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Finance ministry to reserve Wednesdays for redressal of tax related grievances
December, 26th 2014

Your local tax office head would now set aside a day just to meet you and address your woes related to the department. Apex direct and indirect taxes bodies have identified a number of measures to deepen engagement with taxpayers for better services as part of the Narendra Modi government's good governance initiative rolled out on Thursday.

"It has been decided to observe Wednesday as dedicated day for interaction with taxpayers... Head of the local tax office would interact with taxpayers," a finance ministry official aware of the development told ET.

Revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das held meetings with senior officials of the Central Board of Direct Taxes and Central Board of Excise and Customs to review measures being undertaken as of part better governance by both.

"A number of measures have been taken and identified that would be implemented over time," the official said.

Taxpayers will be able to approach the chief commissioner or commissioner-level officers for any delay in issuance of permanent account number (PAN) or any other grievance on what would be an open day allowing walk-ins.

Dedicated camps would be set up off and on to take the tax department close to people as part of taxpayer-friendly initiatives.

Both the CBDT and CBEC will also post online any judicial decisions that have been accepted as the settled legal positions for reference by both taxpayers and field officials in order to prevent all unnecessary litigation.

Taking forward the Modi government's commitment to a non-adversarial tax regime, the boards have already told field officials to ensure that appointments are kept with taxpayers and they are not made to wait unnecessarily.

Income tax officials have been directed not to attempt making fishing queries during scrutiny and focus only on the query raised. The board has also directed officials to ensure that "highpitched assessments without proper basis are not made" and "lengthy questionnaires or summons without due application of mind are avoided".

Customs has granted a significant relaxation to large importers which will be able to access the green channel under the accredited client programme and not barred if they had been served a show cause notice. A reentry programme has been designed and circulated to field formations for such importers.

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