As analysed in the editorial “In the right direction” (August 21), the proposals of the task force on the Direct Tax Code to resolve income tax disputes are significant. The idea of a negotiated settlement via mediation by collegiums of commissioners is a better alternative than litigation because there are pending court cases worth about Rs 6 trillion and the success rate of income tax department at courts is very poor. This, together with the suggested legal management unit that will deal with the tax litigation process under the new income tax law, should bring down the number of litigations. Besides, replacement of individual assessment officers by assessment units both for individual and corporate assesses is likely to mitigate their fear of harsh treatment and improve compliance.
Overall, the proposals as reported in the media are helpful. Their effectiveness together with recommended reduction in the tax burden will be proved by increased compliance by tax payers.
Y G Chouksey, Pune
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