Centre to roll out benefits for honest, consistent taxpayers soon

New Delhi: The Central government is working on an ambitious policy proposal to ‘facilitate’  honest and consistent taxpayers in availing a variety of public services and tax-related works on priority.

Officials said that a committee under the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the policymaking body for the Income Tax Department (ITD), is working to chalk out the broad parameters for extending such “courtesies” and benefits to taxpayers who pay their taxes on time and in full.

The capacity and automation of the Central Processing Centre (CPC), the repository of taxpayers data and their IT Returns (ITRs) will undergo major enhancements, so that refunds can be issued in real-time and ITRs of small taxpayers (with single source of income) can be processed within hours and not days, as is the case at present, they said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a conference with senior tax officers last year, had urged the department to enhance taxpayer services and ensure that honest taxpayers are given due importance.

Benefits of the new policy

  • Honest taxpayers will be empowered to get “priority service” while using public services at airports, railways stations and at tolls on highways.
  • Taxpayers, who have been consistently paying their taxes or even just filing their returns, can be hosted at civic receptions held by prominent government functionaries with possible public honour for them as well.
  • A unique identification number could be given to such taxpayers or their permanent account number (PAN) could be flagged as special as part of this maiden taxpayer facilitation proposal.
  • According to a senior official, these new proposals could be launched by the end of 2018.

A Few years back, the CBDT had started a process by which diligent taxpayers were sent thank you or appreciation notes over email under the name of the CBDT Chairman.

There are about 8 crore income taxpayers in the country at present and the CBDT has instructed the taxman to add 12.5 million to this tally by the end of the current financial year in March 2019.