The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which got four new members earlier this month, reviewed tax collection trends and advised all chief commissioners and field officers on Monday to follow a non-intrusive and humane approach while trying to meet revenue targets. Anita Kapoor, chairperson of the apex direct tax policymaking body, has told senior field officers in a video conference that while checking tax evasion, they have to fulfill the role of facilitator as well. With a host of instructions recently issued to field officers on how to reduce tax litigation and source information from assessees without it amounting to harassment, the Income Tax Department is attempting a makeover of its image as service provider and enforcement agency rolled into one.
Before the members were appointed in the second week of December, the seven-member CBDT was reduced to a two-member body, including the chairperson, due to delays in promotions and filling up posts. This is the first time since November 2013 that the board is getting replacements for posts.
The appointments come at a time when the Modi government is gearing up for its second budget in which the finance minister is expected to address issues he could not take up in the first one.
Among new members, Atulesh Jindal, former chief commissioner of income tax, Rajasthan, is in charge of revenue. SM Nigam, who was DG in charge of vigilance, is in charge of income tax. Rani Nair, former chief commissioner of income tax, Gujarat, is handling legislation and computerisation, while Surabhi Singh, who was chief commissioner in Delhi, looks after audit and judicial matters.