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CBDT promises action against officials for high-pitched assessments

CBDT said that the revised instructions on setting up and functioning of local committees were issued in view of the changes in the organisational set-up of the tax department (Photo: Mint)Premium
CBDT said that the revised instructions on setting up and functioning of local committees were issued in view of the changes in the organisational set-up of the tax department (Photo: Mint)

The order said that the grievance received by the local committee would be examined to see if there is a case at first sight of high-pitched assessment, non-observance of principles of natural justice, non-application of mind or gross negligence of assessing officer

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NEW DELHI : The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Thursday issued fresh orders to set up local committees, a panel of three senior officials, which will look into taxpayer grievances of high-pitched scrutiny assessments by tax officers.

CBDT said in its order that the revised instructions on setting up and functioning of local committees – a panel of three principal chief commissioners or commissioners of income tax – were issued in view of the changes in the organisational set-up of the tax department after introducing the faceless assessment regime. The latest order replaces a 2015 order about the creation of local committees.

“This instruction also provides for the initiation of suitable administrative action against the officer concerned, in cases where assessments are found by the local committee to be high-pitched or where there is non-observance of principles of natural justice, non-application of mind or gross negligence of assessing officer or assessment unit," CBDT said in a statement.

The order said that the grievance received by the local committee would be examined to see if there is a case at first sight of high-pitched assessment, non-observance of principles of natural justice, non-application of mind or gross negligence of assessing officer. The committee will find out whether the addition of taxable income made in the assessment order is not backed by any sound reason or logic, whether the provisions of law have been grossly misinterpreted or obvious and well-established facts on records have outrightly been ignored.

“The purpose of constitution of local committees is to effectively and efficiently deal with the genuine grievances of tax payers and help in supporting an environment where assessment orders are passed in a fair and reasonable manner. It is to be noted that local committees cannot be treated as an alternative form to dispute resolution or appellate proceedings," said the order.

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