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Allowing post offices to accept IT returns questioned
September, 18th 2006
The decision to allow post offices to accept income tax returns has earned the ire of the income tax officers union, which says the finance ministry could end up paying up to Rs 1,500 crore annually by 2011 for outsourcing the job. In a letter to the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association said while the total cost of accepting and processing income tax returns costs the IT department a sum of Rs 51 per return, the postal department is being paid at the rate of Rs 100 per return and that too only for receiving it. "Is this outsourcing or is the Finance Minister being misinformed?, association secretary-general Rajesh Menon asked. He said at present, the total number of IT returns being filed in the country is 3.75 crore and the government is willing to spend Rs 375 crore for just receiving these returns. "As per the professed policy, the number of returns by the year 2011 is expected to be 15 crore and the corresponding expenses could be as high as Rs 1,500 crore", he said. In a government notification issued in July this year, postal department was authorised to accept income tax returns. It was decided that a payment of Rs 100 per return would be made to the department by the finance ministry.
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