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Resolve taxpayers' rectification cases in 6 months: CBDT to I-T dept
February, 16th 2016

In yet another step aimed at addressing taxpayers' grievances, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has directed the taxman to mandatorily resolve rectification pleas from assessees within the set six-month deadline.

CBDT, the nodal authority for framing policies for the I-T department, has also asked tax officials to issue orders in writing in these cases instead of just uploading them to the taxpayers' e-filing account.

The matter pertains to proceedings under Section 154 of the Income-Tax Act, which stipulates that when an application for amendment is made by an assessee, deductor or collector with a view to rectifying any mistake in their case records prepared by the assessing officer (AO) of the department, it is incumbent on the AO to either allow the amendment or reject the claim after perusal of records within six-months.

A number of taxpayers, deductors and collectors, in cases of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) category, submit these applications to the AO when they find the assessment or any other proceeding made against them is incorrect.

According to an official, the CBDT saw that in many cases, when the issue raised by the taxpayer is found to be correct, the application is not replied to and allowed to lapse.

Now, in its latest order, the Board said,"The time limit of six months is to be strictly followed by the AO while disposing of applications filed by the assessee or deductor or collector under section 154 of the Act."

It added that "supervisory officers should monitor the adherence of prescribed time limit and suitable administrative action may be initiated in cases where failure to adhere to the prescribed timeframe is noticed".

In a separate order on the same issue, CBDT has asked the taxman to pass such rectification orders "in writing" which should be duly served on the taxpayer and not merely uploaded on the electronic portal of the assessee as that was found to be leading to grievances since taxpayers remained unaware of such action.

"The taxpayers remain unaware that their rectification application has been cleared and hence are unable to pursue the matter in cases of appeal or further legal proceedings," a senior official said.

The directives in this regard are the latest set of orders issued by CBDT to address the taxpaying public's complaints after it recently asked I-T department to ensure prompt clearance of refunds, a major area of concern for numerous people.

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