You will soon receive a monthly SMS from the income tax department telling you whether the tax deducted from your salary has been received.
The move is aimed at building trust between the taxpayer and the I-T department, by avoiding a repeat of the Kingfisher incident where employees of the now defunct airline were served tax notices when it was the company that had defaulted on payments.
“The system should be ready in a month or two,” Central Board of Direct Taxes chairperson Rani Singh Nair told HT on Wednesday.
“A lot of cases were reported where companies were not submitting taxes they had deducted from salaries and notices were going out to the employees. To avoid this, we are working on a system where an SMS will tell you whether the tax deducted has reached the department or not. In case it hasn’t, you can ask your company why it is defaulting on your taxes,” she said.
Among other measures, the department plans to email certificates of appreciation to employees for paying their taxes on time, and issue directives to taxmen to maintain integrity and accountability while adopting zero tolerance for corruption.
Nair, who took charge as CBDT chief on August 1, said her agenda was to correct the image of the department — which is often accused of ‘tax terrorism’ in its pursuit of defaulters.
In the case of Kingfisher, employees who were out of jobs and hadn’t been paid for months when the airline went bust alleged they were further harassed by the I-T department when it was the company that had failed to deposit R450 crore of tax deducted at source (TDS).
“Not remitting collected TDS is a serious offence under the Income Tax Act. It can attract a penalty and a possible jail term of anywhere between three months and seven years. There are sufficient instances where this has been imposed,” said Amit Maheshwari, a partner at the accountancy firm Ashok Maheshwary & Associates.