CBDT Guidelines for representation of cases before CIT(A) and formation of “Regional Talent Pool” and “National Talent Pool”
The CBDT has issued an Instruction to all Pr. Chief Commissioners of Income Tax emphasizing that the income tax cases should be properly defended before the CIT(Appeals), as the department will have no recourse to any appeal, against the Order of CIT(Ain view of the monetary limit of tax effect for filing of appeals to ITAT against the order of CIT(A) having been raised to Rs. 20 lakhs vide CBDT Circular No 3 of 2018.
Further, attention has been drawn to the need for litigation management as one of the key focus areas in Central Action Plan 2018- 19 which requires that each AO shall identify the top 20 cases of quality assessments and shall make proper representation in these cases before CIT(A), either personally or by filing written submissions. Similarly, the Joint/Addl. CIT Range will identify top 20 cases of the Range and will personally monitor proper representation in these cases before the CIT(A).
It has been also pointed out that ITBA has provided the functionality that each AO, while passing the assessment orders, shall mark 20 such cases every year as “Quality orders” at the time of passing scrutiny orders so that the dashboard and MIS of ‘Quality orders’ are generated in ITBA by month-end of every month , for consideration of supervisory officers.
The following measures have been directed by the latest Instruction:
A. Representation before CIT(A):
(1) With respect to such quality assessment orders, the CIT shall ensure that they are properly marked as Quality orders and are duly represented before the CIT(A) by the Department.
(2) The ITO (Tech) shall be responsible to coordinate with all AOs in cases of appeals of such quality orders and to ensure that written submissions on the grounds of appeal is filed before CIT(A) in such orders . He will be the nodal point for coordination with office of CIT(A) and range heads for proper representation of the Department in such orders before CIT(A). One Inspector in the office of ITO(Tech) will be designated as Inspector (Appeals & Representations Cell) who will render all possible assistance in respect of representation in appeals in quality orders.
(3) Such cases shall be represented before the CIT(A) either by the AO concerned or by any other officer of the range, who has got special expertise or domain knowledge or by any officer duly authorised, under the supervision of the range head or by the range head It shall be the responsibility of the range head to ensure that there is proper representation before CIT(A) in all such quality orders.
(4) The ITBA shall have the functionality to ensure that a copy of ITNS 51 issued to AO in quality orders, is also marked to CIT for information and necessary action.
(5) All CsIT(A) shall separately report in their monthly how many such quality orders have not been represented by the officers of the Department and shall also upload the list in ITBA, so that MIS and dashboard is created range wise, regarding representation in such cases.
(6) The CCIT/CCIT shall also make proper arrangement of space and necessary facilities for representation of such quality orders by the Departmental officers.
B. Regional Talent Pool and National Talent Pool:
(1) The CCsIT/CCsIT shall identify officers of the region. having expertise/domain knowledge in specific trade/sector/section of Income-tax Act and shall form a “Regional Talent Pool” in their respective regions, to represent in high-stake cases. Such officers in “Talent Pool” should be given due recognition for effective representation in such high stake cases, before CIT(A) or before ITAT or for briefing the Standing Counsel/ASG in the Honbl’e Supreme Court/High Court.
(2) The L&R Directorate shall form a “National Talent Pool” with selected officers having super specialisation in any specific trade/sector/section of Income-tax Act for representation of high-stake cases at different levels of appeal and also for rendering all possible assistance and briefing of the Standing Counsels/ASGs in such cases. Their contribution will also be recognised at national level.
(3) The L&R Directorate shall be the nodal agency in all matters relating to formation of Regional and National Talent Pool , i.e. for organising Mock courtrooms every quarter. for recognising their talent and for further enhancement of their skills. The list of selected officers of Regional and National Talent Pool, with their background and expertise, shall be maintained in NJRS.
(4) The officers of the Talent pool shall also act as ‘Think Tank’, to contribute articles on the themes of their specialisation for publication in NJRS web portal as well as in national or international journals.