Tax terrorism?

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Absence of checks and balances can result in indiscriminate use of power by tax officials. Time for caution.


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Tax terrorism?


Along with elections as the essential democratic process, checks and balances are also important for governance. The proposed Amendment to the Income Tax Act in the current budget implies that the tax authorities would be able to search and seize properties without requiring to give reason for doing so. View many video analyses on issues related to Taxation, on our Bodhi Shiksha channel They may thus become arbitrary, leading to harassment and corruption. Checks and balances are meant to ensure reasonable exercise of authority. The number of persons filing tax returns in India is very low. (Only 37 million i.e. 3 crore 70 lacs filed tax returns in 2015-16). Large number of tax cases is disputed. Demonetisation is likely to further increase this number. Demonstisation has provided an opportunity to tax authorities with the required database to scrutinize tax evasion. If done properly and quickly, it would give exemplary results. This is not easy though, and would face huge judicial hurdles. Though the government and the Parliament may decide to do away with the tedious procedure in favour of better efficiency, it should not harm natural justice. Although it is good to simplify procedure for tax officials, it should also have some balancing features to contain arbitrariness. Tax officials need to be provided a checklist, which would justify the action. View India's historical tax-GDP ratio trends here
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जिस प्रकार चुनाव लोकतांत्रिक प्रक्रिया का अनिवार्य हिस्सा हैं, वैसे ही शासन के लिए नियंत्रण और संतुलन भी महत्वपूर्ण हैं। वर्तमान बजट में आयकर अधिनियम में प्रस्तावित संशोधन का अर्थ यह है कि इसके बाद आयकर अधिकारी बिना कारण बताए भी तलाशी और संपत्ति जब्ती की कार्यवाही करने में सक्षम होंगे। कराधान (टैक्सेशन) पर अनेक विडियो विश्लेषण देखें यहाँ इस प्रकार वे मनमानी कर सकते हैं, जिसके कारण उत्पीडन और भ्रष्टाचार में वृद्धि होगी। नियंत्रण और संतुलन की आवश्यकता अधिकारों का उचित उपयोग सुनिश्चित करने के लिए होती है। भारत में कर विवरण प्रस्तुत करने वाले व्यक्तियों की संख्या बहुत कम है। (वर्ष 2015-16 में केवल 3.7 करोड़ लोगों ने कर विवरण प्रस्तुत किये)। बड़ी संख्या में कर संबंधित मामले विवादित हैं। विमुद्रीकरण के कारण इस संख्या में और अधिक वृद्धि होने की संभावना है। विमुद्रीकरण ने कर अधिकारियों को कर चोरी की जांच करने के लिए आवश्यक डेटाबेस के रूप में अवसर प्रदान किया है। यदि इस जानकारी का सही ढंग से और शीघ्र उपयोग किया जाए तो यह बहुत अच्छे परिणाम दे सकता है। हालांकि यह आसान नहीं है और इसके मार्ग में विशाल न्यायिक बाधाएं खडी होंगी। हालांकि सरकार व संसद बेहतर कुशलता के पक्ष में थकाने वाली प्रक्रियाओं को समाप्त करने का निर्णय ले सकते हैं परंतु ऐसा करते हुए उन्हें ध्यान रखना होगा कि ये प्राकृतिक न्याय का उल्लंघन न करते हों। हालांकि कर अधिकारियों के लिए प्रक्रियाएं सरल करना एक अच्छा कदम है परंतु साथ ही इसमें कुछ संतुलित करने वाली विशेषताएँ भी होनी चाहिए ताकि मनमानेपन को नियंत्रित किया जा सके। कर अधिकारियों को एक जांच-सूची प्रदान की जानी चाहिए जो उनकी कार्यवाही के औचित्य को साबित कर सके। भारत का ऐतिहासिक कर-जीडीपी अनुपात यहाँ देखें 

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Bodhi Saar: Tax terrorism?
Tax terrorism?
Absence of checks and balances can result in indiscriminate use of power by tax officials. Time for caution.
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