Looking to make the direct taxation system more transparent and seamless, PM Narendra Modi today launched a platform called ‘Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest’. The platform has been created by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to fulfil the mission of honouring the honest tax payers. The platform will enable faceless assessments, faceless appeal, and taxpayer charter. While the faceless appeal option will be applicable from September 25, the faceless assessment and taxpayer charter will come into effect from today.
Faceless assessment aims at ensuring that the taxpayer is dealt with in a fair, courteous, and rational manner.
“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 doubt anyone without any basis,” said PM during the launch. The platform entails Document Identification Number DIN) which is expected to bring more transparency in official communication between the tax payer and the tax department.
Mentioning a figure related to the extent to which scrutiny used to be done and how it has reduced, PM added, “Of all the tax returns filed in 2012-13, scrutiny of 0.94 percent cases was done. In the year 2018-19, this figure came down to 0.26 percent. That is, the scrutiny of the case has reduced by almost four times. This proves how extensive the change is. In the last six years, India has seen a new model of governance developing in tax administration.”
PM also added how owing to several tax reforms, the number of people filing tax returns has increased immensely. It has surged by two and a half crore in the last 6-7 years. He added that the number however is still very less considering that fact that we are a country of 130 crore people.
It will be interesting to see how the prospective tax payers respond to this reform and how it encourages the existing tax payers to continue doing so. CBDT has taken many corrective measures to bring reform to the direct taxation system. It reduced the Corporate tax rate from 30 percent to 22 percent last year, and brought down the same for new manufacturing units to 15 percent.