Harassment of taxpayers: CBDT promises action as PM Modi expresses dissatisfaction
Moneylife Digital Team 27 March 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that he will personally monitor status of public grievances in the I-T department on a monthly basis through the recently launched PRAGATI programme
 
In a move that may bring big relief to honest taxpayers, Prime Narendra Modi has not only taken note of complaints about the hardships faced by honest tax payers but plans to ensure a clean-up by monitoring the progress himself. The Prime Minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the harassment of taxpayers says Taxsutra.com a website that provides, on a real-time basis, updates and analysis of all income tax rulings. Following the PM’s intervention, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairperson, Anita Kapur has asked all officers to attend to public grievances on 'top priority', says Taxsutra.com.
 
It further says that Ms Kapur has sent a letter to all officers in the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) cadre, warning them to fix 'accountability' for breach of timelines in resolving grievances from taxpayers.
 
On 25th March, PM Modi had a video conference with the Revenue Secretary and the CBDT chairperson to review status of pending public grievances with the Income Tax (I-T) Department. During the meeting, Modi expressed dissatisfaction on delays in responding to public grievances, harassment meted out to taxpayers and officious behaviour of officials from I-T Dept. 
 
The Prime Minister also said that he would personally monitor status of public grievances on a monthly basis through the PRAGATI programme.
 
Following this, the CBDT chief has issued a circular to all Principal Chief Commissioners and Director Generals in the I-T department. CBDT Chairperson Kapur, in the circular says, "I shall be grateful if offices under your jurisdiction are instructed to respond and attend to public grievances on top priority. If need be, Officers may be directed to conduct special drives to dispose of the public grievances pending with them so as to achieve the targets as per the Interim Action Plan 2015-16. Any breach of the timeline will be viewed seriously and accountability will be required to be fixed for such failure.
 
The Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation or PRAGATI is a platform, launched by PM Modi for resolving grievances of citizens and monitoring important programmes and projects. A built-in feature of PRAGATI is that these directions will remain in the system for further follow up and review until the finality of the matter. 
 
According to a statement issued by the PM's office, the PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology. It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism since it brings on one stage the Secretaries of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States. With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation.
 
Comments
vswami
9 years ago
An Update

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< Comments posted



Mr Jitendra
9 years ago
Why do they want to know taxpayer's foreign accounts each and every year to be declared in the tax return? Just because USA has a law that requires its residents to disclose foreign accounts, India also modified our ITR excel sheets and included columns for foreign accounts. Since that was not enough, then they frame a new law Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill 2015. Is this not like threatening the 'resident' taxpayers? And then give a statement saying "asking tax is not tax terrorism".
USA wants global income to be reported on their tax return, so India also wants global income to be reported on tax return.
If everything of USA has to be copied, then is the Rupee going to be equal to Dollar? Are those freeways built here?
vswami
9 years ago
RIDER 1
On the taxpayers' most absorbing concern over 'harassment', and the PM's purported initiative to assuage their long-living anxiety, the latest reported move from the CBDT is seemingly just in the diagonally opposite direction. For more, refer the Add-on @ Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards: The Need to Move Beyond Rhetoric (ICL Blog)
Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan
9 years ago
What is the purpose of PAN Card in the first place????
If they can build a CIBIL, they can collect financial details easily of any individual, this is with specific response to Individuals.Then CBDT can send the individuals a bill which may to scrutinised by the individual citizen and then paid. OTHERWISE THROW AWAY THE PAN CARD. There is a huge difference between an individual and a corporate with a huge battery of lawyers and accountant. There MUST be a separeate department for handling individuals. What we have is the TYRANNY OF THE TAX BABUs.
Gopalakrishnan T V
9 years ago
This is a very good move. This should be seriuosly monitored and periodically reviewed to know the progress. Tax payaers have also to coopearte in reporting the harassment, bribery demands if any to make the move of the PM a grand success.Once public turn vigiant and action is initiated by the authorities, Governance tandards will automatically improve. In a similar way, the goovernment should also have a data collecting system to enable public to report tax evasin or avoidance wherever observed or suspected.There is a paramount need to improve the number of tax players and minimise the tax impact on the honest payers.
praveer
9 years ago
THE BANKS/ POST OFFICES SHOULD BE GIVEN POWERS TO REFUND [TDS]TAX DEDUCTED BY MISTAKE TO THE TAXPAYER
WITHIN A MONTH'S TIME AFTER THE ERROR IS POINTED OUT. THERE SHOULD BE NO NEED TO FILE RETURN FOR SUCH ERRORS ON PART OF BANKS/ POST OFFICE.
vswami
Replied to praveer comment 9 years ago
LINK here>

Closure of Short Payment Defaults to facilitate downloading of Conso Files/ TDS Certificates

http://taxguru.in/income-tax/closure-sho...
vswami
Replied to praveer comment 9 years ago
OFFHAND

According to the scheme of things as embodied in section 200A of IT Act itself,in terms thereof, in one's personal view, a refund of TDS, even if it be in excess,is due and has to be granted to the 'deductor'; not to the deductee.

