Around Rs 80 cr net tax collected from Valley; Rs 8 cr after issuance of notices

Despite attempts from various quarters to sabotage its initiatives, the Income Tax Department has made net collection of around Rs 80 crore from the Kashmir valley during the current financial year so far. Of this, an amount of Rs 8.08 crore has been collected following issuance of notices to around 21,000 persons as a part of widening of tax base exercise initiated across Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources told that the tax collection from Kashmir valley was in negative at the beginning of current financial year as majority of the businessmen and traders had not developed habit of paying tax strictly as per their income. This situation was prevailing as on one side there was no voluntary compliance from the people and on the other side proper guidance on the part of the officers and officials of the Income Tax Department posted in Valley was also missing.
However, with the new initiatives taken by the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, J&K Circle, Sangeeta Gupta, the situation has gradually started changing. This can be evident from the fact that Rs 79.20 crore net tax has been collected from the Kashmir valley during the current financial year so far.
This net collection is notwithstanding the fact that during this period the Income Tax Department has issued refunds to the tune of Rs 68.49 crore, sources said, adding “the issuance of refunds clearly establishes that department is also laying required focus on redressing the grievances of the assessees in Kashmir valley”.
As far as Advance Tax from Kashmir valley is concerned, sources said, “there is significant improvement on this front also. During previous financial year (2014-15), Advance Tax collection up to January 26, 2015 was only Rs 37.30 crore but during the same period of current financial year the Advance Tax figures have increased to Rs 55.22 crore”.
Disclosing that for the first time in the State 21,000 notices were issued in Kashmir valley during past six months, sources said, “this initiative aimed at widening of the tax base has also yielded positive results. Against 21,000 notices, the Income Tax Department has received 23,000 returns”, adding “this step resulted into Rs 8.08 crore worth tax collection as on December 31, 2015”.
They further informed that during last financial year number of effective assessees in Kashmir valley were only 7357 but during the current financial year the number has increased to 27037. “This is notwithstanding efforts from various quarters to sabotage the initiatives of the Income Tax Department towards widening of the tax base”, sources added.
They said that, “cases involving Rs 10 crore tax are required to be referred to the Central Board of Direct Taxes but this practice was not being followed in Kashmir valley during the past many years”, adding “now, several dossiers have been prepared and submitted to the CBDT for appropriate decision”.
“Even the exercise of preparation of demand-collection register by the officers and officials of the department posted in Kashmir valley has begun in order to make them accountable”, sources further said, adding “in order to ensure effective functioning of the IT Department in Kashmir valley, entire basic system, which had suffered damages during the devastating floods of September 2014 has been refurbished and now every data would be made available as and when required with just the click of the mouse”.
Commenting on the results of new initiatives, the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, J&K Circle, Sangeeta Gupta said, “the Income Tax Department has no intention to harass anybody in any corner of Jammu and Kashmir. All what we want is voluntary compliance to the provisions of Income Tax Act”, adding “we want the businessmen and traders to flourish so that they can contribute in the welfare and development of the country as well as State”.
“We are ready to provide necessary help and assistance to the assessees in fulfilling their legal obligation of paying tax strictly as per their exact income and in this regard new office has also been opened in Baramulla district”, she said and hoped that department’s initiatives in widening of tax base would receive required response from people including from Kashmir valley.

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