The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has directed supervisory officers to play a more proactive role in ensuring that high-pitched assessments without proper basis are not made by the income tax department.
Also, such officers should ensure that lengthy questionnaires or summons without due application of mind are avoided, CBDT said in a circular to its field officers.
This instruction is seen as yet another effort on part of the CBDT in moving towards a non-adversarial tax regime.
Though less than 1 per cent of the returns filed are selected for scrutiny, this area of work has often drawn adversarial comments.
Supervisory officers have now been directed to ensure inspections and reviews are undertaken in accordance with guidelines issued. This must be done to enable capacity building within the department and accountability of the officers.
Senior officers have been directed to ensure that appeals are filed only on the merits thereof and not merely on the tax effect involved. All supervisory authorities have also been directed to enable an effective grievance redressal system in their jurisdictions.
The CBDT circular also lays emphasis on cleanliness in office, punctuality, timeliness in appointment and avoiding unnecessary adjournments.