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Get recommendation from boss to serve abroad: CBDT to taxmen
June, 10th 2013

The Finance Ministry has introduced new rules for sending Income Tax officers to newly created overseas units like in the US and the UK that include asking aspirants to get testimonials from bosses and write a note on how they can help maximise revenue from this front.


The ministry had announced creation of eight new Income Tax Overseas Units (ITOUs) in 2011 as part of its multi-pronged strategy to tackle the menace of blackmoney.

It had designated I-T officers to go as First Secretaries in these countries to "maintain effective coordination and liaison between Indian tax authorities and the tax authorities of countries concerned."

"The new terms and conditions for posting the tax officers were recently finalised after meetings between the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Finance Ministry in coordination with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)," top sources said.

According to the freshly revised selection criteria, the aspiring candidate, with a mandatory 15 years of service in the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), will be evaluated for ten marks each in getting recommendations from two serving officers who were "immediate supervisory authority" anytime during their service and for writing a 1,000 word statement of purpose describing how his "knowledge, experience and commitment" will help in bolstering tax administration in the international context.

The applicant, who will have to go through a final interview by a panel headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairperson, will be judged for a maximum of 40 marks for providing a brief bio-data of five of their "outstanding work" in the field of revenue administration.

The interview will carry 35 marks.

While two ITOUs are already there in Mauritius and Singapore, the eight new are all set to be fully operational at Indian missions in Cyprus, France, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, UAE, UK and USA.

"The new rules will however be applicable for postings of officials to all the ten ITOUs," the sources said.

During the meetings held between the MEA and Finance Ministry over a year on these new eight postings, it was decided that unlike earlier, the seniority of I-T officials should be kept at a minimum of 15 years considering the nature of job and "seniority of officers from other services" in Indian missions abroad.

"The new postings, after finishing these procedures, should take place by August after the CBDT will obtain approval of the Finance Minister on the final list of selected candidates, consult the MEA and take final approval by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC)," the sources said.

The aspiring I-T officials will also be rated on their investigation skills and acumen to handle international financial transactions, overall awareness in respect of financial scenario and methods used for tax avoidance.

The other areas on which these senior officers will be rated include awareness of international financial protocols, issues pertaining to transfer pricing, working knowledge of tax treaties like the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) and other tax dispute resolution mechanisms like Advance Pricing Agreement (APAs) and Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP).

The posting of an officer in these ITOUs is for a period of three years.

Fourteen new ITOUs in different countries are now in the pipeline.

The government's intention to increase their numbers is drawn from the idea that these units could obtain hassle-free information on tax and financial data of investments made by individuals and institutions in these countries and facilitate exchange of data on legal investment or routing of money in India and vice-versa.

 
 
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