Broader tax base will allow tweaking of tax rates: CBDT

New Delhi [India], Feb 5 (ANI): As the tax base gets broader, there is a chance of tweaking the tax rates as there is a large portion of unorganised sector which is outside the tax framework, Chairman of the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) Pramod Chandra Mody said on Tuesday.

The unorganised players should be encouraged to become part of the tax framework. “Once that happens, the accuracy of filing returns will improve. If that increases the tax base, then there will be a case in future to further lower the taxes,” he said while addressing an interactive session organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

“The government’s primary onus is to move towards a simple, lean and straightforward tax structure and one that is easy to comply with,” said Mody adding the government wants to trust the taxpayers and is making efforts to move the tax administration in that direction.

“The government is making all efforts to put in place a system that offers best and seamless services to the taxpayers,” he said. There is much greater unanimity in the government now towards building synergies between the taxpayer and tax administration, he added.

“With ease of compliance at the core of entire approach, we would want to make pre-filled return forms available to the taxpayers,” said Mody.

Nearly 4.8 lakh cases are currently pending in tax litigation. “We are providing video conferencing facility for taxpayers so that they can communicate with I-T officials.”
Mody said an in-depth review of the issues related to litigation has been undertaken to minimise disputes. “We have moved towards a faceless assessment system and hope to move towards a system of faceless appeals as well,” he said.

In her Budget speech on Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a citizens’ charter and said the government would like to re-assure taxpayers that it remains committed to taking measures so that they are free from harassment of any kind.

Tax harassment cannot be tolerated, she said, adding that any tax system requires trust between taxpayers and the administration.

Talking about the Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme, Mody said the aim is to reduce litigation covering a multitude of assessees like individuals, partnership firms, cooperative societies, small and big corporates.

Under the scheme, a taxpayer will be required to pay only the amount of the disputed tax and will get a complete waiver of interest and penalty provided they pay by March 31.

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