Tax authorities have been cautioned against harassing taxpayers as they try to meet the Rs 7.36 lakh crore target for direct taxes this fiscal.
Instead, newly appointed chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) KV Chowdary has written to field officers asking them to maintain a “friendly and non-adversarial” image of the income tax department.
“Our immediate challenging tasks include reaching the ‘not so easy’ target for revenue collection without undue harassment and high-handedness, improving the overall image of our department as a friendly, professional, non-adversarial, and competent organisation focussed on revenue collection,” said Chowdary, who took over as the CBDT chief on August 1.
He, however, stressed that the department must send out a clear signal by dealing with tax evasion and tax frauds “firmly, effectively and quickly”.
The CBDT chairman’s comments reflect concerns over the impact of a continuing weakness in the economy on revenue collections.
Banking on an economic recovery of sorts, the Union Budget has estimated a modest 15 per cent rise in the direct tax mop-up this fiscal to Rs 7.36 lakh crore from Rs 6.36 lakh crore last fiscal.
But in FY 14, the direct tax collection target for FY 14 was revised downwards by over Rs 30,000 crore from the original estimate of Rs 6.68 lakh crore due to the low growth. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, has also expressed full confidence that the target for direct tax mop-up would not only be met but also surpassed, if possible.