He, however, added that the onus of ensuring the due share of taxes is paid in a rightful manner rests with the taxpayer
The government is working to create an environment of trust so that there is no 'adversarial relationship' between taxpayers and the tax department, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman PC Mody said.
Speaking at a post Budget event organised by Assocham, Mody said both the tax department and taxpayer are working towards the common goal of nation-building and hence there cannot be an adversarial relationship.
He, however, added that the onus of ensuring the due share of taxes is paid in a rightful manner rests with the taxpayer.
"It has to be a collaborative approach. The taxpayer has upon himself the responsibility of discharging his obligation in a rightful manner and what is due must be paid," he said.
He added, "Correspondingly the department also has a responsibility to ensure that voluntary and compliant taxpayers are given the best of services. And the recalcitrant ones are dealt with strictly as per law."
The CBDT Chairman said in his internal communication with I-T officers, he has emphasised that the speech and conduct of taxmen have to be 'above board'.
"Wherever instances have been brought to our notice we have taken immediate steps to redress those problems. We (tax department and taxpayers) have to work together," he emphasised.
Mody further said the tax department is using technology to make Income Tax (I-T) processes much simpler and a new technological interface is being planned for assessing returns. "We are working on a detailed scheme and I am sure it will see the light of the day very soon," he stated.
Mody said this year the number of refunds and quantum of refunds is 20 per cent higher than last year. "Just as we believe in revenue mobilisation, we are equally conscious of refunding the amount due to taxpayers," he stated.
The I-T department issued Rs 64,700 crore worth refunds in the current fiscal. For FY18-19, on the whole, the amount released was over Rs 1.61 lakh crore.
Ranjan further said that the I-T department would be launching a scheme of faceless assessment to make it easier for taxpayers to comply, thus removing 'pain points' associated with the scrutiny process.
Echoing similar views, CBDT member Akhilesh Ranjan said the tax department is working to remove pain points so that enforcement actions do not impede on genuine business activities.
"Effort will be to develop trust and cooperation between taxpayer and tax department and to develop that through telling the industry that looks government is aware ... we will take measures that can relieve that pain. We are now not living in an age of taxpayer versus the tax department. It's a combined effort, it has to be a cooperative effort," Ranjan said.
In the Budget 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the existing system of I-T scrutiny assessments involves a high level of personal interaction between the taxpayer and the department, which leads to certain undesirable practices on part of the tax officials."To eliminate such instances and to give shape to the Prime Minister's vision of an electronic faceless assessment scheme, the interface is being launched this year in a phased manner. To start with, such e-assessments shall be carried out in cases requiring verification of certain specified transactions or discrepancies," she said.