Centre to focus on ‘region-specific strategies’ to expand taxpayer base

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New Delhi | Updated: June 20, 2016 11:17 PM

The report reveals drastic rise in number of non-filers from 22 lakhs to 59 lakhs. North Block wants the income tax officials to devise and pursue “region specific strategies” to widen the tax base.

income tax returnsThe report reveals drastic rise in number of non-filers from 22 lakhs to 59 lakhs. North Block wants the income tax officials to devise and pursue “region specific strategies” to widen the tax base. (Photo: Reuters)

At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has insisted on widening the tax payer base in the country from around 5.43 crore now, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has put emphasis on strategies to achieve bigger tax net. “Ensuring compliance from identified non- fillers with potential tax liabilities is key to widening of tax base,” said CBDT’s Central Action Plan for FY 2016-17.

The report reveals drastic rise in number of non-filers from 22 lakhs to 59 lakhs. North Block wants the income tax officials to devise and pursue “region specific strategies” to widen the tax base. Action points in this area include identification and pursuing potential taxpayers – professionals, businesses and employees.

“The government has been reiterating that it would it not spare tax evaders and the CBDT action plan is no different. Non filers are going to have a difficult as the government focused there effort on these potential tax evaders. Also, the practice of preparing a statement of strategy on assessment to focus on quality of assessment is very welcome and would ensure tax collection targets without diluting the non-adversial tax regime, as stated by the government,” said Amit Maheshwari, partner at Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP.

Last week, Prime Minister Modi expressed his desire to expand the tax payer base in India from 5.43 crore now. This was the first time that Modi addressed the two revenue boards – the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) —  simultaneous during the Rajasva Gyan Sangam in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the action plan also shows increase in pendency of cases before CIT(A) from 2.32 lakhs to 2.58 lakhs, while disposal target for current fiscal set at 1.33 lakhs cases.

The tax collection target for FY17 is pegged at R. 8.47 lakh crore. The region-wise collection targets shows that almost half of total direct tax receipts are from Mumbai and Delhi.
The CBDT takes note of the fact that in different regions and in different trade and industry areas assessees follow different practices, hence instructs each principal CIT and CIT to  prepare and regularly review and update “Statement on Strategy of Assessment” for their respective charge, with a focus on quality of assessment.

The Board expresses concern over Rs 60,000 crore demand outstanding on account of short payment, short deduction and late payment interest.

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