The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said that e-filing of income tax was a must for taxpayers with an annual income above Rs 5 lakh. “Income tax returns for the group above Rs 5 lakh, all such returns will be e-filed. This is a move towards using technology so that the interface between assessing officer and assesses is minimised,” Sumit Bose, Revenue Secretary said at a Ficci event here.
Filing income tax in electronic form had been limited to individuals with annual income of Rs 10 lakh and above.
E-filing, which was introduced by the government last year, will now apply to individuals who earn more than Rs 5 lakh every year. The government is also working towards introducing e-filing for wealth tax returns as well.
While defending the arrest provisions for service tax evasions above Rs 50 lakh, the Finance Ministry said that service tax provisions were being blatantly misused.
“On service tax side in the recent past where they (assesses) have blatantly misused the provisions particularly in those cases where they have recovered the money from people and not given to government,” Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairperson, Praveen Mahajan said.
In 2011-12, 527 cases of commercial fraud were reported, of which only 26 arrests were made while in 2010-11, 581 cases took place, of which only 64 were arrested, she added.
“We are non-adversarial. Power to arrest has been given to commissioner. There are enough safeguards. The provision will be reviewed from time to time. So there is no reason to be concerned,” the CBEC chairperson said.
Bose told India Inc while addressing an event organised by FICCI that the tax dispute resolution mechanism was being strengthened. Corporate India has reported at least Rs 2 lakh crore that has been locked in indirect and direct tax disputes, while Rs 43,000 crore was locked in income tax refunds.