Income tax officials in Mumbai have been instructed by top authorities to recover tax blocked as arrears and locked in dispute, in order to achieve their revised targets. The motivation behind this is a whopping Rs2 lakh crore of revenue.
According to income tax (I-T) officials, the city has Rs2.1 lakh crore worth direct tax comprising corporate tax, income tax, securities transaction tax and others, locked either through default by taxpayers, or locked at various appellate and litigation levels starting from commissioner of income tax (appeals) to the Supreme Court.
Sources in the department said that out of the total amount, arrears worth over Rs1 lakh crore are to come from defaulters who have not paid their taxes. Sources further said that out of the total amount locked in dispute at various appellate bodies, over 70% is with the commissioner of income tax (appeals).
The instruction to speed up disposal of cases locked in dispute and recovery of arrears came after the direct tax collection target for Mumbai for the financial year 2011-2012 was increased from Rs1.85 lakh crore to Rs2.04 lakh crore.
Giving figures relating to dispute redressal, a senior I-T official said that 25,000 cases are pending with the commissioner of income tax (CIT) (appeals). "On an average 5,000 cases are added every year with a CIT (appeals) in the city, while around 7,000 cases are disposed of annually," said a senior I-T official.
However, this rate isn't good enough, as every CIT (appeals) is expected to dispose around 800 appeals every year. Mumbai has over 30 CIT (appeals), which means that 24,000 appeals should be disposed of annually.
Officials said that top authorities have been asked to instruct CITs (appeals) to improve the disposal rate to in order to achieve the revised target.