I-T Dept should unearth black money at home too: Arun Jaitley

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I-T Dept should unearth black money at home too: Arun Jaitley
As government makes effort to bring illicit money stashed abroad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday asked the I-T Department to focus its effort on unearthing 'quite large' black money within the country as well.

"The government is making full efforts to bring back the black money stashed abroad, but the officers of the (Income Tax) Department have to make equally serious efforts to unearth black money within the country," he said in a statement.

He asked "all senior officers to focus their efforts to unearth black money within the country which is also quite large".

The government has set up a special investigation team (SIT) to unearth black money stashed abroad.

The SIT, headed by former Supreme Court Judge M B Shah and Vice Chairman Arijit Pasayat, has 11 members in the panel who are heads of many investigative and enforcement agencies of the country.

The Finance Minister also hoped that revenue targets fixed for direct taxes in the current fiscal would not only be achieved but would be surpassed as well.

The direct tax collections for the current fiscal has been pegged at Rs 7,36,221 crore.

"In order to achieve this target, the officers of Income Tax Department will have to work with the highest standard of ethics... Credibility of the department is its biggest asset," he said.

He emphasised that officers are duty-bound to work in a non-adversarial, non-intrusive, transparent and fair manner, yet they have to deal firmly with those trying to evade taxes.

"The job of the officers of the I-T department is very difficult in the sense that on the one hand they have to achieve the tax collection targets and on the other hand to play the role of tax facilitator for the assesse," he said, while addressing the 30th annual conference of Principal Chief Commissioners, Principal Directors General (DGs), Chief Commissioners & DGs of I-T Department here.

Asking officials to find innovative means to achieve revenue targets, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said they should work as a facilitator and achieve targets by using fair and transparent means.

The focus and efforts of the officers of the department should be to reduce tax arrears which are to the tune of Rs 4 lakh crore and higher tax recovery, Das said, adding, the department should try to reduce tax litigation and avoid frivolous cases.

Speaking during the occasion, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) R K Tiwari said the department will make utmost efforts to achieve the tax collection targets fixed as it has achieved more than 100 percent targets during the last financial year as well.

The revised targets for 2013-14 was Rs 6,36,318 crore while actual collection was Rs 6,38,495 crore.

He also said that the direct tax collections in the last 10 years have grown over 600 percent.

The direct tax (including personal income tax and corporate tax) collections in 2003-04 was Rs 10,50,88 crore compared to Rs 6,38,495 crore in 2013-14.

Enumerating details of various steps taken to augment revenue collections, Tiwari said, the department monitors tax payments by entities covered under MAT provisions, harnessing impact of revenue augmenting legislation in recent years among others.

Besides, other steps taken to augment revenue include widening of tax base by follow-up of non-filers monitoring system (NMS) cases, capturing new information sources such as under reporting of immoveable property transaction amount, buyback of shares through open offers, exchange of information with other countries.

Highlighting the recent initiatives undertaken by the department, CBDT chief said efforts have been made to enhance quality of tax payer services such as early redressal of grievances specially relating to senior citizens, small and marginal tax payers and expanding network of Ayakar Sewa Kendras.

PTI

Read more about: arun jaitley, black money, income tax, sit, cbdt
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