Finance Minister Asks Officers of Income Tax Department to Maximise the Use of Non Intrusive and Innovative Methods of Investigation; Calls for Training for Upgradation of Skills and Need for Capacity Building
The Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley exhorted the officers of the Income Tax Department to maximize the use of innovative and non-intrusive methods of investigation. He impressed upon the need for skill development and up-gradation to keep pace with newer and innovative methodologies adopted to evade taxes. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley emphasized that the Department should equip itself with the State of the Art technological skills, including, in the area of analysis of digital evidence. The Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley was addressing the meeting of Directors General of Income Tax (Investigation and Intelligence & Criminal Investigation) and Chief Commissioners of Income-Tax (Central) here today. The Finance Minister observed that the quality of representation of cases of Income Tax Department before various courts of law needs to be improved. He stressed upon devising mechanisms to attract the best talent and build expertise in the specialized subject of taxation. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley also impressed upon the need of imparting training to the middle level officers in order to improve their forensic skills to successfully deal with new tools of technology being used for tax evasions. The Finance Minister also called for taking necessary steps to adopt the emerging methods of capacity building.
The meeting was attended along with the Finance Minister by Shri Shaktikanta Das, Revenue Secretary, Chairman and Member (Investigation) CBDT, Directors General of Income Tax (Investigation and Intelligence & Criminal Investigation) of different Regions and Chief Commissioners of Income-Tax (Central) along with other senior officers of the CBDT among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Shantikanta Das, Revenue Secretary appreciated the sensitivity of the tasks assigned to the Investigation Directorates and advised the officers to be firm and fair in their approach towards the tax payers.
Earlier Shri K.V. Chowdary, Member (Investigation), CBDT, highlighted the performance of the Investigation Directorates in Financial Year 2013-14 in the major areas of their functioning including, inter-alia, search and seizure operations, surveys, widening and deepening of tax base, action on intelligence inputs received from other agencies of the Government. During the year 2013-14, searches conducted by the Income-tax Department led to seizure of assets worth Rs. 807.84 crore and admission of undisclosed income u/s 132(4) of IT Act, 1961 of Rs. 10,791.63 crore. The number of prosecutions launched during the year 2013-14 was 641, which is an increase of 127% in comparison to the immediately preceding year. The success rate in convictions on prosecutions launched by the Department is 90.6% (including 561 cases compounded by the Department). During the year 2013-14, the Department in its efforts to widen and deepen the tax base, undertook new projects for the collection and analysis of data from Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) and Cooperative Credit Societies (CCSs), Companies who have made open offers for the acquisition of shares and banks. The analysis of data resulted in identifying large number of new tax payers and additional incomes in the cases of existing tax payers. The amounts in these categories are income of Rs 4,442 crore in the case of UCBs/CCSs, Sale consideration of Rs 1743.91 crore in the case of the Project on Open offer where returns were not filed and income of Rs 1,383 crore in the case of Project on Banks etc.