The Income Tax Department will focus on widening of tax base and maximise e-assessment to cut down on human interface, according to an official statement. Also, efforts will be made by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to exceed the income tax collection target set for current fiscal by use of big-data analytics, said the statement after the end of the two-day annual retreat of central and state government tax officers. The conference also discussed strategies for widening of tax base, with special focus on verification of data collected during demonetisation and SFT (statement of financial transactions).
“The CBDT aims to add a sizeable number of new taxpayers in the current fiscal,” an official statement said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while inaugurating the Rajaswa Gyan Sangam yesterday, had nudged tax officials to use data analytics to track undeclared wealth and fix clear targets for improving tax administration by 2022. He asked taxmen to clear pendency of cases and create an environment that instills confidence among honest taxpayers and uproots corruption.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that revenue was a cross sectoral subject and required coordination between both the CBDT and CBEC. He encouraged that officers of both CBDT and CBEC to share best practices with each other regularly. The CBDT said that in the conference “it was decided that assessing officers be encouraged to maximise e-assessment in a phased manner and to ensure that work be completed online so that there is complete transparency”. As a step towards effective litigation management, CBDT aims to achieve the twin objectives of substantially reducing the number of appeals and the disputed demand before CIT (appeals), it said.
“The focus is to dispose off 70 per cent of smaller appeals and 30 per cent of high demand appeals including 100 per cent of appeals involving disputed demand of Rs 50 crore and above,” the CBDT said. Strategies for revenue maximisation were discussed at length especially since the CBDT has been tasked to collect revenue of Rs 9.80 lakh crore in the present fiscal. “The officers were urged to utilise data effectively such that the target for collection of Personal Income Tax should not only be met but also be exceeded,” it added. With regard to redressal of grievances, the CBDT said 85 per cent of grievances have been disposed off online through the e-nivaran portal. “There was emphasis on redressal of grievances for both CBDT and CBEC,” the statement said.
It said that special focus should be given to popularise the Operation Clean Money portal such that an environment of voluntary compliance can be created. The indirect tax wing – Central Board of Excise and Customs – discussed issues relating to ease of doing business, litigation management among others. “There was also a Sunshine session to highlight a formation’s initiative in improving taxpayer services or individual initiative outside of the regular area of responsibility,” the statement said.
Besides, Adhia underlined the importance of increasing efforts to garner revenue in light of the data that is available post demonetisation. He also stressed that genuine grievances of taxpayers should be disposed off on priority and taxpayers should be treated with courtesy.