Instruction regarding Preventive Vigilance to reiterate Government’s resolution to provide a tax administration that is free of corruption, bias or favouritism

OFFICE MEMORANDUM [F.NO. C. 14014/2/2013-Vig], dated 22-1-2013

In the recent past, instances of some officers of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) being subjected to searches investigations by Anti-Corruption Branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have been reported. Some complaints alleging misconduct, misdemeanour exhibited by Officers in their official conduct/duties have also been received.

2. Incidents of this nature have the potential of eroding the confidence of the taxpaying community and public at large in the Department. I appreciate that misconduct of this nature is limited to only a few misguided officials. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Department to act firmly and swiftly against such officers.

3. It is needless to emphasize that the Government Servants are expected to discharge their official functions with utmost devotion and integrity. The Government has laid down elaborate dos and don’ts governed by the Conduct Rules and it is expected that all officers abide by them scrupulously.

4. The Vigilance Wings of both the Boards have the prime responsibility to expeditiously conclude disciplinary proceedings in the case(s) of charged officers. While the innocent must be protected, those found indulging in gross misconduct must be subjected to strict punitive action as per extant rules/instructions expeditiously.

5. Preventive Vigilance is critical for any organization, Senior officers must regularly inspect the work of their subordinates. Periodical meetings with Taxpayers, Tax Bar, Chartered Accountants Association, Trade Associations etc. will serve as a good feed back mechanism. Personal counselling, especially of the younger officers is also a mode of correcting instances of inadvertent infringement of Conduct Rules etc.

6. The general reputation of an officer is also an important input for the Administration before taking a view about transfers/postings. The Administration Division in CBDT and CBEC and the field formations must be sensitized about the critically of rotation of officers between sensitive and non-sensitive assignments. Besides facilitating exposure to all areas of work, this also prevents the possibility of officers developing any vested interest which in turn adversely imparts objective official functioning.

7. Our work environment must maintain Zero Tolerance towards malpractices and corruption. An onerous responsibility is cast on the Senior Officers to lead by example. It is expected that all the vulnerable areas will be secured effectively to eliminate any possible misuse, explanation or unintended abuse. Not only is personal integrity necessary, it is incumbent upon the supervisory cadre to promote good and ethical behaviour in their subordinate officers.

8. The CBDT and CBEC being the most important revenue garnering aqencies of the Central Government, the revenue mobilization endeavour must be premised on the Departmental personnel exhibiting complete objectivity, integrity and sincerity in their conduct.

9. The Chief Commissioners/Directors General are advised to sensitise the field formations suitably and reiterate the Government’s resolve to provide a tax administration that is free of corruption, bias or favouritism.


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  1. Pradeep G Nair says:

    The corrouption is at the peak in Income Tax Department. The money is not taken in the office but they are paid outside to some known person of the officers. With CCTV yes the calculator game will come to standstill because the figure of corruption is discussed on the calculator. Air tickets are booked by the client on the officers name and family member by cash payment and then the officer can cancel the same and get back the money.

    All the assessment should be done via email or web.

    For any refund order or for the final order without money the order is not delivered to the client.

  2. m v r prasad says:

    Honesty should begin at the top. It will percolate down.
    No feed back comes from CAs and Bar Associations. Members of the Bar and CAs specialize in making the right noises. They condemn corruption, selectively. Tax payers want only a speedy and easy resolution. Corruption is a game played by all involved. Circulars are an eye wash. They gather dust in due course.
    We have come to a stage where superiors are afraid of subordinates. CBDT thinks management is increasing reports and encourages delegating upwards.

  3. Ram Babu says:

    God only knows how many Memorandums like this hae come earlier. Why not install CCTVs in Income Tax Offies. ? not force them to wear identity tags. Recently I had very bad experience, i.e. the moment I came out of ITOs office an attender who appears in the office followed me and demanded some amount to clear the refund amount due to my client. I believed that the ITO must have sent him. I never got the cheque. Having lost patience on one day I approached the ITO and asked him seriously. With the same seriousnes he said that he is not responsible for the amounts paid to an attender whose services are outsourced. Having recd. so many complaints against ‘him’ the dept. has terminated their services. Here who is the lloster. i.e apart from Money the faith imposed by the client. I lost the client who has introduced me few of his friends who are good pay masters.
    So beware and sharing this kind of experiences will bring more awareness and not allow the dept. to cheat the small practitioners(who approach mostly ITOs)

  4. S.L.Goyal says:

    Any effort to curb corruption is laudable. There is some improvement, how-so-ever small or how-so-ever late. For example, we are registered with Central Excise as a dealer and are passing excise benefit to our customers as given by our suppliers. We have to file quarterly Returns. Earlier, it was almost impossible to file a Return, even for NIL without some hand-out. It’s not any more.

    However, Sales Tax Dept remains the worst ADDA of corruption. For Assessment, for getting statutory Forms, for any rectification, appeal, etc, you pay.

    Can they also be brought under the purview of vigilance authorities? If the authorities expect that traders will complain against corrupt sales tax officers, provide proof and all that, then we can forget that corruption will ever be removed from the system. Vigilance authorities have to post their people, be alert and watchful, collect information/evidence as required and then take action against the guilty.

    Recently, we went to get registration under the MSME Act. First question: Have you brought any money?

    In my opinion, vigilance dept has to be strengthened, they have to mobilize resources, men, gadgets, etc and they have to take initiative. Then only, corruption can be meaningfully curbed.

  5. R.L.Garg says:

    It is a very good office memorandum but on paper.
    Pl tell me who ius not aware that Income Tax department is most corrupt at almost all levels baring some good and honest officers. In all the cases of scrutiny , most of the A.O. consider it more lucrative and will decide the case if their palms are greased. In refund cases no A.O. take interest and refunds of more than 10 years are pending.

    Oncome tax deptt should create a friendly atmosphere with assesses and not of fears which compels the assesses to lokk for middlemen for solutions.

    There should be an independent department who should hear the grievences.

    The assesses geneally do not come forward mainly due to the fear of harrasment from concerned A.O. as they are being made to face the same music every year.

    Pl take some positive and concrete steps or forget the norms.
    Thanks. these are some common views.

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