Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a transparent taxation platform, “Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest” on 13th August 2020. During the launch, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and PM Modi addressed the nation informing about the platform and the changes it will bring in the taxation mechanism in the country.
Starting the program, FM Sitharaman said that today is the landmark day in the history of tax administration. Following the vision of the Prime Minister to empower the taxpayers, to develop a transparent system and to honour the honest taxpayer, the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) has given a framework and developed order in the form of this platform.
This platform brings in a transparent, efficient and accountable tax administration. “It uses technology, data analytics and also uses Artificial Intelligence. It eases the compliance burden. It brings in fair, objective and a just system,” she added. There will be no direct interaction between the department and the taxpayer.
She said that the Income Tax department had undertaken several reforms that would have been considered a significant milestone in a normal era.
Features of “Honoring the Honest” platform
- Faceless assessments
- Faceless appeals
- Taxpayers charter
- Any assessment outside faceless assessment will be invalid.
- Any assessment without DIN will be invalid.
- No intrusive or survey actions by field officers.
- Selection only through system using data analytics and AI
- Automated random allocation of cases irrespective of the city of the tax payer.
- No Physical interference.
PM Modi said that the trend of structural reforms taking shape in the country had reached a significant point with the launch of “Honoring the Honest” platform. This platform has major reforms such as Faceless Assessment, Faceless Appeal and Taxpayer Charter. Faceless Appeal and Faceless Assessment are applicable from today while Taxpayer Charter will start functioning from 25th September, the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
PM Said, “though the tax system is becoming faceless, it will assure Fairness and Fearlessness to the taxpayer.” In the last six years, the focus of the government was on the major reforms that are banking the unbanked, securing the unsecured and funding the unfunded.
“Honoring the Honest- ईमानदार का सम्मान”
Prime Minister said that taxpayers play an important role in building the nation. When the life of a taxpayer becomes easier, he moves ahead, and the nation moves forward with him. This new platform is in sync with the government’s vision of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance. It is a significant step in reducing the interference of the government in a taxpayer’s life.
Honoring the Honest- ईमानदार का सम्मान।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2020
देश का ईमानदार टैक्सपेयर राष्ट्रनिर्माण में बहुत बड़ी भूमिका निभाता है।
जब देश के ईमानदार टैक्सपेयर का जीवन आसान बनता है, वो आगे बढ़ता है, तो देश का भी विकास होता है, देश भी आगे बढ़ता है: PM @narendramodi #HonoringTheHonest
“Today, we are removing process and power centric structure of every policy and making it people-centric and public friendly. It is the new governance model of India, and we are getting favourable results,” he added.
He said that the people of India understand their duty as a taxpayer. He added that the change in the mood of the taxpayers is not because of the strictness or punishment. He said there was a time when decisions taken under compulsion were projected as reforms. They did not show the desired results. The government has changed the thinking and approach. Now reforms are policy-based and holistic. These reforms build the base for future reforms. “It is a continuous process, and the government is bringing more reforms as required,” he said.
हमारे लिए Reform का मतलब है, Reform नीति आधारित हो, टुकड़ों में नहीं हो, Hollistic हो और एक Reform, दूसरे Reform का आधार बने, नए Reform का मार्ग बनाए।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2020
और ऐसा भी नहीं है कि एक बार Reform करके रुक गए। ये निरंतर, सतत चलने वाली प्रक्रिया है: PM @narendramodi #HonoringTheHonest
PM Modi said that the taxation system was developed under British before independence. Though the previous governments made changes in the structure of the taxation system in India, the base remained the same. India needed fundamental and structural changes in the tax system that could not happen to the extent required. “When there is complexity, compliance becomes difficult.” He added. When there are lesser laws and regulations, taxpayers become happy, so does the nation. In the last few years, the government is working in the field, and GST is one of the finest examples of reforms brought by the government.
जहां Complexity होती है, वहां Compliance भी मुश्किल होता है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2020
कम से कम कानून हो, जो कानून हो वो बहुत स्पष्ट हो तो टैक्सपेयर भी खुश रहता है और देश भी।
बीते कुछ समय से यही काम किया जा रहा है।
अब जैसे, दर्जनों taxes की जगह GST आ गया: PM @narendramodi #HonoringTheHonest
PM Modi said that there was a time when the government used to appeal in High Court for the cases involving revenue of Rs.10 lakhs. Now, the government has set a limit of Rs.1 crore for the high court and Rs.2 crore for the Supreme Court. The idea is to solve maximum cases outside court. The results are favourable, and more than 3 lakh cases have already been cleared.
The taxation system has been simplified for the taxpayers. Now there is no tax for income less than 5 lakh. Taxes for the remaining slabs have also been reduced. India is among the nations with the lowest corporate taxes. “The government is working on making the system seamless, painless and faceless. The idea is to help the taxpayers in understanding the system rather than confusing them,” he added.
कोशिश ये है कि हमारी टैक्स प्रणाली Seamless हो, Painless हो, Faceless हो।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2020
Seamless यानि टैक्स एडमिनिस्ट्रेशन, हर टैक्सपेयर को उलझाने के बजाय समस्या को सुलझाने के लिए काम करे।
Painless यानि टेक्नॉलॉजी से लेकर Rules तक सबकुछ Simple हो: PM @narendramodi #HonoringTheHonest
Now, with the new system, the scrutiny cases, notices, surveys etc. will not be handled by the tax department of the city of the taxpayer. The computer will randomly select the tax department of another city to handle the case. The order form that department will be reviewed by the tax department of another city that has been picked up by the computer randomly.
अब टैक्सपेयर को उचित, विनम्र और तर्कसंगत व्यवहार का भरोसा दिया गया है। यानि आयकर विभाग को अब टैक्सपेयर की Dignity का, संवेदनशीलता के साथ ध्यान रखना होगा।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2020
अब टैक्सपेयर की बात पर विश्वास करना होगा, डिपार्टमेंट उसको बिना किसी आधार के ही शक की नज़र से नहीं देख सकता: PM @narendramodi
Under the Taxpayer’s Charter, the tax department has to handle the taxpayers’ cases with dignity and sensitivity. The department has to trust the taxpayer, and if there is any doubt, it has to be handled with fair and rational methodology.
PM Modi said that scrutiny figures have come down by four times in the last six years as compared to 2012-2013. Though the number of taxpayers has increased in the last six years, it is still less compared to the total population. PM Modi requested the taxpayers who are capable of paying taxes but are not paying taxes should come forward and join the drive to build new and self-reliant India.