House panel concerned over delay in I-T refund

 A parliamentary panel has expressed concern over the increase in the pendency rate of disposal of income-tax (I-T) refund claims and suggested setting up a special cell in the I-T department to settle such claims within the prescribed time limit.

The Public Accounts Committee in its latest report has said that the Income Tax Department needs to carefully monitor the issue of refunds as the steps they have taken have not been “fruitful” in tackling the backlog of such claims effectively. “It is therefore desired that in addition to these steps, the department should fix targets in respect of each charge for quick disposal of refund cases and fix responsibility on those officials who fail to fulfil the same,” the committee said.

The pendency rate for disposal of refund claims has increased to 32.6 per cent in 2010-11 from 24.1 per cent in 2006-07.

Purebred over the falling tax to GDP ratio, the committee has also suggested the government undertake a focussed study to augment the number of new assesses so that tax base remains wide and dispersed, accurately reflecting the increase in per capita income as the diversified nature of the economy. For this, it suggested, the Finance Ministry should also devise an analytical model for widening the tax base, based on the increase in per capita income, both in nominal and real terms.

Lastly, the committee has also expressed its displeasure over the increase in the number of pendency of cases for summary or scrutiny assessment.

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