I-T to publish periodic service standards, keep taxpayers info confidential

The much anticipated taxpayers’ charter which comes into effect from Thursday mandates the Income Tax Department to publish standards for service delivery in a periodic manner.

The Charter was launched with the inauguration of the ‘Transparent Taxation’ platform by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It also says that the Income Tax Department shall not disclose any information provided by the taxpayer unless authorised by law.

The department will provide a mechanism for lodging a complaint and prompt disposal thereof.

Further, a mechanism would be put in place for “fair and impartial” appeal and review.

“The department shall provide a fair and impartial system and resolve the tax issues in a time-bound manner,” it said.

According to the charter, the I-T department shall treat every taxpayer as “honest” unless there is a reason to believe otherwise. It will provide prompt, courteous and professional assistance in all dealings with the taxpayer.

The department will have to take decision in every income tax proceeding within the time prescribed under law and it will follow due process of law and be “no more intrusive” than necessary in any inquiry, examination or enforcement action.

Along with other duties of the I-T department which has time and again faced criticism regarding tax harassment, the charter also lays down the responsibilities of the taxpayer.

Apart from calling on the taxpayers to pay amounts due as per law and make submissions in a timely manner, the charter also says that the taxpayer should keep accurate records required as per law.

“Taxpayer is expected to be aware of his compliance obligations under tax law and seek help of the department if needed,” the charter said.

Further, the taxpayer should also know what information and submissions are made by his authorised representative, it said.

Speaking at the launch event, the Prime Minister said that India is among few countries giving such rights and dignity to the taxpayers.

He said that the charter has been introduced with defined rights and responsibilities.