Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi said there was a need to overhaul the old tax structure on Friday at a gathering of top level income tax (IT) officials on Friday, as the existing tax laws are over 50 years old and do not fit in with today´s environment
and present economic situation.
Modi is back in gamajor change in the system, which could change the entire tax department´s strategy to nab tax evaders.
According to sources, the PM, in an hour long speech at Rajasva Gyan Sangam in New Delhi addressing direct and indirect tax officers, highlighted the several defects in the present tax system.
He is learnt to have said there was huge distrust between taxpayers and the tax collector, which was an unpleasant situation.
He asked the tax department to build a system where there would be no “ITraids”. He questioned the tax system and asked why India had a system where people came under the tax net after demonetisation, or when properties were confiscated, or shell companies
Modi suggested several measures for better tax administration.
In his speech, Modi expressed displeasure over exhaustive allocation of resources into search, seizure and scrutiny of tax evaders.
He objected to the fact that 90 per cent of resources were being utilised for scrutiny, which only accounted for 9 per cent of the tax collection.
“Ninety per cent of the collections come from advance tax, while huge resources are spent to collect the balance,” an IT official, who attended the meeting, explained.
The PM said tax officials would need to do more to make use of the information technology to carry out their work.
He asked tax officials to reduce the human interface between assessees and the tax department.
He said that the department´s queries should be done through video conferencing.
He suggested that taxmen experiment with it in 100 cities and towns over the next one year, and make it a practice subsequently.
He urged officials to reduce the human interface and enhance the usage of eassistance or enivaran (an online portal for taxpayers to get tax related and permanent account number related grievances redressed by using this facility).
Sources said he emphasised on technology and that computerisation of data would reduce corruption.
Taxmen have computerised the mode of selection of cases, which could be taken up for scrutiny.
To make the system more effective, Modi asked them to upload details of the officer concerned who was conducting the scrutiny on the system.
This would make it transparent and bring better accountability. - www.business-standard.com [02-09-2017]