On 13 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a platform for "Transparent Taxation - Honouring the Honest" through video conferencing.
He said that the new platform will unveil the next phase of direct tax reforms aimed at easing compliance and rewarding honest taxpayers as the government looks to rebuild the pandemic-hit economy.
"Earlier our focus has been on banking the unbanked, securing the unsecured, funding the unfunded. Today, we are launching Honoring the Honest," Modi said at the launch.
"Where there is complexity, there is a problem in compliance," he said.
- Modi said the platform has major reforms like Faceless Assessment, Faceless Appeal and Taxpayers Charter.
- The Faceless Assessment and Taxpayers Charter have come into force from 13 August while the facility of faceless appeal will be available for citizens across the country from 25 September 2020, i.e. on Deen Dayal Upadhyay's birth anniversary.
- The new platform, Modi said, apart from being faceless is also aimed at boosting the confidence of the taxpayer and making him/her fearless. He said that it is a part of the government's resolve to provide maximum governance with minimum government. Every rule, law and policy are made with an emphasis of them being people-centric, public-friendly rather than power centric.
- Referring to the Faceless system he said there is no need for direct contact between the Taxpayer and the Income Tax Officer in all matters of scrutiny, notice, survey or assessment.
- Referring to the launch of Taxpayers Charter, the Prime Minister said that it is a significant step where the taxpayer is now assured of fair, courteous and rational behaviour. He said the charter takes care of maintaining the dignity and sensitivity of the taxpayer and that is based on a trust factor and that the assessee cannot be merely doubted without a basis.
- Modi said the number of people filing income tax returns has increased by about 2.5 crores in the last 6-7 years. He also added that it, however, cannot be denied that only 1.5 crore people pay the taxes in a country of 130 crores. PM Modi urged people to introspect themselves and come forward to pay the taxes due as this would help in the making of a Self-Reliant India (Atma Nirbhar Bharat).