Massive campaign in offing by I-T department to hike taxpayers

Massive campaign in offing by I-T department to hike taxpayers

Massive campaign in offing by I-T department to hike taxpayers

 To meet the government’s target of doubling the number of people who pay taxes, the taxmen in the country will shed their veil and go for an image makeover through media blitzkrieg.

The Income Tax (IT) department may also explore the possibility of engaging a media consultatnt to handle campaign of the department across various media.

At a recent tax conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was found that tax department is wary of holding media briefings and press conferences and most of the times afraid of facing uncomfortable questions. Thus media interaction of the department with press remains one-way – through press releases. It was found that lack of communication was also a big hindrance in more tax collection.

“Considering the erosion of the public image of the department, there is a pressing need to correct faulty and negative perception about the IT-department in the minds of people. Voluntary compliance requires sensitisation among people to become honest tax payers and inculcate the sentiment that paying taxes is ethical and core duty of every citizen,” taxmen have been told. “It is also felt necessary to explain the economic rationale of the tax payment, for example, how taxes are used to build roads, schools, hospitals, bridges and the likes and also spent on defence and poverty alleviation programmes,” a detailed paper on tax payer perception of Income Tax department, said.

The taxmen were also told in the recent conference that the current communication strategy focuses more on issuing of reminders for payments and for tax liabilities.

This communication strategy should be aligned with overall compliance model for example what services the government offers to the citizens in lieu of tax payment.

An ICRIER report recommends developing a comprehensive communication strategy to address the trust deficit and change tax payers’ perception of the department.