Another tax-related crisis has come up in India. This time pertaining to the income tax officials themselves. Officials of the country’s Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association and the Income Tax Employees Federation have jointly sent a letter to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) protesting against the Indian government’s decision to come up with faceless tax assessment.
A portion of the letter, as quoted by Reuters, stated, “The scheme is being implemented in a hurry without considering the concerns of the majority of the stakeholders. We express our strong displeasure on this type of unilateral decision-making as it is not in the interest of the efficient working of the Department”.
Reportedly, the letter was sent to the CBDT on 3rd October. The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) decision to have faceless tax assessment comes in the wake of several allegations of tax authorities hounding tax payers, especially corporate individuals.
There have also been allegations of tax authorities engaging in corruption while trying to carry out their duties. Through the faceless assessment system, the government is aiming to put an end to any potential malpractice that may come about in the tax-collection processes.
The CBDT, while countering the tax officials’ letter, proffered one of its own that noted, “It is also likely to lead to quicker disposal of cases”. Officials who are a part of the IT department feel that this step would add to their burden especially since the Indian economy is experiencing a slowdown.