Study Material | Test Series | Crash Course
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Current Affairs Crash Course Download Player Download Android App
Q. Budget and taxmen raj: Comment on proposed sweeping powers to curb tax evasion.
Feb 03, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

Introduction-

To bring more people under income tax regime government has relaxed various norms and even slashed income tax rate for people having income below 5 lakh. To curb people from evading taxes, government has listed some strong arm measures, which presumably help the government achieve this its target to enhance tax base.

What are the issues-?

  • The proposed sweeping powers for taxmen to attach property, conduct searches, call for documents and determine fair market value of assets, goes against the tenet of a non-adversarial tax regime, leading to uncertainty for individuals and businesses.
  • Tax officers will not be obliged either to disclose reasons for a search to an appellate tribunal, to maintain confidentiality. However, search and seizures are blunt, archaic tools of law enforcement, and bring back memories of a bad pre-reform past.
  • Empowering tax officers to provisionally attach properties in search cases could coerce people into making declarations, before taking legal recourse. Empowering junior officers to conduct inquiries and expanding the scope of searches to cover any activity done for a charitable purpose could mean roving inquiries.


What can be done-?

  • Instead of adopting archaic coercive methods, government need should focus on intelligent data mining to create tax demands and with a solid proof of evasion and avoidance. 
  • The tax department should use big data analytics by either hiring such firms or using their techniques to mine information. The government should also swiftly adopt the goods and services tax that creates audit trails on value addition across the income and production chain to widen the tax base.
  • Though enforcement needs some discretion, but safeguards must be in place to ensure that it is not used arbitrarily. This requires intensive training of tax officers, something that was recommended by the Shome committee.

Conclusion-

Government is aiming to improve tax base and for that it has initiated various initiatives. It has proposed sweeping power to taxman to curb tax evasion. But in today’s modern world tax administration must minimise the interface between the tax department and the taxpayer. Hence government must ensure adequate safeguards in this regard.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.