Work from home directives can’t be construed as insensitive, say Finance Ministry sources

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New Delhi: The Finance Ministry have clarified that in the course of the 21-day nationwide lockdown as a result of COVID 19 pandemic, all I-T officers together with discipline officers and workers have been given a tenet to Work from Home by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and are suggested to make a day by day report back to their reporting officers, mentioned sources on Tuesday. It is nicely understood that these directives on work from home can’t be interpreted as insensitive as it’s responsibility and obligation of each authorities servant to serve the taxpayers and the residents of the nation on this attempting time even when we’re preserving ourselves confined to our houses. 

According to the sources, the directives of CBDT are given to the officers to be and to behave because the facilitators to the taxpayers and to assist them prepare their I-T associated options by means of cellphone calls or different on-line strategies. However, the sources added that some quarters have mistakenly portrayed the directives of the CBDT as if directing its discipline officers to make use of coercion for assortment of taxes on this time of adversity, which is nothing however simply an creativeness.

The sources additional added that on the time when the federal government is genuinely working very significantly to ease the taxpayers by giving numerous reliefs on compliance and regulatory measures, these directives of CBDT should be seen in the identical spirit the place the sector officers and workers of I-T division whereas working from home have been requested to get in contact with taxpayers as facilitators to help them carry out their tax associated obligations, if they need to take action. This by no means shall be misinterpreted as asking I-T officers to undertake coercion for tax assortment.

“Traditionally, last quarter of the financial year sees major collections by way of tax payments towards Advance Tax. The direction to field officers to contact taxpayers is in the context of facilitating the taxpayers, who wish to make tax payments before March 31. Pursuant to this direction, large number of taxpayers has been benefitted from the telephonic facilitation and guidance provided by the officers of the department. This is duly reflected in the daily tax collections as well,” learn a press release.

“It may be noted that the Expenditure Budget functions by involving various Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) who have been declared as essential services by the government and stress has been laid on timely payment of salary to regular employees and wages to contractual staff. The DDOs in all the Central government offices have been working with skeletal staff to make sure that all the government servants and contractual staff get their salaries on due date. The CBDT, being the overall supervisory authority for the Income Tax department, is monitoring this aspect of work by way of daily reports to ensure that the salaries and wages are paid in time,” added the assertion.

“During the lockdown, the government’s directive to government servants is to work from home, of course, with full salary. The officers are already working from home and the daily report is merely a compilation of work done by various officers and staff for monitoring purposes which is a regular administrative measure. Further, the entire workforce of the department has been provided with official mobile phone connections and senior officers have also been provided with laptops, data cards and broadband connections at home to work. It is pointed out that facilitating/guiding taxpayers desirous of making tax payments, making sure that salaries and wages are paid timely to regular employees/contractual staff of income tax department without any delay or compilation of report of work already being done by the officers of the department cannot be termed as insensitive towards anybody,” futher added the assertion.