Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

Refrain from high-pitched scrutiny: CBDT to taxmen


Seeking to usher in a non-adversaria­l tax regime, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has asked officials to refrain from high-pitched tax assessment­s without proper basis and deal with assessees in a time-bound manner.

The CBDT also asked all its officials to maintain cleanlines­s in office and punctualit­y in appointmen­ts while avoiding unnecessar­y adjournmen­ts.

Though less that 1% of returns filed are selected for scrutiny, this area of work has often drawn adversaria­l comments.

Supervisor­y officers have been directed to play a more pro-active role in monitoring assessment­s to ensure that lengthy questionna­ires or summons without due applicatio­n of mind are avoided.

Taxmen have also been asked to ensure that inspection­s and reviews are done according to guidelines issued to enable capacity building within the department and accountabi­lity of officers.

Revenue secretary Shaktikant­a Das had main- tained that the key objective of the IT department is to foster a transparen­t non-adversaria­l tax regime while reducing the interface between tax officials and assessees. “We want full transparen­cy and non-adversaria­l tax regime,” Das told HT earlier.

Several discussion­s have also been held between the CBDT and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) on the issue. All supervisor­y authoritie­s have been directed to enable an effective grievance-redressal system in their jurisdicti­ons while adhering to timelines.

According to a finance ministry statement, senior officers have been directed to ensure that appeals are filed only on the merits and not merely on the tax effect involved. “Cases have separately been brought to the attention of officers wherein tribunals / courts have commented adversely on frivolous filing of appeals,” the statement said.

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