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Government asks top Income Tax officers to ideate for widening tax base
June, 16th 2015

As part of its effort to widen the existing tax base, government has asked top Income Tax department officers to individually contribute at least three innovative ideas in this regard.

A senior official said a direction in this regard was given by Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha during the recently concluded national conference of Directors General and Chief Commissioners of Income Tax in the national capital here.

"Sinha had asked the top brass of the I-T department to individually give three suggestions, ideas or proposals which will enable the government to augment revenue collection under the direct taxes category in the country.

"The idea bank has started receiving entries in the CBDT," the official said.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the apex policy making body of the tax department.

Sources said once all the officers send in their suggestions, the CBDT will compile and place them before Sinha. After deliberations and discussions, they will be put up before Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for clearance and final action.

"The officers, by virtue of their numerous years in service, are one of the best resource people to get ideas on this front.

"It has been indicated by the government that the best ones (ideas) will be implemented as policy measures in quick time," they said.

As per current data, the taxpayers' base in the country is about 4 per cent of the total population. The unique move comes in the backdrop of the government recently asking the I-T department to take urgent steps to widen the tax base and add at least 25 lakh new assesses every month during the current financial year 2015-16.

"The MoS is very particular about achieving this target and it is being taken as a very important and ambitious project in the Finance Ministry as the success of this programme will ensure unleashing of a host of welfare and other schemes by the government over the next few years," they said.

After directions from the Finance Ministry, CBDT Chairperson Anita Kapur had recently written to the top brass of the department to step up their work on this front.

"Considering the priorities of the government and the need to widen the tax base, a concerted and focused effort in mission mode is required.

"We have to strive for adding at least 25 lakh new assesses per month during the current financial year," Kapur had written in her communication to field officers of the department.

Concerned over the very small number of people paying tax on their income in the country, the CBDT has been asked to take up this project on a "mission mode".

The conference also enlisted a host of measures including initiation of an increased number of prosecutions against tax evaders in the country to not only check the erosion of the existing tax base but also tap more and more taxpayers and curb the menace of black money as part of the overall strategy of the government.

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