दाम सँवारे सारे काम

CBDT, Yes, You rightly understood, it is a Central Board of Direct Taxes, or to say an elevated platform of persons, who are equipped with ineffective mechanism to regulate the income tax department of the country and eventually a safe route of escapement from responsibilities towards happy retirement albeit unblemished, even it be so.

The heading of my write-up “In CBDT” bears twin meaning, first “In” used to indicate inclusion within something abstract or immaterial i.e. CBDT and secondly the sardonically salute the CBDT by putting the infinite exponential value “n” with “I” or say n times “I” meaning to incorrigible, inefficient, imperfect, ignominious, interested, intolerable, indifferent, irresponsible, injurious……………………….and so on ….. Anyone who has dealt with the CBDT and/or its staff will observe these adjectives.

The Corruption in income tax department has become so prominent, as the incorrigible optimist taxpayers feels like he is paying tax in cash to the officers without getting any receipt of that. The situation, circumference, radius and volume of bribe increased to an unfathomable level the more it was attempted to curb the practice by the government. In fact CBDT issued many strict advisories but with a cushion a pat on back of their golden spoon staff. It is not true that the assessing officers are slyly and stealthy pocketing the graft only for themselves, there is the complete vertical hierarchy to be fed, otherwise the tame assessing officer cannot dare to count on the blessing of the seniors. That is why the CBDT has grossly failed to eradicate the epidemic of bribe culture in its department under its own nose.

I have never blamed the only assessing officers but the upper limb of the hierarchy is equally responsible and answerable to society and the many generation to come, the professional (exceptions expected) too do not deserve the smile of innocence in their face, the corruption in all the revenue department is due to quick money for the young buddies and the corruption not only suits but sooths the professionals, but it is shit for society too, howsoever greedy the officer may , the professional and tax payers adamant attitude and non-cooperation can yield miracles and uproot the evil of corruption. Will we ever have that spirit of working? The RAJDHARMA is now a days has been only and only self-interest, no worry for exchequer and for country, whereas the real Rajdhrama is protecting and caring of NATION interest, which is plainly eroded in our sub-minds.

If I exemplify and give the bribe matrix, the readers’ eyes will remain wide opened to know that how much money change hands in just couple of months in revenue departments and it cannot be believed that it is not in the knowledge of CBDT and MoF.

  • Why the government make it mandatory to file the assets detail by all government employees without any extension,
  • Compulsory scrutiny for all the employees’ income tax return, during the year which any ceremony takes place,
  • Complete ban on scrutiny and search for two years and focus on recovery and pending rectifications.
  • NO Officer from the department should be elevated to CBDT and fresh IAS/IRS of impeccable record to be recruited,
  • Or CBDT should be scrapped and department to be regulated by MoF or separated body independent of ITD
  • Selective cases chosen to scrutinize should made result oriented scrutiny only.
  • Scrutiny period to be curtailed by one month and during that period demand raised in scrutiny must be recovered by the assessing authority or else be made answerable for failure to recover. Appeal time to be increased from present 30 to 60 days.
  • Scrutiny should be made trade/business specific instead of area wise or alphabets wise and the officers should be trained for specific trade assessment and scrutiny.

The CBDT who was much reluctant in granting extension in ITR and TAR despite high court orders in recent past, suo-moto extended the date for its own staff in filing of assets details, Why?, because CBDT very well knows that those who are not willing to file their details will get retired by that time. At least some soft corner is deserved for own employees.

The attendance mechanism is started with much loopholes and is not department wise but ministry specific, any employees can mark the attendance anywhere near to his place without going to office or reporting on the place of duty, Wonderful mechanism.

Parallel Assessment- a plague epidemic: The assessing officers are posted and granted the assessment work without any experience, there are many income tax officer who even do not know how to write order sheet, these imperfections officers hire the services of the professionals and retired officers on paid basis or sharing basis. These private persons sink in deep in the files of the assessee to help to the officer to squeeze more money from the assessee. Is it not in the knowledge of the department, if yes, Why No action, and If NO, what is their intelligence doing? I personally spoke to the highest officer of this department and that officer refused to help me.

I ask my senior colleagues who have attained status of senior citizens and super senior status, what we are doing for next generation, what the next generation will learn and inherit from present cacophony of things, will they ever be able to argue a case on merit without money pocketed, Are we not answerable to our conscience, CBDT, ITD, MoF are not only to be blamed but we are also part of that.

We have made corruption so rampant that it has become the way of life. We are and we should be answerable. Indeed I am ashamed, what about you??

( Author Harish Chander Bhatia can be reached at incometaxadvisor@gmail.com)

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