New Delhi: In yet another directive aimed at enhancing taxpayer services, the Income Tax department has asked its customer care centres to effectively monitor email-based complaints of assesses and diligently send them to tax officers.
The new directive comes at a time when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled two taxpayer-friendly initiatives of the department yesterday which envisage resolution of complaints without visiting a tax office and easy processes to obtain a PAN card.
Under the new instructions, the Aaykar Sampark Kendras (ASK) have been asked to forward emails received from the taxpayers to range in-charges who will subsequently send it to jurisdictional Assessing Officers (AOs) henceforth.
“The region heads will keep track of the complaints of their jurisdictions and hence will ensure better monitoring of the complaints,” a senior official said. As per earlier norms, these complaints were used to be sent to the AO but were not monitored at various levels of hierarchy, which will be done now.
In some cases, they were forwarded by the ASK to the AO through snail mail and not email, which will done in all cases now.
The ASKs or the I-T customer care centres, are meant to answer queries related to the status of Permanent Account Number and Tax deduction Account Number applications, procedure of filing of Income Tax and Wealth Tax returns, refund related grievances and for redressal of other general queries over phone calls or email.
“In order to provide quick resolution of taxpayer's grievance, wherever action is required to be taken by the officers in field formation, the Aayakar Sampark Kendra should forward the email to concerned Commissioner of Income Tax (Administration and Coordination) for onward transmission to respective jurisdictional Assessing Officers for necessary action.
“The taxpayer may also be informed so that he may do further correspondence with the concerned officer,” a recent order issued by the Systems wing of the department said. This wing is responsible for the operations of ASKs in the department.
The e-Sahyog initiative inaugurated by Jaitley yesterday is aimed at reducing compliance cost, especially for small taxpayers.
It will provide an online mechanism to resolve mismatches in returns of taxpayers whose returns have not been selected for scrutiny, without visiting the tax office.
“e-Sahyog pilot project furthers CBDT's commitment to work in an e-environment and reduces the need for the taxpayer to physically appear before tax authorities,” a finance ministry statement had said.
In the pilot project, 91,000 tax payers have been identified, under which the assesses will be informed by SMS and email about the mismatch and then they will have to log in to e-filing portal of the tax department to see the mismatch. The PAN camps are aimed at expanding the coverage of this unique alpha-numeric identity amongst more and more people.