I-T Department to be friendlier, Non-threatening Messages will be First Response

I-T Department to be friendlier, Non-threatening Messages will be First Response

I-T Department to be friendlier, Non-threatening Messages will be First Response

On the lines of reminders for filing returns, messages could point to transactions while stating that they be ignored if accounted for The proposed changes are part of an overall strategy to position the tax dept as a non-adversarial agency

New Delhi: The income tax (I-T) department is planning to adopt 'non-threatnening' language that will ask taxpayers whether or not an expense has been accounted for instead of the intimidating officialese that specifies I-T sections under which a notice has been issued or sent. The notices wouldn't be sent by the tax authorities in the first instance to individuals and companies with queries related to expenditure or information that the taxpayer missed while filing income tax returns (ITR). The tax authorities are working on ways to ensure that the department makes information about large cash deposits or high-value transactions, available to the taxpayers on time for filing returns.

The sources told the national publication that this can be done using tools like text messages to the taxpayers similar to the TDS (tax deducted at source) deposits. As far as reminders for filing returns are concerned, messages could be related to the transactions stating that they can be ignored if accounted for, as per the newspaper report. "We can tell people if TDS is due and if it has been deposited or not so that they can also take it up with the depositor," an official said.

On Friday, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey met income tax and indirect tax officers in Ahmedabad. Sitharaman said that a mindset change is needed to cater to an informed citizenry. Also, the use of technology and faceless assessment is the need of the hour in tax administration today.

“There is no need for tax officials to visit the assessees. Instead, use technology to simplify the process so that repeatedly seeking information is not necessary. As far as assessees and their issues are concerned, we must communicate with them and solve issues by treating them respectfully,” she said. In order to make information on large property transactions, foreign exchange remittances and cash deposits and withdrawals available faster, some in the current processes and technology will be required.

At present, information from property registration agencies flows after a certain lag and often a tax demand is raised after two years. It may be noted that the tax officials are advised to approach taxpayers only if they detect any major discrepancy or find concrete evidence. But even in that case, in the first instance, they should not issue a notice. The motive behind this is to give taxpayers time to rectify or correct their mistake, which may be due to oversight.

Source: times now news


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