Revenue Loss: CBDT Chief asks Officials to ‘Maximize’ Efforts to curb Tax Evasion

Sushil Chandra CBDT

Unhappy with the present revenue collections, Shri Sushil Chandra, the Chairman of the apex direct tax body, the Central Board of Direct Taxes ( CBDT ) has asked the income tax officers to “maximize” their efforts and conduct targeted surveys and file court cases against the tax evaders.

The CBDT Chief has written a letter to the higher officials of the department asking them to pull up their socks as only three months are left for the current financial year to close on March 31.

“On review of the trends of growth under different minor heads, it is noted that the growth in the collection under regular assessment tax (recovery from arrear and current demand) is extremely low at 1.1 percent as compared to 15.6 percent growth during the corresponding period last year.

“Most of the regions are, in fact, showing negative growth under regular assessment tax. This is a matter of serious concern and concerted efforts are now required to be made to drive up recovery from arrear and current demand,” the CBDT Chief said.

Talking about direct tax collections, Chandra said that by the end of December 2018 the growth rate has been 13.6 percent as against the target of 14.7 percent.

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“The position of growth in gross collections is marginally better at 14.1 percent but still below achieving the budget estimates of Rs 11,50,000 crore,” he said.

The CBDT chief also suggested some “strategies” to be adopted and implemented to achieve the targets.

He asked the officers to conduct “targeted recovery surveys in potential cases where a high amount of recovery is likely”.

“Sale of attached properties in appropriate cases by tax recovery officers to recover confirmed demand where normal measures of recovery have not yielded results” to be deployed, undertaking action to recover outstanding dues from companies and filing prosecution complaints in courts against those people who are willfully evading payment of outstanding taxes.

In the letter, the CBDT chief further directed the officers to train their scanner on tax deducted at source (TDS) collections and launch prosecution against those who are at “substantial default”. They were also directed to “verify advance tax payment” by those who sell properties and monitoring of dividend distribution tax.

The taxman has also been asked to timely complete regular assessments (non-time-barring) in cases where demand is likely to be raised and collected during the current fiscal.

“Other strategies depending upon the specific characteristics of the region should also be adopted so as to increase collections and ultimately achieve the budget target,” Chandra directed.

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