Income tax evaders are being pushed into an increasingly tight corner – the I-T department is planning restructuring that will help assessing officers spend more time on an assessee than they do now.
Currently in Mumbai, an assessing officer, the individual who actually detects tax evasion after going through the assessee’s files, scrutinises an average of 400 cases a year.
With the restructuring, the department plans to bring this down to 150 cases per assessing officer, by increasing the number of officials at various levels. The restructuring is also meant to prepare for the projected increase in the number of taxpayers.
“This will give them more time to concentrate on a file, which in turn will generate more revenue for us,” a senior income tax official said requesting anonymity.
An assessing officer can be of the grades of income tax officer, assistant and deputy commissioner of income tax. There are 435 assessing officers in Mumbai, who scrutinise cases. After the restructuring, that number could increase by around 300, consequently reducing the load on each assessing officer.
On an all-India level, there are currently around 5,600 assessing officers, which could go up by 2,500 after the restructuring. The number of senior officials who supervise assessment work is also set to increase.
The restructuring proposal is now with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which governs the I-T department across the country. The CBDT will forward it to the finance ministry, which needs Cabinet approval to get it implemented.
The official added that the restructuring will likely be implemented by the middle of this year.