0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

This article is more than 1 year old.

IRS officers' tax increase report irresponsible, inquiry being initiated: CBDT

Mini

The government has distanced itself from the report by the Indian Revenue Service Association (IRSA), an all-India body of tax officers. The report has put together a prescription for the government to help mobilise revenues and stimulate the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

IRS officers' tax increase report irresponsible, inquiry being initiated: CBDT
The government has distanced itself from a report by the Indian Revenue Service Association (IRSA), an all-India body of tax officers, regarding suggestions on tackling the COVID-19 situation. The report put together a prescription for the government to help mobilise revenues and stimulate the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It had recommended super rich tax of 40 percent on income of over Rs 1 crore or the reintroduction of wealth tax for those with a net worth over Rs 5 crore.
Late on April 27, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued chargesheets against three senior IRS officers under Rule 14 of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 for violation of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964. Source told CNBC-TV18 that CBDT has divested them of their current responsibilities.
The source added that the action has been taken by the CBDT in view of their role and complicity in the preparation of the  “tax hike” report named ‘FORCE’  which was being circulated and widely covered in the media since April 25.
The CBDT said on April 26 that it had never asked IRSA or any officers to prepare such a report. No permission was sought by the IRSA before going public with it personal views and suggestions on official matters, which is a violation of extant Conduct Rules. Necessary inquiry is being initiated in this matter.
It is reiterated that the impugned report does not reflect the official views of CBDT/Ministry of Finance in any manner.
CNBC-TV18 had earlier quoted Finance Ministry sources as saying that the tax increase proposal was "irresponsible" and an explanation was being sought in this regard. They have added that suggestions given by the IRS association do not reflect views of the CBDT or the Finance Ministry in any manner.
The IRS officers' association proposed a host of measures to tackle the economic hit due to COVID-19. One of the suggestions is introducing a  4 percent COVID Relief Cess, which according to the note called F.O.R.C.E. (Fiscal Options & Response to Covid-19 epidemic) can fetch the government Rs 15,000-18,000 crore. The internet has not taken kindly to the suggestion with #IRSJokes trending on Twitter.
Finance Ministry sources said that neither the IRS Association nor any group of officers mentioned in the said report was ever asked by the Government to give any report on the subject.
People in the know have also criticised the FORCE  report as an act of indiscipline as there are rules that specifically prohibit officers to go to media with their personal views on official matters without taking prior sanction or the permission of the government.
Note:
This story has been updated to incorporate latest developments.
next story