Tax Paying Should Be A Pleasurable Experience, Says CBDT Chairman
Income tax was introduced for the first time in India on July 24, 1860. (Photograph: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Tax Paying Should Be A Pleasurable Experience, Says CBDT Chairman

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The income tax department officials should create an environment where tax paying becomes a pleasurable experience for the common man, said Pramod Chandra Mody, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, on Wesdnesday.

Speaking at an event to mark the 159th Income Tax Day in Delhi, the CBDT chairman said that income tax officials should ensure that the work of revenue or tax collection is done in a "fair and transparent" manner.

The department has done a commendable work over the years that is visible by the growth in the direct tax collections, from Rs 13 lakh in 1860-61 to Rs 11.37 lakh crore in the last financial year, Mody said at the event attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her deputy Anurag Thakur.

Income tax was introduced for the first time in India on July 24, 1860, by James Wilson to compensate for the losses incurred by the British Kingdom during India’s first war of independence in 1857. The Income Tax Day is celebrated to mark this event.

"On this occasion, I would urge all my colleagues to introspect and analyse as to how we can discharge our responsibilities in a more efficient and effective manner. While performing the core task of revenue mobilisation, we also have to ensure that the collection of taxes is done in a fair and a transparent manner,” Mody said.

"The taxpayers' experience in discharging his tax obligations must be a pleasurable one.”

In a separate message to his colleagues, the CBDT chairman said: "I hope that you will continue to work with same zeal, integrity, competence and dedication as you have done in the past. I am sure that, together, we can take this department to even greater heights of success."

Mody said the faceless assessment, to be rolled out in a full-fledged manner across the country in the coming days, will make the department a "truly modern and responsive tax administration".

According to the CBDT chairman, revenue collection under direct taxes has grown and the total tax base has also increased to over 7 crore taxpayers. "This would not have been possible but for the sustained efforts, hardwork and dedication of all the officers and officials of the tax department," the chairman said.

Along with the growth in revenue collection and the tax base, he said, there has also been a tremendous growth in the cadre strength of the income tax department.

"The role of the tax department has also undergone a paradigm change. We have consciously transformed ourselves from merely being an enforcing agency to a citizen-centric organisation, ready to facilitate and assist the taxpayers in every way that we can."

"We have also adopted new technology and innovations, in line with the international best practises," Mody said. The department is carrying out outreach programmes and to engage, both formally and informally, with the existing taxpayers and prospective ones, he added.

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