13 Aug 2020: PM Modi launches Transparent Taxation platform for honest taxpayers
In a move aimed at helping honest taxpayers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the "Transparent Taxation - Honoring The Honest" platform.
PM Modi said that the platform has three main features — faceless assessment, faceless appeal, and taxpayers' charter.
The main idea is to simplify the tax system and make it public-friendly and people-centric, he added.
Here are more details.
Context: In her last budget speech, Sitharaman revealed government's plans
The new platform finds its roots in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's 2020-21 budget speech. She had said the government is looking to adopt a "taxpayer charter," to promote transparency between taxpayers and the government.
She had said that an efficient tax administration will help in ease of living and doing business.
"Wealth creators will be respected in this country," she had assured.
Details: Tellingly, government wants to end tax harassment
The features of the newly-launched platform indicate that the government wants to win over taxpayers, who have been complaining about tax harassment for decades now.
PM Modi said the "faceless tax system" will evoke confidence among taxpayers.
Explaining the features he said a computer will randomly decide candidates for assessment, ensuring that taxpayers and officials don't communicate with each other, hence, promoting fearlessness.
Details: Scheme will reduce physical visits to Income Tax office
Further, notices will be issued centrally, with a document identification number (DIN), and trips to the Income Tax offices will also be minimized.
One of the features of the faceless assessment scheme is that it abolishes territorial jurisdiction and allows team-based assessment and review.
However, exceptions will be applicable in cases of serious tax fraud, etc.
The scheme will be applicable from September 25.
What he said: Charter puts responsibility on taxpayers' as well: PM Modi
PM Modi called taxpayers' charter another big step in India's development journey. "Taxpayer charter comes with responsibilities for taxpayers too. The taxpayer must pay tax because that is how the system works," he added.
He said some 1,500 laws have been repealed in recent years.
It is because of this that India reached 63rd position in the "Ease of Doing Business" list globally, he added.
Fact: Today we are "honoring the honest," said PM Modi
"In the last six years, banking the unbanked, securing the unsecured, and funding the unfunded has been our focus. Today, it is the start of a new journey — Honoring The Honest. The honest taxpayer plays a massive role in the nation's growth," he added.
Measures: CBDT took steps to make taxpayers' lives easier
Of late, the Central Board of Direct Taxes incorporated several changes to empower taxpayers. This includes bringing down corporate tax from 30% to 22% for existing companies and 15% for new manufacturing companies.
Further, the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Act, 2020, was also introduced for settling tax disputes. The CBDT also took steps to promote digital transactions.