A huge cadre restructuring in the I-T department, with the creation of over 20,700 posts recently, has brought about a number of changes in the existing jurisdictions of assessing officers (AOs) of the department across the country.
"A huge cadre restructuring has been effected in the Income Tax department across the country recently. With new posts and charges in place, a number of taxpayers will find that their AOs and assessment jurisdictions have changed. But there is nothing to panic," a senior officer in the department said.
Taxpayers, the officer added, should check their new jurisdictions by undertaking a simple search on the designated I-T online portal which shows an individuals' or taxpayers' AO by punching PAN card details.
One can log on to www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and click the link 'know your jurisdictional AO' to check under what assessment range their I-T cases would be assessed in the future. The department's Systems wing has already punched and put in place unique details of every permanent account number (PAN).
"Not everyone's AO would have changed under the new exercise but it is recommended that the taxpayers undertake this simple step of checking their AO by using their PAN card details. In case of online filing of I-T returns, the system will automatically find the AO of the filer," the officer said.
The officer also said that the "aim of the restructuring is to check the skewed distribution of posts in the department and to ensure identical hierarchal structure so that the department can effectively tackle taxpayers grievances and issues and ensure better tax collection".
The government had approved the ambitious cadre restructuring of the department in May, 2013 and had created 20,751 posts, in various ranks, in the department.
According to an earlier blueprint prepared to implement this proposal on the ground, the I-T department hopes to mop up additional revenue of more than Rs 25 crore by opening 1,080 assessment offices for taxpayers and increasing the number of tax collectors in every office.
According to the blueprint, the number of assessment units of the department would be "increased by 1,080 from 3,420 to 4,500 for strengthening the tax administration".
The restructuring of the department also aims to expand the reach of those I-T offices which deal with "critical" areas of international tax, investigations, and TDS (tax deducted at source) as the action undertaken by these wings add to the revenue collection in a big way.