The finance ministry on June 24 reworked the terms of reference of the special task force entrusted with reworking the Income Tax Act and simplifying the rules after an intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to a senior government official, the decision to rework the terms of reference of the special task force was made by Modi last week.
"Revenue secretary and CBDT
"Prime minister also wanted new-age issues to be covered in the task force report which can be included in the simplification of income tax rules," he added.
According to the office order issued by the finance ministry, a copy of which is in possession with CNBC-TV18, the finance ministry asked the task force to revisit rules under the I-T Act to "facilitate faceless and anonymised scrutiny and verification/scrutiny/assessment. The mechanism for system based cross verification of financial transactions."
The above two proposals were also part of the interim Budget speech by then finance minister Piyush Goyal.
Finance ministry has also directed the task force to include: "efforts for reduction of litigation and expeditious disposal of appeals before various courts, reduction of compliance burden and simplification of procedures and sharing of information with GST , customs, CBDT and FIU ."
Finance ministry has also nominated chief economic advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian in place of Arvind Subramanian as permanent special invitee while joint secretary (revenue) Ritvik Pandey has also been included as a member.
The task force to draft the new law that replaces the decades-old Income Tax Act on May 26 got a two-month extension and is now scheduled to submit its report by July. The panel was first set up in November 2017 after Modi observed that the present law was more than 50 years old and needed redrafting to make it contemporaneous.
At a meeting held with top officials of the finance ministry, the then finance minister Arun Jaitley gave the CBDT task force an extension until July.
The aim of the task force is to reform complex income tax laws into simpler tax codes with reduced rates, fewer exemptions and tax slabs. Once the draft report is ready, it will be put up for public suggestions to address the concerns of all stakeholders.
Akhilesh Ranjan, a CBDT member, is the head of the task force. Other members include Girish Ahuja (chartered accountant), Rajiv Memani (chairman and regional managing partner of EY India), Mukesh Patel (practicing tax advocate), Mansi Kedia (consultant, ICRIER) and GC Srivastava (retired IRS and advocate).