Income-tax officials must serve taxpayers as committed in the charter: Sitharaman
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday told income-tax officials to implement taxpayers’ charter unveiled by the Prime Minister on Thursday, in letter and spirit, a finance ministry official said.
“Now we have to serve our taxpayers with much higher standards to meet the commitments given in taxpayers’ charter with the motto of ‘Transparent Taxation - Honoring the Honest’,” the official quoting Sitharaman said.
According to the charter, the income-tax department shall collect correct amount of tax, respect privacy of the taxpayer, maintain confidentiality, reduce cost of compliance and publish standard for service delivery in a periodic manner. It also expects taxpayers to honestly disclose information, respond in time, pay taxes in a timely manner and keep themselves aware of compliance obligations.
The finance minister thanked revenue officials for their efforts in implementing the faceless assessment system to curb outreach by taxmen and urged them to work with the same zeal to accomplish the faceless appeal system, two key reforms in lines with the charter.
“The department’s responsibility has increased further with the new faceless approach to the taxation. We are setting an example for the world in use of technology in delivery of better services to our taxpayers,” the official said quoting her.
The faceless tax assessment system was first proposed by the Prime Minister in 2017 and received its mention in the first budget of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5, 2019. The system was subsequently launched on October 7, 2019. Under the system random selection of tax cases are done through artificial Intelligence and machine learning, with a reduced discretion or no human interface from the income-tax department.
The objective of the faceless assessment is to completely eliminate physical contact between the taxpayer and the taxman to make tax administration objective, transparent and corruption free. The system works under National Assessment Center (NeAC) headquartered in Delhi and eight Regional Assessment Centers (ReAC) located in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.