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Senior citizens & whose earning under Rs 10 L to be spared tax scrutiny
March, 15th 2011

Senior citizens and individual taxpayers whose gross total income does not exceed Rs 10 lakh will now not face the hassle of an income tax scrutiny. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has already announced in the budget that salaried taxpayers will not be required to file a return of income if their employer has deducted appropriate tax and they do not have any other income.

The government hopes these measures will help increase voluntary compliance. "Appreciating the concern of these taxpayers and with a view to mitigate their hardships, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has reviewed its scrutiny selection procedure," a CBDT statement said.

Senior citizens and small taxpayers filing returns on ITR-1 and ITR-2 will be subject to scrutiny only if the income tax department is in possession of credible information, it said.

Scrutiny of income tax returns is an important mechanism for ensuring taxpayer compliance and to counter tax-evasion. However, it has evoked some concern from small taxpayers and senior citizens about prolonged enquiries, the statement said explaining the rationale behind the move.

Selection of cases for scrutiny is also being streamlined to ensure that same cases do not figure year after year. The income tax department has undertaken intensive upgrade of its software and systems responsible for picking up cases for intensive scrutiny.

The CBDT has already exempt taxpayers from personal attendence if they are selected for scrutiny on the basis of a transaction reported in the annual information return. They can provide written reply in this case. At present, the department carries out scrutiny of up to 2% of the total number of tax returns. The computer aided scrutiny selection (CASS) system selects the cases at random based on parameters based on intelligence and annual information return.

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