Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Nitin Gupta has said that there is a shortage of 10,000 to 12,000 employees in the Income Tax Department and steps are being taken to fill the vacant posts. He also said that under the announcement of withdrawal of outstanding tax demand of up to Rs 25,000 in the interim budget, taxpayers can get relief of up to Rs 1 lakh. This will benefit those taxpayers who have received notices regarding tax demand for more than one year in the prescribed period. Speaking exclusively to PTI, Gupta said, “There is a shortage of 10,000 to 12,000 employees in the Income Tax Department. These posts mainly belong to Group 'C' category. Steps are being taken to fill these posts.'' The total number of employees in the department is around 55,000. Asked about withdrawal of tax demand of up to Rs 25,000 in the interim budget, Gupta said, “The aim of this initiative is to provide relief to taxpayers.” Under this, we will try to keep the limit up to Rs 1 lakh per taxpayer. That is, if a taxpayer has received notice regarding tax demand for more than a year, he can get relief of up to Rs 1 lakh. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her interim budget speech for 2024-25 2009-10. Announced withdrawal of outstanding direct tax demands up to Rs 25,000 and up to Rs 10,000 from financial year 2010-11 to 2014-15. Sitharaman said, “A large number of small direct tax demands are also pending in the books of accounts. Many of those demands are older than 1962. This causes trouble to honest taxpayers and creates problems regarding refunds.
“There are around 1.11 crore such disputed demands and the total tax demand involved is Rs 3,500-3,600 crore,” the CBDT chief said. This step will benefit about 80 lakh taxpayers. We will issue necessary orders in this regard, taxpayers do not need to do anything, he said. Regarding direct tax (income tax and company tax) collection. He said that till January 31, Rs 14.46 lakh crore has come after refund, which is 20 percent more than the same period last year. And if we talk about returns, a total of 8.5 returns have been filed, out of which about Rs 8.2 crore is for the financial year 2023-24. Responding to a question, Gupta said that tax collection has increased due to the increasing use of technology, 'faceless' system of appeals, assessments and fines. 'Faceless' measures have eliminated direct interaction between taxpayers and officials and have also increased trust. Regarding the problems people are still facing in refunds, the CBDT chief said, “There are many reasons for refunds getting stuck. Where there are data discrepancies in the income tax return details, we investigate. We see that the government's money is not misused. Many times the bank account number information becomes incorrect, in many cases IFSC codes have changed due to merger of banks.
In some cases, transfer of job, change of bank branch or change of IFSC code results in delay in refund. Sometimes there are technical issues also.'' He said that if the taxpayer gives correct information and fills the bank details correctly, then there will be no delay in refund. Gupta said, “Our focus is on further improving the services provided to taxpayers including expediting refunds, resolving pending tax disputes. Ending disputed tax demands of small amounts is part of this. He said that till January 28, 2024, a total amount of Rs 2.75 lakh crore has been refunded in 3.62 crore cases. Work on the pending refunds is also continuing. In response to another question, he said that considering the trend so far, 60 percent taxpayers are expected to come under the new tax system. Data regarding this is likely to come by August.
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