Enquiry before assessment in electronic mode:
For enquiries before assessment in terms of section 142(1)(ii) of the Act, notice shall be issued electronically and delivered upon the assessee in his ‘e-Filing’ account. While filing the response electronically in compliance with notice under section 142(1)(ii) of the Act, the concerned assessee shall verify it in the manner prescribed under Rule 14 of Income-tax Rules, 1962.
Use of digital signature by Assessing Officer:
All departmental orders/communications /notices being issued to the assessee through the ‘e-Proceeding‘ facility are to be signed digitally by the Assessing Officer.
Notices/letters/communications to be issued manually only in exceptional situations:
The manual issue and service of departmental communications should be invoked only where for any reason it was not possible to get the communication served electronically under intimation (giving reasons) to the Range Head in ITBA.
Time for compliance:
Online submissions may be filed till the office hours on the date stipulated for compliance
Availability of facility for electronic submission of documents in time barring situation or where case has been finally heard by the Assessing Officer:
The facility for electronic submission of documents through ‘e-Proceeding‘ shall be automatically closed seven days before the time barring date. In other situations, upon completion of proceedings, before passing the final order, concerned Assessing Officer, on his volition, shall close thee-submission facility after mentioning in electronic order sheet that ‘hearing has been concluded’. However, if required, in exceptional circumstances, the concerned Assessing Officer may enable further filing of submissions electronically under intimation to the Range Head in ITBA.
In assessment proceedings being carried out through the ‘e-Proceeding’ facility, a particular proceeding may take place manually infollowing situation(s):
(i) where manual books of accounts or original documents have to be examined;
(ii) where Assessing Officer invokes provisions of section 131 of the Act or a notice is issued for carrying out third party enquiries/investigations;
(iii) where examination of witness is required to be made by the concerned assessee or the Department;
(iv) where a show-cause notice contemplating any adverse view is issued by the Assessing Officer and assesse requests for personal hearing to explain the matter.
Maintenance & Production of ‘Records’ in the context of ‘e-Proceedings’:
In time-barring ‘Limited Scrutiny‘ cases or the cases in seven metro stations under ‘e-mail based communication’ where proceedings now would be through the ‘E-Proceeding‘, the records related to the earlier case proceedings shall continue to be treated as part of the assessment In these cases case¬ records as well as note sheet of subsequent proceedings through ‘e-Proceeding’ shall be maintained electronically . Where records of a case under ‘E-Proceeding‘ are required to be produced in Appellate proceedings, before C&AG Audit etc., two separate records i.e. Manual-Part A (if available) & Electronic-Part B (printout copies) may be produced .
( Source : CBDT’s Instruction No.8/2017 dt.29.9.2017 )