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Indirect tax ombudsman speeds up complaint disposal
June, 04th 2016

The next time you are importing an electronic item and the customs official levies a duty higher than mandated or misbehaves with you, make sure you contact the indirect tax ombudsman at Chennai.

Striving to dispose cases within 10 days, S Subramanian, the indirect tax ombudsman for Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Pondicherry has doled out benefits of over 2.18 core over the last two years.
While inaugurating the office at Chennai on Wednesday, Subramanian said, "The ombudsman's office is ever ready to provide solutions. We request the trade and industry to make use the institution."

The ombudsman's office was set up in Chennai in July 2014 under the charge of Subramanian.

While in 2014-15, the office received only 8 complaints, 2015-16 saw a larger turnout with 55 complaints.

During his term in office, Subramanian has disposed 40 cases of varying matters, enabling taxpayers to get drawback/refund of 2.18 crore.

One among the largest settlements was a 92 lakh refund pertaining to leviability of service tax for a tour operator.

In the current fiscal, the office has received 9 complaints of which 5 have been disposed.

The office handles matters relating to delay in giving effect to appellate orders, delays in issue of refund, non adherence to rules prescribed, violation of administrative instructions and circulars among others.

The office also deals with matters relating to unwarranted misbehaviour of tax officials. Recently, the ombudsman disposed a matter involving a tax official behaving rudely with a 84 year old man. "We take each complaint very seriously. While we are tax collectors, there is no reason why any tax official must misbehave with an assessee," said Subramanian.
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While there are seven ombudsman offices across the country, Subramanian claims Chennai to be the most proactive one.

Details regarding the provisions and procedures have been put out on the CBEC website and links to the ombudsman's page being provided at each custom official's page.

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