cost for the taxpayer. Online filing will also facilitate fixation of hearing of appeals electronically.
B. Revised Form 35 for e-filing of Appeal
The CBDT vide Notification No. 11/2016 dt 1st March 2016 has modified/ substituted IT Form 35 relating Appeals via the Income-tax (3rd Amendment) Rules, 2016. The new format for filing of appeals is more structured, objective, systematic, and aligned with the current provisions of the Income-tax Act.
C. Procedure for e-filing of Appeal
The CBDT vide Notification No. 11/2016 dt 1st March 2016 has notified that Form No. 35 shall be furnished in the following manner, namely:-
1. (a) in the case of a person who is required to furnish return of income electronically under sub-rule(3) of rule 12,-
(i) by furnishing the form electronically under digital signature, if the return of income is furnished under digital signature;
(ii) by furnishing the form electronically through electronic verification code in a case not covered under sub-clause (i);
(b) in a case where the assessee has the option to furnish the return of income in paper form, by furnishing the form electronically in accordance with clause (a) of subrule(2) or in paper form.
2. The form of appeal referred to in sub-rule (1), shall be verified by the person who is authorised to verify the return of income under section 140 of the Act, as applicable to the assessee.
3. Any document accompanying Form No. 35 shall be furnished in the manner in which the said form is furnished.
D. Procedure for e Verification of e Filed Appeals
Procedure for verification of the identity of the person furnishing the e-filed form 35 for appeals to the CIT (Appeals), using EVC, has been notified by the CBDT/ IT Deptt., vide Notification No. 5/2016 DIT (S) dt 6th April, 2016, as under:
1. The Electronic Verification Code (EVC) would verify the identity of the person furnishing the form (hereinafter called ’Verifier’) and would be generated on the e-Filing website or as otherwise indicated. As specified in sub-rule (3) of rule 45 the Verifier shall be the person who is authorized to verify the return of income under section 140 of the Act as applicable to the assessee. Where the Verifier represents an entity (i.e. HUF/ Firm/ AOP etc.) then the Verifier should be registered in the e-Filing website as a Principal Contact of the entity.
2. The EVC generation process may vary based on the risk category of the assessee (the term ‘assessee’ is as defined in clause (7) of section 2 of the Act), the method of accessing the e-Filing website or interface with third party authenticating entity. The EVC would be unique for an Assessee-PAN or Assessee-TAN and will not be valid for any other PAN or TAN, as the case may be, at the time of furnishing of the form. One EVC can be used to validate one form of the assessee irrespective of the assessment year. The EVC will be stored against the Assessee-PAN along with other verification details. The EVC will be valid for 72 hours or as otherwise specified. The Verifier may use more than one mode to obtain EVC and can generate the EVC multiple times.
3. The mode of generation of EVC, Validation of EVC and Data Structure of EVC shall be same as specified by the Notification No. 2/2015 dated 13th July, 2015 and the Notification No. 1/2016 dated 19th January, 2016 issued by the Principal Director General of Income-tax (Systems).
It may be noted that the Income Tax Deptt has enabled EVC facility for online filing of appeal before Commissioner (Appeal) in Form 35 for taxpayers required to file appeals using Digital Signatures (DSC) on 4th april 2016 and for taxpayers not required to file appeals using Digital Signatures (DSC) on 24th May 2016. 1893141
E. User Manual for e Verification of e Filed Appeals
The Income Tax Deptt has released “e Verification User Manual for Form 35” on 24th May 2016, as under: