Press Trust of india

Working to change people’s perception about I-T dept to being ‘tax facilitators’: CBDT chief

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New Delhi:  The Income Tax Department is working on ways to change general perception about the department to being “tax facilitators” rather than just “tax enforcers”, CBDT chief P C Mody said on Thursday.

He also said the department is scaling up the capacity of tax officers to better facilitate taxpayers.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex decision making body in matters of income tax, has taken up various taxpayer-friendly moves, including introduction of faceless assessment and appeals, reducing time limit for reopening of assessment cases and setting up of a dispute resolution committee.

“There has been a question as to what is the capacity of the department in terms of handling these changes. Just the way we are conducting an outreach programme for the taxpayers, a massive exercise through online is also being undertaken to do capacity building of our own officers.

“To sum it all, I would say what has been hitherto the perception outside that we are tax enforcers, I would like to change it to as being perceived as tax facilitators,” Mody said at a PHDCCI event.

Mody said with the information exchange framework that the CBDT has with multiple government agencies like MCA, SEBI and CBIC, it becomes easier to share data with the taxpayer and all the data is shared in the Annual Information Statement for easier filing of ITR.

“The kind of exchange of information, understanding and the processes that we have set up with the multiple government agencies it now becomes easier to present this information before the taxpayer as to what is in the knowledge of the tax department,” he said.

He said reducing the time bar on reopening of past assessments to 3 years from 6 years has removed a major irritant.

“That kind of uncertainty as to whether his tax affairs are settled or not, we have not only reduced the timeframe, we have also tried to bring about a certain sense of objectivity in the whole process. What would constitute the basis of reopening has also been spelt out. So this twin objective of trying to bring about a certainty and fairness and as also facilitate taxpayer is what we are continuously working on,” Mody added.

The 2021-22 Budget has reduced the time limit for reopening of past assessment cases to 3 years from 6 years, while for serious tax frauds involving concealment of income of Rs 50 lakh and above the time limit for reopening is 10 years.

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