That holds good to ANY deductor,not only to Banks / POs.

If so,any TDS 'deducted by mistake', that is wrongly,it is the deductor who should claim and obtain a refund.

In other words, the deuctee's recourse would be to the dedeuctor , who should be demanded to make good for the amount of witholding.

See the recently posted comment on the website of Taxguru, wprt 2 recent circulars of CBDT, - though on the topic of short TDS.

Suggest to check with the department,and get it confirmed, if any doubt or difficulty faced.
KAIALSH SINGHAL
9 years ago
sir,
excise deptt still does not approve the excise registration though excise reg certificate issued and they have completed the inspection of unit and also no query raised after 7 days of inspection and hold the matter at range level and tells that they are busy in march 2015 ending
regards
kc singhal
vswami
9 years ago
IMPROMPTU

As is readily noted , the PM , in his reported video conference, expressed dissatisfaction on, (a) delays in responding to public grievances, and (b) “harassment meted out to taxpayers and officious behaviour of officials from I-T Dept.” The CBDT, however, in its in-house letter,
as read and understood, underlined the need to, rigidly adhere to the timelines laid down unwittingly or otherwise, omitted to even make an oblique mention of the other aspect (as in (b) above). It is common knowledge that, while delayed response to grievances is just one, is not all; for, the most concern of most taxpayers is the harassment meted out in other ways as well. The most predominant and commonly heard of public grievance has something to do with the law being administered by the authorities, strictly in accordance/coherence with the letter and/also spirit of it; and do so, objectively, with a profound fair-mindedness, and more importantly keeping in focus the overriding common law principles of equity, good conscience, so on,- cryptically called, ‘natural justice’. That is an all inclusive concept, to take within its coverage anyone or more of areas of concern to taxpayers, domestic or foreign.

This is an aspect which, time and again, has come to be forcefully urged by the taxpayers and professional advisers, including retired Revenue officials; so also underlined by courts open to be gathered from case law. For getting to know more and intimately, anyone can care to and go through the host of material available in public domain, in the form of inter alia published critiques of expert lawyers of eminence, with lifelong field experience and exposure. For a brief account and sum-up, the published article, - [2008] 169 TAXMAN 14 (ART) may be looked up.

SuchindranathAiyerS
9 years ago
This is an excellent step in the right direction. I sincerely hope that Narendra Bhai is able to tame India's run away and unaccountable Politician-Bureaucrat-Judge-Police-Crony Kleptocracy that has plundered India for Sixty Five years and more.
TIHARwale
9 years ago
MoneyLife Digital should take up at the highest level certain mischief played by Income Tax Dept. Tax Payers are getting notices for Tax due in 2008-09 running into thousands . This is because TRACES are doing a shoody job in uploading Tax Payment remitted thro Banks. Banks are giving certificates to Tax payers confirming of having transmitted the tax remitted thro the branch to I.Tax Dept. However as TRACES are not entering AY properly as a result I.Tax dues are arrived and CPC Bangalore that due are there and tax payer to contact AO. What is preventing the A.O. to see whether any data entry mismatch is there and concerned credit are there in a different AY. If A.O. do this job it will found that 99% of notices for AY 2008-09 2009-10 etc are nothing but simple harassment.

Why A.O. are not provided with official email id so that tax payers without visiting A.O. in person can put up clarifications over e-mail.
S BHASKARA NARAYANA
Replied to TIHARwale comment 9 years ago
I am also victim of TRACES for AY 2009-10. Though the employer confirmed deduction of TDS in FORM 16 & Form 26, and my manual return was filed with local AO, I was served notice, when I started filing return online.
---ABXPS0727J
Veeresh Malik
9 years ago
Great news. I hope this is followed through in letter and in spirit by the Income Tax Department on an all-India basis. Simplification of the tax system is essential for growth of India.
Vishal Modi
9 years ago
Perhaps only our revered PM can reduce the harassment to genuine taxpayers.

I am sure my father, aged 76, will be happy if this intervention is effectively implemented.

The tax authorities have talked through many such circulars in the past, yet not much has changed at the ground level.

Vaibhav Dhoka
9 years ago
One must applaud Hon'ble Prime Ministers concern about common public.In past none has cared to do so.
Krishnaraj
9 years ago
Delighted to hear this.
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