Despite settling his income tax (I-T) demand and getting a refund against it for the assessment year 2003-04, Delhi’s GD Saraswat (name changed) received another fresh tax notice of Rs 96,286 the following year. After resolving it as well, he received yet another notice in December 2011 for Rs 1.3 lakh, including penalty.
Saraswat’s is not an isolated case; several other assessees in different parts of the country receive similar incorrect demand notices every year from the department or the centralised processing centre, Bangalore.
“Despite rectification, the demand raised by the I-T department is often not deleted in the records, which results in re-issuance of notices,” said Kuldeep Rai Aggarwal, chartered accountant.
In several cases, getting a response from the local I-T office is equally taxing.
“I approached the I-T office to know about the notice, which was incorrect, but they asked me to write to the CPC, as they didn’t have any record to cross-check,” said Baroda-based Vishal R Patel.
Taxpayers feel that the I-T helpline should be better managed, as it provides only standard answers. “Whenever I enquired about my problem, the helpline failed to provide any direction,” said Patel.
Arrear tax demand grew by 135% from 2005-06 to 2009-10, according to the department.