NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has sent out firm instructions to the Income Tax Department (ITD) and its officials to curb irrational “high-pitched” assessments against taxpayers.
Officers who issue such irrational orders should be transferred and face disciplinary action, the CBDT’s chairperson Sushil Chandra said.
A “high-pitched” scrutiny assessment case is one where it is found that the addition of income was made on frivolous grounds, non-observance of principles of natural justice, or non-application of mind and gross negligence by the assessing officer in deciding a case.
Chandra also pointed out that a special drive, launched in 2015 to address and resolve taxpayers’ grievances, had not achieved its mandate and remained under-utilized. The initiative was part of a plan to check high-handedness of taxmen in deciding assessments of a common taxpayer that led to issues of corruption.
Under it, the tax authorities proposed to create local committees in every tax region headed by a principal chief commissioner to “expeditiously deal with taxpayers’ grievances arising from high-pitched scrutiny assessment”.
The local committee of senior ITD officials, in case an order was found to be unreasonable or high-pitched, was empowered by the CBDT to take remedial action to rectify the demand and ensure the taxpayer is not harassed.