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Arun Jaitley asks Income Tax Department to unearth black money at home too
July, 23rd 2014

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has promised a non-adversarial, nonintrusive and transparent tax regime, but said that those evading taxes will be dealt with firmly and asked officials to go all out to unearth black money in the country.

"Officers are duty bound to work in a non-adversarial...fair manner...they have to firmly deal with those trying to evade taxes...The government is making full efforts to bring back the black money stashed abroad but the officers of the department have to make equally serious efforts to unearth black money within the country," Jaitley told income-tax department officials on Monday.

The finance minister said he was confident the government will exceed the direct tax collection target of Rs 7.36 lakh crore.

The income-tax department has drawn up a plan to widen the tax base by going after non-filers, using annual information returns, capturing new information sources such as under-reporting of immovable property and buyback of shares through open offers and exchange of information with other countries through tax treaties.

Addressing the annual conference of chief commissioners and directors-generals, Jaitley said the tax officials' job has become difficult as they not only have to achieve collection targets but also play the role of facilitator for assessees.

Jaitley said the credibility of the department is its biggest asset and officials will have to work with the highest standard of ethics to achieve the tax collection target. Earlier, revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das said senior officers have to find innovative means to achieve their revenue targets and officers of the department have to work as facilitators and achieve targets by using fair and transparent means.

The focus and efforts of the officers of the department should be to reduce tax arrears, which are to the tune of Rs 4 lakh crore, and increase tax recovery, he said. He asked them to reduce tax cases and avoid frivolous and avoidable litigation.

RK Tiwari, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, highlighted the steps initiated to augment revenue collection, including keeping a close tab on advance tax payments by top taxpayers, TDS payments by top deductors and monitoring payments by entities covered under minimum alternate tax provisions. Tiwari said the board is making all processes IT-enabled to improve efficiency and bring transparency.

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