Published On: Sun, Sep 20th, 2015

Income Tax dept to use email for issuing notices

New Delhi: In a welcome news for taxpayers, the IT department has decided to launch a new system of issuing email notices to which an assessee can respond electronically, obviating the need for a physical interface with the taxman which often led to complaints about harassment.

CBDT Chairperson Anita Kapur, who is the administrative head of Income Tax department.

CBDT Chairperson Anita Kapur, who is the administrative head of Income Tax department.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes, the apex policy-making body of the IT department, is working on a strategy to create the required processes and capacity in this regard.

“We have been thinking how can we make life easier for taxpayers especially for those who are in the middle and the slightly higher tax bracket. So, now we are thinking of allowing that when a notice is issued in an assessment or scrutiny case, the taxpayer can send the department an e-response.

“We are trying to resolve some security issues in this regard now after which it could be implemented,” CBDT Chairperson Anita Kapur said in an interview.

Explaining the procedure, Kapur said if a taxpayer provides the department with a bonafide email address in his Income Tax Return (ITR), the Board will be able to send him an e-notice and not a paper document dispatched through post for which he usually has to travel and meet the Assessing Officer (AO).

“The taxpayer can respond through the email and if we have some more queries we give you another notice by the electronic medium so that both the AO and the taxpayer remain in an e-environment and, may be, during the final hearing when the AO wants to close the matter, the taxpayer can come once to the tax office,” the CBDT chief said.

She said the purpose of introducing the system was to reduce the interface between the taxpayer and the AO.

“The taxpayer can send documents over email, scan them, upload them and it’s over,” she added.

“It (scrutiny session) should be over and should not go beyond that. This is the way we are trying to address the issues of compliance and limiting the interface between the taxman and the taxpayer. This will be a sea change in our tax administration,” Kapur said.

Sources in CBI said they have got documents from Income Tax department and both the departments are coordinating on the issue.

CBI is questioning Singh and his family members– wife Kusum Lata, son Sunny Yadav and daughter Garima Bhushan, all suspects named in the FIRs registered by the agency against him.

The agency has registered two separate cases against the then Chief Engineer Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway and his family members for alleged corruption and amassing assets disproportionate to the known sources of income.

It is alleged that during searches by Income Tax department in November, 2014, several incriminating documents and Income Tax Returns were allegedly recovered from several premises of Singh.

“The scrutiny of ITRs and other connecting records have allegedly revealed that during the period 2009-2014, the total likely savings of the family of then Chief Engineer was Rs 1.70 crore (approximately) whereas they were in possession of immovable property worth Rs 3.60 crore (approx).

“Besides, an amount of Rs 10 crore (approximately) was allegedly recovered from one of his associates, which also reportedly belonged to then Chief Engineer,” CBI spokesperson had said.

The official said cases have been registered on the direction of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court which directed it to conduct an investigation into allegations of corruption and amassing of unaccounted money.

They allegedly entered into criminal conspiracy with unknown private persons firms and awarded various contracts without following the laid down procedures and thereby caused undue pecuniary gain to the tune of crores of rupees to private firms and to himself, the CBI FIR said.

The high court had ordered a CBI probe on the petition of activist Nutan Thakur alleging Singh had enjoyed plum postings under the regimes of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and incumbent Akhilesh Yadav, and the state government was not acting against him.

He had executed projects worth around Rs 8,000 crore in Noida in the last 12 years, the Noida authority said in a report besides being involved in infrastructure projects such as Ganga water supply, sewage pipelines, drainage, hospitals, parks and the metro.

PTI

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