PM Modi Unveils country’s First Taxpayers’ Charter: All You Need to Know

Taxpayers charter - unveiled - Taxscan

The Government led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, while fulfilling a budget commitment has unveiled the Taxpayers’ charter, which spells out the Income Tax department’s commitments to taxpayers as well as expectations from them.

Launching the platform ‘Transparent Taxation, Honoring the Honest’, Modi said the department will start faceless appeals from September 25.

The Income Tax department will adopt a ‘taxpayer charter’ which outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tax officers and taxpayers.

The PM said Rights always comes with duties and liabilities. The Tax Charter defines the tax framework and is a useful tool to encourage collaboration between the Government and taxpayer. Promises made in the Tax Charter are more than double what is expected from taxpayers.

While India Inc welcomed the move, experts said implementation of faceless assessment holds the key and that the government must be careful that in the process to cut discretion, a taxpayer should not be denied an opportunity to be heard or be able to present facts that could impact the decision of the assessing officer or the appellate authorities.

PM Modi said there is a remarkable change in the approach of the income-tax department, which is increasingly becoming taxpayer-friendly and the platform – ‘Honouring the Honest’  is the testimony. “This platform consists of major reforms such as faceless assessment, faceless appeal and taxpayers’ charters. The faceless assessment and the taxpayers’ charter have been implemented from today, while the facility for faceless appeal will be available to the people of the country from 25 September, which is the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay ji,” he said.

According to the charter, the income-tax department shall collect the 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.

In India, where tax targets are always overestimated, the field officials are constantly told to achieve a certain target and that leads to coercion and intimidation of taxpayers.