New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's next pit stop to assess the opinion of tax officials at all levels as well as local businessmen and individuals will be in prime minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency — Varanasi. In line with PM Modi’s assurance of a taxpayer-friendly tax administration, suggestions from these interactions will be taken up to improve services, a source told ET. Sitharaman is keen on gaining ground-level feedback from both tax officers and taxpayers. The minister held her first interaction of the series in Ahmedabad on Friday where she said tax administrators have a very delicate role.
"A mindset change is needed to cater to an informed citizenry," Sitharaman had said. The tax force on direct taxes, which is likely to submit its report Monday, has also focussed on taxpayer facilitation. The minister also highlighted the use of technology for improving the functioning of the tax department and the taxpayer interface in the context of faceless assessment. The Central Board of Direct Taxes has made presence of identification number mandatory for any kind of communication with a taxpayer, which will need to be uploaded on the system. The move, according to the department, is aimed at boosting transparency and accountability. In his address from the Red Fort on August 15, PM Modi had said wealth creators must not be viewed with suspicion as they serve the nation and deserve respect and encouragement.
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