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I-T men to promote merit of paying tax among school kids
June, 15th 2015

The government has asked senior Income Tax (I-T) department officers to individually contribute at least three innovative ideas, to widen the tax base.

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 I-T department here.

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

Sources said once all the officers send in their suggestions, the Central Board of Direct Taxes will compile and place these 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.

According to current data, the taxpayers' base in the country is about four 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 2.5 million new assesses every month during the current financial year 2015-16.

"The MoS (Jayant Sinha) 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 2.5 million 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, 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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