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Last updated: 07 Sep, 2020  

Tax.9.Thmb.jpg Faceless taxation approach to cut compliance cost: Fin Secy

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SME Times News Bureau | 07 Sep, 2020

Union Finance Secretay Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that when the world around us is turning faceless and digital, it's time for tax administration also to go faceless and eliminate the physical interface between the taxpayer and the income tax department.

Speaking at a webinar organized by FICCI jointly with ET Markets, the Finance Secretary said that the tax system is going to be entirely data-driven and seamless tax reforms will change the way taxes are paid in the country. The objective of this reform is to remove harassment and corruption that people used to criticize in the tax administration previously.

The pandemic led to better digital adoption and raced up the implementation of a faceless system in tax administration and the new system unveiled by the PM, removes the territorial system from tax administration and the structure we inherited from the British, he said.

Speaking on this further, he said, major cases of withdrawal, transactions, stock transaction, foreign travel etc, all will be fed into the system, while they will form the basis for tax assessment -- the selection of cases for assessment will be done electronically.

He further mentioned that out of 7 crore I-T return filings as of now, only about 2 lakh assesses are being selected for further scrutiny, which shows the government's trust on the taxpayers.  We are obtaining data from not only national transactions but also from 98 countries with whom we have tax treaties, said the Finance Secretary.

Encouraging and honouring the honest taxpayers of the country, Dr Pandey said, we are looking at the process of faceless tax system, from the point of ease of doing business and ease of living for the common man. He also urged the taxpayers to look at the government as a facilitator and not as someone trying to extort tax from the taxpayers.

Speaking on the current economic scenario, he said, it is vital to keep in mind that the GDP contraction was expected, given that it took place during a quarter when the country was in complete lockdown due to COVID-19. However, going by the experience, we always hope to bounce back with a faster recovery.

FICCI President Sangita Reddy said, "FICCI has lauded the faceless tax system as a milestone in the structural reforms initiated by the Government. It has immense importance not only in enhancing the ease of doing business but also for building trust between government and businesses and for attracting greater investments."

Speaking on this further, the FICCI President FICCI said, "It is indeed praiseworthy that our Government is leveraging the great potential of technology in transforming the economy and unleashing tech-driven transformation and this initiative fits very well with Government's vision of minimising government and maximising governance."

This initiative is a clear articulation of the Government's commitment to honour and respect honest taxpayers and recognise their contribution towards realisation of the vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat', Reddy said.

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