The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and all its field offices across India today observed the 160th anniversary of Income Tax Day.
In her message on the 160th Income Tax Day, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman appreciated the continuous efforts of the Income-Tax Department towards making the tax administration taxpayer-friendly, transparent and geared towards facilitating voluntary compliance. She recognised the paradigm shift in its role in recent years, from being just a revenue collecting organization to becoming a more citizen-centric organization. She cited various reform measures undertaken, including, inter alia, the introduction of a new, simpler tax regime, reduced corporate tax rates as also payment of tax at concessional rates for domestic manufacturing companies, which will pave the way for an ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’, in line with the clarion call given by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Finance Minister also lauded the Income-Tax Department for being responsive to the needs of the taxpayers during this pandemic time by relaxing various compliance requirements and addressing the liquidity concerns of the taxpayers. Smt. Sitharaman expressed confidence that not only would the Department continue to play a critical role in the growth of the nation, but will also strive to keep improving and set new standards of professionalism.
Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur in his message appreciated the Income-Tax Department for its efforts in providing efficient taxpayer services, observing that processes, across the spectrum of departmental functioning, have been made easier to comply with. Thakur noted with satisfaction the efforts made by the Income-Tax Department towards promoting e-governance and providing dispute resolution to reduce litigation by bringing in the Vivad Se Vishwas Act.
Thakur also appreciated the speed with which the Department responded to the challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic by relaxing procedural requirements and addressing liquidity concerns and lauded the departmental officers and officials for the help, at the individual as well as team levels, extended by them to those in distress during the pandemic. Thakur hoped that the Income-Tax Department would continue to make taxation simpler while making the tax administration more responsive.
Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Finance Secretary, extended his best wishes to the Income-Tax Department. While recognising that a tax department has to navigate a delicate balance between enforcement and service, he appreciated the Department for having increasingly oriented itself towards becoming taxpayer-service centric without compromising its enforcement role by deploying non-intrusive tools of data-mining and data analytics. He also recognised the measures adopted by the Income-Tax Department for imparting transparency to its processes and eliminating scope for unwarranted use of discretionary powers as demonstrated by new initiatives like faceless assessment, improved form 26AS, pre-filled returns etc. He also hoped that the Department would keep up the momentum and continue to improve its taxpayer services in the coming months.
P.C. Mody, Chairman, CBDT, while extending his wishes to the members of the Aaykar Parivar and their families, complimented them for not only rising to the challenges posed by the prevailing pandemic in the discharge of their official duties but also reaching out to those in need by constituting COVID response teams for providing medical care as well as psychological support. As the head of the Aaykar Parivar, he reiterated the commitment of the Income-Tax Department towards further improving the compliance experience for taxpayers and also making inclusiveness, fairness and transparency its guiding principles.