Mumbai, September 10, 2017

Officers told to engage with top tax payers to understand their problems

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is worried about the impact of the Goods and Services Tax on the advance tax collections. It has asked Income Tax officers to regularly engage with top 100 tax payers in each range and understand their difficulties in paying the taxes, sources in the IT department said.

At a recent conference of CBDT members and IT Commissioners, solutions were discussed to enhance advance tax and overall revenue collections. Advance tax is paid in instalments every quarter by the assessees and September 15 is the due date for the second instalment. However, the GST rollout has been a major disruptor in the market impacting revenues.

Sources said in the past engagement with top tax payers was sporadic, but now CBDT has asked for a continuous engagement so that the problems of top tax payers could be understood and they could be motivated to pay their taxes. The CBDT has even asked the IT Commissioners to send photographs of such meetings to the respective heads in CBDT as a proof of the meetings conducted by the officers.

IT Commissioners have also been asked to sharpen their focus on those individuals and companies, who have deposited cash in the banks under the demonetisation drive but have not replied to the notices and e-mails sent by the IT Department. If demand notices are not answered by such tax payers then prosecution procedures would be launched against them, sources said.

Dispose of cases

For enhancing the revenues, CBDT has also asked the IT officers to give priority to dispose of 10-year-old cases where the tax payers have challenged the tax assessment and have appealed against it with various appeal authorities. In cases where the tax payers are not traceable, the CBDT has asked the officers to push for prosecution. In a number of cases, the assessees simply vanish from their last known addresses and tax recovery becomes impossible. Only when the prosecution process gets launched with the help of State Police, the assessees, out of fear of law, surface, sources added.

[The Hindu Business Line]