Seeking to end harassment of tax payers, the Income Tax department today came out with a new appraisal form for its officials that will judge their performance based on the pace of disposal of cases and quality of assessment.
In the revised Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR), the CBDT said the performance of the assessing officers will also be “specifically measured for quality of assessment, the pace of disposal, and efforts made towards widening of tax base”.
Commenting on the move, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said, “New Report Card for Income Tax officers reflects Government’s commitment to bring in accountability and remove undue harassment to tax payers”.
The I-T Department has modified the APAR of assessing officers (I-T officers as well as Assistant Commissioners/ Deputy Commissioners) to bring about greater accountability in assessment functions, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement.
“It has a signalling value to assessing officers that Government does not appreciate issuing notices for exaggerated tax demands,” Adhia said in a tweet.
The I-T department is committed to the objective of timely delivery of quality taxpayer services in a fair and transparent environment.
“With these changes the assessing officers will be more conscious of their accountability for the quality of their assessment orders and the tax demanded in such orders,” CBDT said.
This system is expected to bring about greater judiciousness in application of law by the assessing officers, it said, adding that the modified APAR form will be applicable for the reporting year 2015-16.
This initiative, the CBDT said, is another step by the I-T department to provide a nonu2013adversarial tax regime.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been maintaining that the present taxation policy should be non-adversarial and tax payer friendly.
The I-T department in the recent times has taken a host of initiatives to reduce human interface between tax official and assessees.
These include directing field offices only to raise specific queries in income tax assessment cases picked up for scrutiny and also expeditious completion of those scrutiny cases where income concealed is up to Rs 5 lakh.
It had also stipulated that appeals before I-T Commissioner should be filed in electronic format by those assessees who e-file their returns.