Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said "today is a landmark day in the history of tax administration" in the country, as the government rolled out a taxpayers' charter and faceless tax assessment to ease the compliance burden for assessees and reward the "honest taxpayer". "The vision of Prime Minister is to empower the taxpayers, to provide a transparent system and to honour the honest taxpayer," the Finance Minister said, after PM Modi launched the "Transparent Taxation - Honoring the Honest" platform through video conferencing. The Finance Minister said the faceless tax scrutiny assessment and appeal would help ease compliance burden of taxpayers, and also increase fairness and objectivity in the tax system.
To realise this vision, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has put in place a platform which is transparent, efficient and accountable, the Finance Minister said. "The platform uses technology, data analytics and artificial intelligence and for tax payer of the country, it eases the compliance burden, it brings in fair objective and a just system, there shall not be any physical interface between the department and the taxpayer and to an extent it should bring in certainty of information," Ms Sitharaman added.
Highlighting the various steps undertaken by the income Tax Department, Ms Sitharaman said, "In a normal era, these steps would have been remembered as a significant milestone".
The Finance Minister reiterated that the government has over the past few years simplified the country's tax system, and also eased the compliance burden for the assesses.
Last year, it brought down the corporate tax from 30 to 22 per cent for all the existing manufacturing units. It also introduced a 15 per cent tax for new manufacturing companies.
It removed dividend distribution tax (DDT), simplified the personal income tax structure, and gave options with simplified and reduced tax structure for those who did not want deductions or exemptions.
In other words, taxpayers were given a choice by the Income Tax Department, Ms Sitharaman said.
"The Transparent Taxation platform is based on reforms such as faceless assessment, faceless appeal and taxpayers' charter... A 'faceless' tax system will give the taxpayer confidence on fairness and fearlessness," PM Modi said while launching the new tax initiatives. The rollout of the "Transparent Taxation - Honoring the Honest" platform is a new milestone in the structural reforms initiated by his government, PM Modi said.