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Income Tax officers' strike may hit tax collections
January, 08th 2015

Faced with huge space crunch, income-tax sleuths are going on a non-cooperation strike. They said they would not participate in any tax collection work including search and survey actions.

The agitation, if continued, may hit the ambitious tax collection target which is already facing a shortfall of around Rs40,000 crore this fiscal, a top official of income-tax told dna.

The direct tax collection target for Mumbai zone, which contributes one-third of total revenues, is pegged at Rs2,35,028 crore, against approximately Rs1 lakh crore being collected so far.

"We have written to Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT). If CCIT does not provide us additional space, we will go on non-cooperation movement. We have decided against giving assessment reports of big tax payers.

Neither will we participate in search & survey actions including TDS survey with effect from January 19. Also, we boycott CBDT members during their official visit," Ravi Shankar, general secretary of IT Gazetted Officers Association, told dna.

The officers have warned the administration that in the absence of adequate infrastructure, the officers will not be responsible for any loss of revenues due to cases getting time-barred or lack of proper investigation before assessment which will be getting time-barred on March 31, 2015.

In Mumbai, around 300 new officers with their staff have taken charge. Out of which, 100 officers going without any office accommodation. At least 3-4 income-tax officers (ITOs) are made to sit in one room, while the space crunch faced by the staff is even more worse.

"We were informed that negotiations have been made for office space at Air India building at Nariman Point and MTNL building at Fort. But till date neither a single sq ft has been added to the existing space, nor has any agreement finally signed with Air-India or MTNL," an I-T officer close to development told dna.

Further, the promotion of assistant commissioner of income tax (ACIT) to deputy commissioner of income tax (DCIT) is also a vexing issue. For the assistant commissioner level, the condition is that additional posts are to be filled over five years. Every year, half of the posts are to be filled by direct recruitment and the remaining through promotions, another I-T officer told dna.

This will leave most of the newly created posts at assistant commissioner level vacant for the first four years, nearly 50% of total ACITs were awaiting promotions since the past 14 years, he added.

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