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Income tax department asks traders to pay advance tax rather than annual returns
October, 13th 2015

As part of its latest drive to widen the tax base, the Income Tax department has asked traders and businessmen to pay advance tax rather than file annual returns at the end of the financial year so they can be added as new assesses promptly.

The department is running an ambitious drive to bring under its net one crore new taxpayers after the government recently asked the taxman to achieve the target within the current fiscal. In the national capital, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has tasked the taxman to add 5.32 lakh new assesses within this time frame.

The CBDT is the apex policy-making body of the Income Tax department. As part of this initiative, the department is now holding public sessions called ‘Seedha Samvad’ (direct communication) with industry and trade bodies in public places across the country, including in Delhi. One such session was held in New Delhi this week in the popular Kamla market area near Delhi University, with the North Delhi Traders Federation (NDTF).

“We have done a PAN mapping of the business area here and it is a matter of concern that tax returns have decreased as compared to the last financial years. There can be many reasons for it and we are not doubting the intentions of the taxpayers. But as part of the government’s initiative to widen the tax base we would like to request you that you should pay advance tax on time and this way we will be able to consider you as our new assesses immediately.

“I request you to please accept this suggestion and file your returns. Also, spread the message amongst your friends and other business community,” I-T Principal Commissioner (Circle-12) Ajay Kumar Chauhan said at the public session held on Friday.

Advance tax is also known as the ‘pay as you earn tax’ and, as per existing laws, any person whose tax liability is more than Rs10,000 in a fiscal, he or she should make this payment in instalments rather than doing it at the end of the year. These receipts ensure the government keeps getting a steady trickle of revenue and also allows taxman to meet the revenue collection target.

Chauhan told the traders that over the last few years the perception of the department has changed and it has an onerous responsibility to act as a service provider.

“The government has asked us to ensure a non-adversarial regime and I can tell you that gone are the days when there used to be coercive action by the department. With the advent of new technology the compliance rate is going up,” he told a gathering of traders and businessmen at the local community hall.

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