Improve interface with small tax payers, pensioners: President


New Delhi : President Pratibha Patil Friday asked the income tax department to interact with tax payers, especially senior citizens and pensioners on a continuous basis to rectify problems faced by them while dealing with the department.

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“The interface with compliant taxpayers, especially small taxpayers, senior citizens and pensioners must be initiated and maintained on a continuous basis, for a feedback on difficulties being faced by them,” President Patil told an assembly of income tax officials here.

She was delivering an address at the concluding ceremony of the celebrations marking 150 years of Income Tax in India.

“Rectifications in systems and processes, if required, can then be carried out in real time. The use of electronic modes for filing of returns should be further popularized in the interest of greater efficiency. The improvement of basic infrastructure in offices, especially where taxpayer services are rendered, should be looked into,” she added.

The President also said the department should come out with innovative ways of increasing the direct tax collection and for that senior officials needed to consult various entities including economic think tanks and study of international best practices and experience sharing with foreign tax administrations.

“With continuing innovative efforts and with the widening of the rather small taxpayer base of about 3.5 crore taxpayers, the direct tax-to-GDP ratio should rise beyond the present figure of 6.1 percent,” said the President.

The budget estimates for direct tax collections have been fixed at Rs.5,32,651 crore for the current fiscal.