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CBDT issues directions for avoidance of baseless assessment
November, 11th 2014

To ensure a friendly environment for taxpayers during their interaction with the I-T department, CBDT has issued a set of instructions for avoidance of baseless assessment and disposal of grievances within a stipulated time period.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which is the apex body to frame policies for the I-T department, said the new instructions were aimed at bringing about a non- adversarial regime as stated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in recent interactions he had with the department.

"On several occasions the Finance Minister has emphasised the need for furthering a non-adversarial tax regime. A non-adversarial tax regime cannot be achieved without concerted endeavour at each level especially at levels where the public interaction is high," the CBDT wrote to all Principal Chief Commissioners and Chief Commissioners of I-T in the country last week.

Regarding issuance of summons which is a major area of complaint by taxpayers, the Board said these communications, sent to assessees under provisions of the I-T Act, should only be made in "deserving cases".

"The issue of summons without adequate caution and due application of mind has caused concern to the Board. Supervisory authorities have to ensure that the summons are issued only in deserving cases. Summons should also clarify if the person has been called as a witness or in his own case and the matter for which he or she has been called," CBDT said.

It also asked the range heads of the I-T department to "supervise the work of their subordinates to ensure due discharge" of duty in scrutiny cases.

Under I-T laws, when an assessee's case lands in scrutiny (done by computer system on a random basis), he or she has to supply additional document-based information to the taxman including making visits to the officer concerned, which has been a major issue of grievance for taxpayers for long.

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