Transparent taxation- Honoring the honest

Transparent taxation- Honoring the honest

Date : 23 Aug, 2020

Post By Preeti Tanwar

In a move to change the way the taxes have been paid in the country, Prime Minister Modi launched ‘Transparent Taxation- Honouring The Honest’ platform on 13th August 2020. This aims towards bringing more transparency and simplification of the tax-paying regime by the honest taxpayers of the country by eliminating face to face interactions.

The change in the tax procedure is welcomed as the numbers of the taxpayers in the country is significantly low with only 1.5 crore paying taxes in a country of 130 crore citizens. In order to increase the no. of the taxpayers and encouraging them further, this platform has been looked at with great hope. This platform is brought to facilitate honest tax-paying, by decreasing the fear among people to get into messy interactions with the tax officers. Making the law and policy more people-centric and public friendly rather than power centric this platform is an attempt in the right direction.

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The following important features of the platform are 

  1. Faceless Assessment

In an attempt to decrease the face to face interaction of the IT officials and the taxpayers, the Faceless Assessment system has been brought forth. Making things change completely now the taxpayer’s identity will not be revealed to get his/her tax assessed, unlike the old system. Now the taxpayer’s returns will be selected through artificial intelligence and the automated system will allow the cases randomly to any IT officer throughout the country. If any assessment is found contrary to the new process, other than exceptions outside the faceless scheme will be held invalid.

  1. No Territorial Jurisdiction 

The new platform has abolished the old law's territorial jurisdiction. Now one may get his/her tax assessed electronically from any city while living in any other city. Under this platform, the requirement to meet the tax office has been done away with.

  1. Faceless Appeals 

Under the new platform, faceless appeals can be made, which will be launched on September 25, 2020, and will soon change this process. A random allotment of the appeals to any IT official of the country while keeping the identity of the taxpayer unrevealed will be done. However, a few exceptions to the faceless appeals have been made that include cases related to serious fraud, tax evasion of big amounts, cases related to Benami properties, black money and other highly sensitive matters. The launch date chosen is 25th September which is the Birth Anniversary Of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

  1. Taxpayer Charter

The platform also brings forth a Taxpayer Charter laying down the rights and duties of the taxpayer and the tax officials. This will enable both to know thoroughly about their rights and obligations bringing better accountability and results and enabling people to know what to do in various situations. The charter sets out the tax-related issues to be resolved within a limited time.

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Although the steps aim at bringing some positive change, it becomes imperative to mention that it still remains to be seen how effectively this reform is carried out. Various other tax reforms too were carried out in recent years by the CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes). It still remains to be seen how these new policies perform and how many individuals get benefitted by them.

This is meant to be a transparent platform for honouring the honest taxpayer which is meant for better compliance and for expediting the refund process. Naming the new tax platform as "honouring the honest" gives a glimpse of the mindset of the government. These reforms chalk out the intention of the government to bring about positive change by simplifying tax processes facilitating more tax payments which will definitely help in nation-building.

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