NEW DELHI: Just a fortnight after giving ambitious tax targets to all its officials, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has now asked them to go soft while following up on tax queries with businesses which are under stress in general, and Micro, Medium and Small enterprises (MSME) in particular.
“There was an internal instruction issued by the top officials after MSMEs had pointed out that there were multiple reminders being sent by tax officials on old cases,” a senior official in the Income Tax department said.
The move to go easy on stressed businesses was done as a part of the confidence building measures implemented by the government and after receiving instructions from the revenue department, sources added.
“There was already a rule under faceless assessment norms which said that officials cannot send mails without generating DIN and getting sanction from the regional head office. Officials were following up on old pending cases and cases under the Sabka Sath Sabka Vishwas scheme or issuing reminders," the official said.
The revenue department had already issued a note last month directing that identification and preparedness for the issuance of notices under Section 148, which deals with all cases of income escaping and returns filing, should be done by June 30 since no fresh notice has to be sent before that date.
The Income Tax (I-T) department had started faceless e-assessment processes in October 2019.
The faceless e-assessment facility was launched to remove face-to-face scrutiny of tax payers by the I-T department in order to prevent officials from directly calling assessees.
The move was seen as a good way to improve transparency and reduce cases of tax harassment by tax department officials.
The revenue department is also examining the possibility of launching faceless assessment procedures for Indirect Taxes and Customs too.