Taxpayers face to face with taxmen
Discuss issues confronting trade, industry in Valley
Srinagar, May 4: The Valley business community Tuesday urged for better coordination between the taxmen and taxpayers.
At an interaction session between the representatives of various traders and tourism bodies and chief commissioner Income Tax Department, G R Sufi at a local hotel here, the representatives urged the department for finding solution to various issues the traders face on account of tax.
The event was organized by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
President KCCI Nazir A Dar said the department had always been known for collecting tax “with brute authority,” though in the recent past it had been acting friendly with the tax payers.
He said there was a need to devise a mechanism to address issues between the department and tax payers. “The department no doubt has a well defined role under Income Tax Act and other allied laws. But then problems do arise at one point or the other, so there has to be a mechanism to resolve such problems,” he said.
Dar congratulated the chief commissioner ITD for being elevated to the top position in the department.
Speaking on the occasion, G R Sufi appealed to the SSEs to be honest taxpayers.
“It is a voluntary responsibility of everyone to file returns in time and on priority,” he said.
He, however, said most of the people in the Valley were ignorant about the Income Tax Act.
“Even educated people are not fully aware of the tax. They don’t even claim for genuine things,” he said.
He stressed that the people needed to be educated about the Act and should be made aware of their rights and duties under this Act.
“You should see to it how to reduce your liabilities legally; and you have to be very careful about it,” he said.
He said people should get in touch with the advisories of the department to know about procedures and other important things with regard to the Act.
Sufi said if someone had suffered loss of property, he could carry forward his claim for refunds for even eight years and revive his property.
“He doesn’t need to bother about anything. But the problem is people here do not know about such things,” he said, adding that now the rate starts as low as 10 per cent that is quite competitive.
He said there was no arbitrary decision in the Act and one could take benefits even within the Act.
Quoting example of Mumbai, he said there the income tax department was very much active and took coercive action against those who did not file the returns on time.
“The DD Wing of the department has been provided with power of conduct search. They go to the business premises and even search residences,” he said and added that by such actions people were facing many problems. “So it is better to pay tax of your own.”
He said the government of India was deliberately curtailing the discretion of the officers, for it was one of the causes of corruption. “And income tax department is the first one where this thing has been done,” he said.
Sufi said during past two decades, the tax collection by the department had remained abysmally low due to political unrest in the Valley, “since people were not in a position to pay the tax.”
He said in 1893, there were around 27,000 SSEs in the Valley, however at present it doesn’t exceed 21,000, whereas in Jammu there are over 75,000 SSEs.
However, he said, for past many years the political situation in the Valley was improving and businesses were also picking up.
Sufi expressed surprise that many people in the Valley were yet to get a PAN. “Those who are yet to get it should get it immediately, otherwise they may have to face penalty in future,” he said.
The representatives discussed at length issues like “non-credit of taxes by the recently introduced computer system that is Automated Transfer System, opening of investigation wing and air intelligence wing at airport and pending refunds since assessment year 2007-08.”
The members also interacted on appointment of permanent additional commissioner for Kashmir. KCCI president informed that after the transfer of Farhat Qureshi, no appointments were made since very long.
The other topics for discussion included transfer of assessment of J&K Bank to Srinagar, amount of arrears demanded by the assessing officers for pending disposal of appeals, disposal of revision applications and AT-G applications by commissioner income tax department at Srinagar only and disposal of scrutiny cases in a maximum of two sittings.
Among others present on the occasion were additional commissioner income tax department, deputy commissioner income tax department, noted tour operator Nazir A Bakshi, secretary general KCCI Altaf Ahmad Tramboo, senior vice president KCCI Abdul Hamid Punjabi, chairman Travel Agents Association of India J&K Chapter Haji Khazir Muhammad Dar, former presidents of KCCI Rouf A Punjabi and Ibrahim Shadab and executive members of KCCI.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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