Central Board of Direct Taxes chief looks to increase Tax base

New Delhi: The Income Tax Department should pull up its socks to “maximise” revenue collection and enlarge the basket of tax-paying people in the country, the newly appointed chief of the CBDT said in his first communication to officials. P C Mody, the new chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), has asked the taxman to make special efforts in redressing the grievances and the issues faced by “small taxpayers”, and work with greater transparency and accountability.

The central government had earlier this month appointed Mody as the CBDT boss and he took charge of the policy-making body of the Income Tax Department on February 15. He succeeded Sushil Chandra who was appointed as an election commissioner. “Our immediate priority will be maximising revenue collection. We need to widen and deepen the tax base, ensuring simultaneously, the optimum utilisation of physical as well as human resources,” Mody said in an official letter to the regional chiefs of the tax department across the country.

The February 26 letter, which has been accessed by PTI, adds that the exercise to enlarge the tax base in the country “must be done without any harassment or high handedness on the part of officers or officials.” The tax department has been given a target in the Union budget to collect Rs 11.5 lakh crore revenue under the direct taxes category for the 2018-19 financial year, that ends on March 31.

Mody had a special word for the taxman to be impartial and fair in their work. “Our conduct must be impeccable, friendly, yet objective – without fear or favour – as we move towards becoming a non-adversarial regime,” the CBDT chairman said. He said the “timely delivery of quality taxpayer services shall be another prime area of focus (for the department).”

The CBDT has earlier announced that it was moving towards a system where income tax assessment of an assessee would become completely nameless and faceless in the next about two years and a taxpayer will not have to face an assessing officer for most of his works. The new CBDT boss said expediting dispute resolution, taxpayers’ education about subjects of tax compliance and litigation management shall also be “areas of focus and concern” for the taxman in the days to come. The CBDT chief said he shared the vision of “in dreams, begin responsibilities” with his officials and that it would be his aim to improve the image of the I-T Department and “contribute towards nation building.”

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