Government has faith in taxpayers; only 0.35% returns picked up for scrutiny this year: CBDT chairman
Income Tax Dept. has full information and capacity to nab tax evaders
New Delhi, August 9, 2018: The Income Tax Department has accepted 99.65 per cent of tax returns as it is and has picked only 0.35 per cent cases for detailed scrutiny thereby showcasing full faith in the taxpayers, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Mr Sushil Chandra said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.
“Tax base has widened owing to all measures taken by government for simplifying filing and processing of tax return, last year we got around 6.86 crore returns and this year I have selected only 0.35 per cent cases for scrutiny thereby meaning that 99.65 per cent persons who have filed returns are absolutely at peace, there cannot be a better system than this,” said Mr Chandra while inaugurating 15th ASSOCHAM International Tax Conference.
“Out of these 0.35 per cent also only 0.15 per cent are for limited scrutiny and 0.2 per cent cases are for full scrutiny, that shows we are having faith and we are going to scrutinize only in very high tax evasion cases but this does not mean that tax evaders will go out that is also very clear,” added Mr Chandra.
Highlighting that last year there was an increase of 18 per cent in revenue growth, the CBDT chairman informed that in spite of the stressed economy, the IT department collected Rs 10.03 lakh crore so there was a phenomenal increase in the revenue. “We will simplify the process but we will give clarifications on contentious issues.”
He also informed that this year tax department was also working on certain areas so as to ensure making an atmosphere whereby every investor or a foreign company or anybody can feel that India is one of the best country to invest in. “For that tax certainty is very important, whole problem arises if there is no certainty of tax and here is the role of all stakeholders including the government as to how to simplify the things.”
He further said that the tax department was simultaneously making its enforcement unit very strong so that if there is a case of tax evader it would be dealt with very severely. “We have got full information to nab tax evaders and we have the capacity to do that because there is automation, simplification and reduced litigation, that is our strategy in the government.”
Noting that the government is committed towards ease of doing business, he said India should aim to rank in top 50 countries in this regard. “Last year we jumped 30 places in to this area and we are now into top 100 countries in the world as far as ease of doing business is concerned.”
He said that tax policy had played a significant role as the ease of payment of corporation taxes, ease of allotment of PAN and other things were absolutely responsible for giving a jump and boost of 30 places.
Mr Chandra also informed that the government is going absolutely in the direction in which simplification and not litigation should be there.
He also sought suggestions from the industry as it is the continued endeavor of the government on how to reduce litigation and how to simplify the procedure. “If I can put certain things into simplified form, we would like to do that.”
In the international taxation he said there were certain issues, “Royalty is still a debatable issue in the most of the litigation, something has to be done about it.”
He added, “We need to find out some solution and we need consensus at the global level, the government is ready for any change be it in law, systematic operations, operational levy as only thing we want is ease of doing business and a mental psyche of the tax payers that they will have to be tax compliant.”
On Flipkart-Walmart deal, he said, “When the deal will be finalized they will have to pay their taxes.”
Sharing his view on the fake SMSes and e-mails being received by people with regards to income tax filing, Mr Chandra said, “We have issued clearing warning and clarifications not to act upon fake SMSes/E-mails, we have issued advisories to the people because tax department does not seek account details but directly credits refund in your back account which is filed in the return of income. We do not send such messages at all.”