NEW DELHI: In one of the biggest reshuffles of income tax commissioners so far, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has transferred 245 commissioners across the country. While performance was one of the main criteria for transferring officials in key positions and shifting out non-performers from significant charges, all those officers holding a post for two years or more have also been transferred, besides those facing vigilance or other disciplinary charges.
In a separate directive issued to its top officers on July 12, the CBDT asked regional heads of the I-T department to "develop a regional strategy in line with specific profile of their region" and use centrally disseminated intelligence data in increasing the tax base. Last year alone, the department had added 91 lakh new taxpayers.
The CBDT said with the new data analytics provided by the central office, it expects these officers to add taxpayers who have so far not been filing returns or disclosing their income.
CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra told his top officers that he will hold regional stocktaking meetings to review region-wise performance, starting in October and to be continued thereafter as a regular affair.
Till then, he has asked senior officers and zonal heads to generate monthly reports highlighting the work done under their charge. With the rollout of the goods and services tax, the department is hopeful of adding a significant number of taxpayers and improve the tax to GDP ratio.
Chandra, in his communication to officers in the rank of principal chief commissioners, told them to maximise efforts to widen the tax base during the current financial year. "Widening of the tax base remains one of the important policy objectives of CBDT," he said, adding that this was possible in view of increase in economic activity both in the organised as well as unorganised sector.
The CBDT has deployed tools to identify tax evaders+ . It is using data mining and data analytics conducted in the wake of demonetisation and operation clean money to gather information on black money and tax evaders which is sent to field formations to issue notices to individual and firms going under the tax radar.
"Apart from centrally disseminated data, local intelligence, inputs from market associations, trade bodies and professionals may be utilised for identification of non-filers," Chandra said in his directive. As a strategy, I-T regional heads have been asked to conduct awareness meetings and outreach programmes to encourage voluntary compliance, particularly in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
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