You may not have to take a day off the next time the tax office summons you. The country's apex direct taxes body has asked its officers to ensure taxpayers do not have to wait to make their point in scrutiny hearings and are heard in allotted time slots.
Taking a strong exception to the rampant practice of giving the same time slots to multiple taxpayers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has sent out a stern directive to all its field officials. "It has been brought to the notice of the board that some of the officers are issuing notices to the taxpayers or witnesses or representatives indicating a standard time of appointment.
Thus, many persons called for hearing 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 taxpayers or witnesses or representatives cause great embarrassment to the government," the directive issued at the behest of CBDT chairman KV Chowdary said.
Cash deposit of Rs 10 lakh in your savings account, sale or purchase of house above Rs 30 lakh, annual credit card spend of up to Rs 2 lakh or mutual fund investment of up to Rs 2 lakh could land an income tax return under scrutiny.
At present, the department conducts scrutiny of up to 2% of the total number of tax returns filed on these parameters through a random selection by Computer Aided Scrutiny Selection system. Tax terrorism had become a commonly used term to describe rampant harassment by tax department under the previous UPA regime.
The detailed citizens' charter of the department lists out measures that will help improve taxpayer services. The new government has identified improvement in taxpayer services to shed this tag as among its key focus areas. Revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das on Thursday took a meeting with tax senior officials from the board to take a stock of measures already undertaken and needed to be taken.