Politeness is the new mantra for the income-tax department which has asked its officials to be more courteous while approaching taxpayers with queries regarding their financial transactions or returns.
The I-T department had begun the practise of writing such clarification-seeking letters to taxpayers few years back as part of its drive to collect additional revenue lying untapped, specially in cases of suspected non-disclosure or avoidance of tax by an individual or entity.
The decision to sound more polite, courteous and sincere in its communications to taxpayers was recently discussed and agreed upon by the top brass of the department during a two-day conference held in New Delhi.
“The practise of writing letter to a taxpayer who has not reported his or her transaction to the I-T authorities is here to stay and we know its importance. It has been decided that letters from the taxman should be more polite and courteous in tone and tenor. In all cases, the department would take it initially that the taxpayer made an inadvertent mistake in not reporting the transaction under question,” a senior I-T official said.
The letters which are sent by respective assessing officers (AOs) of the department, henceforth, would use some adjectives like ‘please’, ‘warm regards’ and ‘gentle reminder’
even as the taxpayer is addressed by name with proper salutations.