In a novel initiative revived after decades, the CBDT will soon honour lakhs of “honest and compliant” taxpayers from across the country who have paid their Income Tax dues diligently over the years.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has created four broad categories of taxpayers for the purpose – large, regular, compliant, and diligent taxpayers.
Such people will be issued commendation certificates by the policy-making body of the I-T department under the signature of the CBDT Chairperson.
Officials said the policy to honour “honest and compliant” taxpayers has been revived after decades with the Union Finance Ministry clearing the proposal after obtaining approvals from the top.
As per the scheme, to honour such diligent taxpayers it is expected that while a chosen few will be honoured by physically awarding certificates by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the rest will be sent these commendations by the CBDT over email.
The certificates, apart from saying a thank you, will commend the taxpayers for honestly making their contributions towards the progress of the country.
Officials said the plan was in the making for quiet sometime now “because it was felt that there are many enforcement measures to detect and haul up tax evaders, but none to honour the compliant taxpayers”, who have been paying their taxes honestly for years all together.
“Hence, it has been decided that honest and diligent taxpayers will be honoured and made to feel proud about the contributions they have made till now in the progress of the country,” they said.
The CBDT had also discussed the revival of this initiative during the Tax Administrators conference that was held here early this year and as part of the follow-up it had asked regional I-T heads to select the names of “good taxpayers” from their respective jurisdictions.
While the exact figures of the total number of taxpayers who will be honoured is not known, officials said these numbers would be few lakhs.
Such a scheme has been run by the I-T department few decades back but it was shunned after some large taxpayers complained about getting threats from criminal elements.
The award will honour those who have paid the maximum income tax (without disclosing the figure), promptness in making advance tax payments and consistency in paying I-T dues, they said.