In fresh directives, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has asked the taxman to take steps for widening the existing tax base, prevent avoidable disputes and ensure that the honest taxpayer is “facilitated” while stressing that tax evasion cases are handled without fear. In his first communication to the field formations of the Income Tax department after taking over, new CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra has spelled out a seven-point priority list for the department, entrusted to enforce direct tax laws in the country.
While stating that the guiding principle for the taxman should be to “facilitate honest tax payers while focusing upon effective enforcement in a fair, transparent and objective manner”, the new CBDT boss who took over on November 1 added that “every possible step” should be taken to achieve the revenue collection targets and even exceed them.
Chandra asked the department to take help of their technical databases and use them to widen the tax base adding instances related to “intrusive” action of search and seizure by the taxman should be done in a fair and honest manner. “Dedicated efforts must be made for widening of tax base. ….field formations must ensure that intrusive actions are based upon credible information of large scale tax evasion, keeping in view most effective utilisation of available resources.
“The officers and officials engaged in such actions must demonstrate objective, honest and fair conduct.They need to respect valuable rights of the tax payers while firmly discharging their duties, without fear,” he wrote to his officials.
Talking about tax disputes, Chandra said the board will be “proactive” on this issue. “Disposal of appeals by Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) needs to be expedited and due attention paid to appeals pending at other forums. It is equally important to take steps to prevent avoidable disputes. CBDT would proactively issue required clarifications on the issues flagged to it,” he said.
He also asked the tax department officials to “ensure quick grievance redressal” and analyse the “most common reasons” for the occurrence of taxpayer complaints and take steps to prevent them.