To motivate people to lodge their income tax related complaints with the Aaykar Lokpal,a press meet was organised by Ashok Manchanda,Income Tax Ombudsman,on Friday.
Manchanda said,While the number of complaints received by his office during October-December 2012 were 52,during January-March 2013 it was 195. The number of complaints disposed of during these quarters were 32 and 122,respectively.
He added that on March 31,2013,the number of complaints pending with his office were 373,and nearly three-fourth were regarding refunds of income tax.
He called upon tax payers to fearlessly lodge complains with the Ombudsman,as the office had been created in 2006 with the objective to redress public complains against the Income Tax department.
Explaining the procedure,he said,The complainant first has to write a letter to the officer concerned in the I-T department. In case the grievance is not redressed in a month,then he/she should forward the complaint to the senior official. In case both the steps turn futile,then a complaint should be filed with the Lokpal. The time taken by the Lokpal to redress a complaint can be six months.
Talking about the hue and cry raised by political parties on the proposed imposition of wealth tax on farmers owning land within 8 kms of urban areas,he said it was ‘just for public consumption’.
He said that the concept of wealth tax was not new and was generally imposed on jewellery and urban land. He added that some people after selling their agricultural land,especially in Jalandhar,had failed to deposit tax on capital gains.
The Centre’s decision to impose wealth tax on farmers has created a political storm in Punjab with SAD and Congress opposing the decision.