The government's Taxpayer's Charter promises to cut down on cost of compliance while maintaining privacy and confidentiality of income taxpayers. It also puts an effort to make the tax system seamless, painless, and faceless. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the Charter "adds strength to our efforts of reforming and simplifying our tax system. It will benefit several honest taxpayers, whose hard work powers national progress." Faceless assessment and Taxpayers' Charter will come in force from today.
Here's what taxpayers can expect from the income tax department, as per the Taxpayer's Charter:
Fair, courteous, reasonable treatment
The income tax department would provide prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in all dealings with the taxpayer.
Treating taxpayer as honest
The department will treat every taxpayer as honest unless there is a reason to believe otherwise.
Mechanism for appeal and review
Taxpayers will be provided a fair and impartial appeal and review mechanism.
Complete and accurate information
Taxpayers will receive accurate information for fulfilling compliance obligations under the law.
The I-T department will take a decision in every income-tax proceeding within the time prescribed under law.
Collecting correct amount of tax
The government will collect only the amount due as per the law.
Privacy of taxpayer
The income tax department will follow due process of law and be no more intrusive than necessary in any inquiry, examination, or enforcement action.
There will not be disclosing any information provided by a taxpayer to the department unless authorized by law.
The department will hold its authorities accountable for their actions.
Representative of choice
The I-T department will allow every taxpayer to choose an authorised representative of his choice.
Mechanism to lodge complaint
Taxpayers will receive a mechanism for lodging a complaint and prompt disposal thereof.
Fair and just system
The department will provide a fair and impartial system and resolve the tax issues in a time-bound manner
Publishing service standards and report periodically
The income tax department will publish standards for service delivery in a periodic manner.
Reducing cost of compliance
The department will duly take into account the cost of compliance when administering tax legislation.
"With India believed to be the first country to commence faceless tax administration, this significant initiative will reduce the humongous amount of litigation. This initiative, which had begun on a pilot scale in 2018, will now be extended to `appeal' for those taxpayers, who are aggrieved by various actions of the Assessing Officer. Moreover, with India positioning itself as a destination ushered by a low tax rate regime, the move would imbibe confidence among overseas investors foraying into India amid the changing geo-political matrix in the post-COVID-19 times," said Mihir Ashok Tanna, Associate Director, SK Patodia and Associates.
"The launch of the platform for "Transparent Taxation - Honoring the Honest" by the Prime Minister on Aug 13 will incentivise taxpayers to be more honest and transparent in their filings and lead to gradual rise in direct tax collections. They will enjoy the benefits of relatively less documentation and greater ease of compliance, increased liquidity and flexibility of investment choices. Faceless assessments and appeals will give confidence to the taxpayer of fairness and fearlessness," said Deepak Jasani, Head Retail Research, HDFC Securities.Also read: PM Modi unveils faceless tax scrutiny; faceless appeals service to start from Sept 25