Soon, I-T dept in­quiries to be held via video con­fer­enc­ing

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Shahkar Abidi a_sha­[email protected]­

Mum­bai: The “anonymised” in­ter­ac­tion with in­come tax (I-T) depart­ment, which was an­nounced in the re­cent In­terim Bud­get, is be­ing de­signed to al­low the tax­pay­ers to present their case through video con­fer­enc­ing, in case of an in­quiry. This will not only help in sav­ing pre­cious time of the tax­pay­ers, but also elim­i­nate the con­tact be­tween the tax­payer and the I-T of­fi­cials, thereby re­duc­ing chances of cor­rup­tion.

Speak­ing in a post-bud­get in­ter­ac­tion, Ramesh Kr­ish­na­murthi, IT com­mis­sioner (sys­tems), said the in­ter­ac­tion via video con­fer­enc­ing will be fol­lowed by a qual­ity re­view of the case, be­fore com­ing to a con­clu­sion. More­over, there will be ver­i­fi­ca­tion prior to the scru­tiny of an as­sessee, in any case.

Ac­cord­ing to Kr­ish­na­murthi, in the new process, the ver­i­fi­ca­tion, in­quiry, re­view and all other func­tions are planned to be done by a dif­fer­ent set of teams. Also, a cen­tralised re­view of an ap­pel­late or­der will take place so that the depart­ment does not un­nec­es­sar­ily waste time on cases that are not re­quired to be taken fur­ther.

Fi­nance min­is­ter Piyush Goyal had an­nounced in the In­terim Bud­get that al­most all ver­i­fi­ca­tion and as­sess­ment of re­turns se­lected for scru­tiny will be done elec­tron­i­cally through “anonymised” back of­fice, which will be manned by tax ex­perts and of­fi­cials with­out any per­sonal in­ter­face be­tween the tax­pay­ers and tax of­fi­cers. The full-fledged sys­tem is ex­pected to start within a cou­ple of years and tri­als are al­ready on, the of­fi­cials said.

The govern­ment, for the past cou­ple of years, has been work­ing on putting across a sys­tem in the I-T depart­ment, which will leave a vis­i­ble trail of what work is pend­ing, with whom, where, and for how long. Turn to p2

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