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Fishing Expedition of CBDT Officers

The complaints including complaints regarding harassment of tax payers by the income tax officers are received by the Government and various income tax authorities all over the country. There is no centralized system of maintaining category-wise database of complaints, which are dealt with by the officers concerned as per prescribed procedures.

A communication dated 7.11.2014 issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) listing steps towards a non-adversarial tax regime, inter-alia, directs:

  • Effective monitoring and supervision of the subordinates by senior officers;
  • Periodic review and inspection of scrutiny assessment orders to ensure that long and non-specific questionnaires are not issued so that frivolous additions or high-pitched assessments are not made without proper basis;
  • Limiting of scrutiny only to that information on the basis of which the case was selected and wider scrutiny, if necessary, with the approval of higher authorities;
  • Processing of recovery and stay of demand as per guidelines;
  • Attending to taxpayer grievances in time; and
  • Filing of appeals before courts only on merits of the case.

The officers and staff at all levels have been advised to follow these directions scrupulously. Non adherence to the 12 guidelines specified in the above mentioned communication is to be viewed seriously.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Finance, Shri Jayant Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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April 2024