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Inquiry against 50 IRS officers over suggesting tax hike for the rich: Report

The report, titled ‘Fiscal Options and Response to COVID-19 Epidemic’ (FORCE), was released on April 25 by the IRS' official Twitter handle.

April 27, 2020 / 12:48 PM IST

The government has initiated an inquiry against the 50 Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers who suggested a tax-hike for the rich to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a report by The Times of India.

The CBDT has issued an official statement, as seen by the publication.

"It is unequivocally stated that CBDT never asked the IRS association or these officers to prepare such a report. No permission was sought by the officers before going public with their personal views and suggestions on official matters, which is a violation of extant conduct rules. Necessary inquiry is being initiated in this matter," the CBDT said.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

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The report, titled ‘Fiscal Options and Response to COVID-19 Epidemic’ (FORCE), was released on April 25 by the IRS' official Twitter handle.

It suggested that the highest tax rate be raised to 40 percent for taxpayers with an annual income of Rs 1 crore and above, or a wealth tax for those whose net wealth is Rs 5 crore or higher.

"In times like these, the so called 'super rich' have a higher obligation towards ensuring the larger public good," the report said.

The Income Tax Department distanced itself from the report, stating that it does not reflect the official views of the finance ministry or the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

Finance ministry officials told The Times of India that such suggestions were inappropriate, and that the government had not requested any such report.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 27, 2020 12:48 pm