statesman news service
KOLKATA, 17 JUNE: Due to shortage of manpower, the Income Tax Department is unable to arrest tax evaders, said general secretary, Income tax Gazetted Officers’ Association, West Bengal unit, today at a Press conference.
“The process of filing of returns has been radically revised, but there is shortage of manpower. We have vacancies but sufficient number of staff are not being recruited. The move will also help the I-T Department provide better services to tax payers,” said Mr Bhaskar Bhattacharya, general secretary, Income Tax Gazetted officers’ Association, WB unit.
Now that there is an option of e-filling there are large number of taxpayers. The measure might have simplified matters, but has instead complicated it further due to faulty and cumbersome software design. For filling e-return ordinary tax payers require the help of techno-savvy consultants but there are no officials to do such work. “One official handles the work of three officials. This reduces the work efficiency of the individual and takes more time,” said, Mr Bhattacharya.
“Of the 2,092 seats were sanctioned for the post of assistant commissioner of Income Tax (ACIT) or the deputy commissioner of Income Tax (DCIT), 550 seats are still vacant. Officials should be promoted and these vacancies filled up as soon as possible,” said Mr Mirnal Kanti Chandra, president of the organisation.
Mr Chandra said ACIT or DCIT officials gather information, assess the income, pass orders, issue refunds and collect tax dues. These work are supervised by the joint commissioner of Income Tax (JCIT) or additional commissioner of Income Tax (Addl. CIT). Thus these five grades of officers are are personally involved with services that the tax payer normally requires. There is a shortage of the existing sanctioned posts.
Mr Chandra further said: “The Union Cabinet had approved additional manpower for the I-T Department but the restructuring has been limited to mere addition of manpower, mostly in the highest levels only. The Cabinet should allow to fill all vacancies in cadres of ACIT or DCIT through promotion at one go.”
The association has submitted a memorandum to finance minister and also to MPs.