The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), has issued strict instructions to Income Tax department officers asking them not to keep taxpayers waiting in their offices for getting their work done as such action bring great “embarrassment” to the government.
The CBDT, the apex policy making body of the I-T department, issued the fresh directives after it recently got a number of complaints from taxpayers and others in this regard.
“It has been brought to the notice of the Board that some of the officers are issuing notices to the taxpayers, witnesses, representatives etc. indicating a standard time of appointment. Thus, many persons called for hearing etc. on a day by an officer are given the same time for appearance.
“Naturally the persons are made to wait for their turn.
Such actions, apart from causing avoidable inconvenience to the taxpayers, witnesses, representatives etc. cause great embarrassment to the government,” the CBDT directive said.
All the officers, the directive said, are, therefore, “advised to strictly maintain the appointment schedule in spirit with the Citizen’s Charter, 2014 of the department which specifically provides that we endeavour to adhere to the schedule of appointments with taxpayers”.
CBDT has asked supervisory rank officers of the department like Chief Commissioners, Commissioners and Additional Commissioners to ensure that “officers reporting to them strictly comply with this instruction and avoid fixing multiple appointments at the same time”.
“Instances of disregard to these instructions may be viewed seriously,” the directives said.
The importance of the directive can be gauged from the fact that these have been issued after getting personal approval from CBDT Chairman K V Chowdary who has recently taken over.
The Citizen Charter, or the promise made to the taxpayers by the department, envisages that taxpayers will not be troubled vis-a-vis scheduled appointments and their time would be respected.