In order to rope in more tax payers and to ensure that people do not evade taxes, Income-Tax officials have been advised to visit schools and pre-degree colleges across the country to impart gyan to the student fraternity about the importance of taxation and the menace of black money in the economy.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued a fresh communiqu, titled Central Action Plan 2012-13, a confidential document which is in the possession of Business Line. The Commissioner Income Tax has been told to depute young and dynamic officials to visit schools to talk to children during morning assemblies on tax and black money issues.
Tax officials have been asked to communicate the importance of taxation through stories, explaining age-old concepts of taxation and their current relevance. In order to make students aware and to ensure that the message reaches their parents, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has hit upon this novel communication strategy.
The schools to be covered include Government, public and convent schools.
A senior I-T official at the Income Tax headquarters in Mumbai confirmed the development to Business Line and said that the practice was in effect for one year. He said officers have been making power point presentations in schools about the nature of taxation, the importance of PAN numbers and the many ways to file I-T returns.
The official said the students response was enthusiastic.
Students at Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy School, Abhyudaya Vidayala and Nirmala Niketan College in Mumbai, among a host of other schools and colleges across the country, have been imparted knowledge about taxation in the last year, the official added.
When asked how the concept of black money is explained, he said, We told the students that black money is not currency notes coloured with a specific dye, but it is money gained by avoiding taxes,.
Though the action plan for this fiscal advises all Commissioner rank officials to depute senior officers to visit schools, student visits to the Income Tax offices have also been organised in batches of 20 to 25 of age group 16-18 years.
When contacted, former MP and Senior BJP leader from Maharashtra Kirit Somaiya welcomed the move by the I-T Department.
In the last century, only when youngsters reached the age of 30 they used to start paying taxes. Today, most people are paying taxes in their 20s and these numbers are growing across cities. Therefore, such measures at the school-level are welcome, said Somaiya.