An all-India body of Indian Revenue Service officers has said that the Income Tax Department is "proactively pursuing" the government to extend the statutory March 31 deadline to complete important tax-related works due to coronavirus outbreak.
"Field officials have raised legitimate concerns about going to office. The I-T Department is proactively pursuing extension of statutory limitation/time barring dates with the government," the Association of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers said.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) recently directed ministries and department to make manpower more efficient and allow junior-rank officials of the union government to work from home and in shifts in certain cases.
The association also said that local situations should be considered before making any decision on how and whether tax offices should be open.
"Feasibility of commuting of officers/staff, prohibitory orders under section 144, border restrictions between states in areas like NCR, ability of drivers to come for duty, etc. So, while we wait for orders, let us not panic. Let us take necessary precautions and ensure minimum travel and maintain social distancing," it said in a statement. "We must follow Hon'ble PM's advice and maintain utmost vigil."
The chances to conquer the extraordinary COVID-19 challenge would increase if the officials were more vigilant, the association said. "So, work from home as much as you can. Stay safe. Keep others safe and let us overcome this challenge together," it said.
Another body of I-T gazetted officers has asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to extend the deadline to finish a variety of assessment cases from March 31.
The department's Mumbai region has also asked CBDT to push back the 'Vivad se Vishwas Scheme' and to finalise the proceedings by March-end under the anti-black money law.
With inputs from PTI