Govt asks taxmen to be more friendly towards taxpayers

Govt asks taxmen to be more friendly towards taxpayers

The sense of fear from taxman may be a thing of the past in the new government. Taxpayers will now get accustomed to words such as “a gentle reminder”, “warm regards” and “please” in the letters that they receive as reminders for payment of taxes in time.

A welcome change may also be noticed at the payment centres where taxpayers will be offered certain basic facilities like chairs to sit and water to drink. All this is done to usher in an era of tax-friendly regime that is considered to be an easier way to enhance compliance.

The need for taxmen to be firm and fair in their approach towards taxpayers was discussed in the two-day conference senior tax officials recently in the capital, an Income Tax department official said.

If the approach is followed across the board in tax collection practices, it will be a departure from the past when “naming and shaming” of tax evaders slowly creeped into the system, causing huge embarrassment to defaulters.

“It is not that we were not polite earlier, but there is always a scope for improvement,” the official said.

The department had begun the practice of writing clarification-seeking letters to taxpayers a few years back as part of its drive to collect additional revenue lying untapped, especially in cases of suspected non-disclosure or avoidance of tax by an individual or entity.

In the financial year 2013-14, the department sent more than three lakh letters to taxpayers in case of non-filer instances.

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