PM Modi announces charter for 'fair, courteous' tax collection

Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a meeting through video conference with Chief Ministers. (ANI)
Taxpayers won’t be harassed or treated with suspicion, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday as he announced a charter listing their rights and responsibilities.

The tax system will be "seamless, painless and faceless", said he in a televised speech. All interaction between the tax department and payers will be online to remove the scope of harassment and corruption.

"The taxpayer is now assured of fair, courteous and rational behaviour. The income tax department now has to take care of the taxpayer's dignity sensitively. Now you have to trust the taxpayer, the department cannot see it without any doubt without any basis. If there is any doubt, the taxpayer has been given the right of appeal," he said about the charter (opens PDF). 

"Out of all the tax returns in the year 2012-13, scrutiny of 0.94 per cent was done. In the year 2018-19, this figure has come down to 0.26 per cent. The scrutiny of cases has reduced by almost one fourth," he said, according to news agency ANI.

"A new journey is beginning today honouring the honest. Country's honest taxpayers play an important role in nation-building. New facilities beginning from today establishes our commitment to minimum government and maximum governance," he said at an event called "Transparent Taxation—Honouring the Honest".

वर्ष 2012-13 में जितने टैक्स रिटर्न्स होते थे, उसमें से 0.94 परसेंट की स्क्रूटनी होती थी।

वर्ष 2018-19 में ये आंकड़ा घटकर 0.26 परसेंट पर आ गया है।

यानि केस की स्क्रूटनी, करीब-करीब 4 गुना कम हुई है: PM @narendramodi #HonoringTheHonest

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the facilities are a landmark for tax administration. "The Prime Minister's vision is to empower taxpayers, to provide a transparent system and to honour the honest taxpayer. To realise this vision, CBDT has given a framework and put in a place a system in the form of this platform," she said, referring to the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

Last year, the government had slashed corporation tax rates from 30 per cent to 22 per cent, while that for new manufacturing units was reduced to 15 per cent. Dividend distribution Tax was also abolished.

(With agency inputs.)

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