Finance Minister focused on need for 'Improving Tax Payer Services' at Meeting with CBIC

In the course of review, the Finance Minister was briefed on the final revenue achievement in total Indirect Tax collections for 2022-23 which stood at Rs. 13.82 lakh crore [as against Rs. 12.89 Lakh Crore in 2021-22].

Finance Minister focused on need for 'Improving Tax Payer Services' at Meeting with CBIC
Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, recently chaired a review meeting with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to discuss the progress made on increasing the tax payer base and disposal of applications, among other things. During the meeting, she was informed that new data sources and TDS codes had led to a significant increase in reported information and an increase in unique deductees. The Personal Income Tax (PIT) to GDP ratio has also shown a steady increase over the years. Sitharaman emphasized the importance of prompt action on tax payer applications and increasing awareness of direct tax laws.

The meeting also focused on pending disciplinary cases and disposal of applications for condonation of delay and grant of exemptions under certain sections of the Income Tax Act. 

The Finance Minister directed CBDT to take prompt action in finalizing disciplinary proceedings and applications filed by taxpayers while expanding and strengthening efforts to increase taxpayers' awareness regarding the provisions of the direct tax laws and compliance thereof.

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The Finance Minister emphasised the need for continuously improving tax payer services. With respect to grievance redressal, Smt. Sitharaman desired that in each Zone interaction be organised with members of trade and industry who are part of the GST ecosystem to know their issues and suggestions, so as to systematically identify matters for working out a redress for them. She also directed to put in place a system to take feedback on grievances redressed so as to improve quality of redressal.

In the course of review, the Finance Minister was briefed on the final revenue achievement in total Indirect Tax collections for 2022-23 which stood at Rs. 13.82 lakh crore [as against Rs. 12.89 Lakh Crore in 2021-22]. On the GST side, the average gross monthly collection for the year 2022-23 stood at Rs. 1.51 lakh crore and monthly GST revenue collections exceeded RS. 1.4 lakh crore for 12 months in a row.

The Finance Minister directed CBIC to introduce its automated GST return scrutiny by next week and to implement an action plan to increase the taxpayer base through enhanced use of technology. In order to intensify its drive against fake billing/Input Tax Credit (ITC), Smt. Sitharaman desired that CBIC may undertake a comprehensive root cause analysis by studying the typology of cases already booked and come up with recommendations on technology based solutions to address the menace and prevent its occurrence.

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The Finance Minister also advised CBIC to take measures for employee welfare. Cadre restructuring, capacity building and training, timely promotions and effective and timely action in disciplinary matters were discussed.

The CBIC also briefed Smt. Sitharaman about the activities carried out under the Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF - India) which is used to support capacity building initiatives amongst the members of the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

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