Mumbai could lose at least Rs 5 crore a day for the next few days because there will be no Income Tax (I-T) raids and surveys, during which a large chunk of tax is collected. Nearly 90 per cent of the I-T department’s staff across the country has decided to not to take part in surveys and raids from Tuesday as a mark of protest.

The demands include reimbursement of every employee’s mobile phone charges, laptops to all Gazetted officers, desktop computers to all group ‘C’ employees including senior tax assistants and inspectors

The officials have placed 12 demands before the department and want them to be met.

Each day that I-T officials stay away from raids or surveys will cause a loss of Rs 5 crore in income tax to Mumbai and Rs 180 crore to the country, officials claimed.

“This is because more than 15 per cent of total tax comes from raids and surveys,” a senior official said requesting anonymity.

He said the protest, if continued for long, would make it difficult for the department to meet the current tax collection target. The I-T collection target for 2010-2011 is Rs 4.3 lakh crore nationally, of which Mumbai is expected to collect Rs 1.5 lakh crore.

Rajesh Menon, secretary general, Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association said 8,000 officers and 43,000 other staff of the department are participating in the nationwide protest.

At least 1,000 officers and 8,000 other staff members from Mumbai are protesting. These include income tax officers and assistant and deputy commissioners, who usually lead raids and surveys conducted by the department.

“Raids and surveys will stop completely until demands are met,” said Menon.

The officials have also demanded that the department discontinue outsourcing work like data entry of returns filed by taxpayers and processing of returns.

“Since agencies taking up this work do not have any experience in tax matters, they commit mistakes while keying in the data,” Menon said. The I-T staff has to then spend time rectifying the mistakes. “Outsourcing does not solve any purpose,” he said.

Menon added that these errors also inconvenience taxpayers because sometimes there are mistakes in entering the Permanent Account Number or figures mentioned in the returns filed into the computer.

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