Source says govt starts probe against 3 officers over a report suggesting COVID-19 tax hike

Inquiry has been initiated against Prakash Dubey and Sanjay Bahadur for guiding the preparation of the report, which has taken a stand contrary to the current policies of the government on various tax related matters, the source said. Prashant Bhushan has been charged for unauthorised sharing of the document in public domain, the source added. The report, prepared by 50 young officers of the Indian Revenue Services, suggested a hike in the tax slab for the super rich, a COVID-19 cess, an amnesty scheme for undisputed tax demands, and reintroduction of the inheritance tax. The group also proposed expenditure rationalisation measures, including direct cash transfer of 3,000-5,000 rupees for six months for the poor, a three-year tax holiday for corporate and businesses in health care, scaling down defence spending, and zero tax for health care workers in 2020-21 (Apr-Mar). Unauthorised preparation and release of the document amounts to criticism of government policies by senior tax officers and has caused confusion regarding the government's policy on income tax, which can have an adverse impact on the economy, the source added.

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