Minimum contact with taxpayer ensured: Revenue Board issues 'plan'

ISLAMABAD (July 12 2003) : To ensure minimum interaction between taxpayers and income tax department, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has dispatched 'Universal Self Assessment Implementation Plan' (USIP) to Regional Commissioners of Income Tax (RCITs).

The 'plan' would be instrumental in curtailing unnecessary contacts between taxpayers and tax officials under universal self-assessment scheme (USAS) even in cases where incomplete income tax returns are filed by taxpayers.

Sources said that under USIP, returns would be accepted without causing any inconvenience to the taxpayers, keeping in view the USAS.

In this connection, the CBR has directed the tax machinery to strictly follow the amendments made through Finance Bill 2003 in section 114 and section 120 of Income Tax Ordinance 2001 to avoid direct interaction between taxpayers and department.

Under the amended section 120, in cases of incomplete income tax returns, the concerned official can inform the taxpayers about the deficiencies, other than incorrect amount of tax payable on taxable income, as specified in the return, or short payment of tax payable.

The CBR on Friday directed the Regional Commissioners that the 'designated return receiving persons' (DRRP) would check completeness of the return and statement on receipt.

In case of any deficiency, the taxpayer or his representative should be requested and motivated to do the needful so as to avoid any further communication between the taxpayer and the department.

The CBR has further informed RCITs that initially up to September 27, 2003 or till it is manageable (whichever is earlier), a return or statement without proper National Tax Number (NTN) should not be accepted and should be referred to the concerned Facilitation Officer for assisting, guiding and arranging the NTN from the nearest NTN centre or designated NTN counters/officers.

From September 28, 2003, or earlier, if the above-said proposal is not manageable, the condition of NTN be relaxed and enforcement of either a proper application for NTN or NIC number or photocopy of NIC of the individual or member/partners of the Associate of Person (AOP), as the case may be, should be ensured along with the return or statement.

The CBR has instructed the regional commissioners that the completeness of the return or statement by the 'designated return receiving persons' (DRRP) should only be requested and motivated to avoid further contact between the taxpayers and department vis-a-vis highlighting the amended provisions of sections 114, 120 and validity of the incomplete return or statement.

A far as the issue of NTN is concerned, all returns received without proper NTN for the assessment year 2002-2003 are being allocated NTN and only 4 percent to 5 percent cases will be left without NTN due to non-availability of their NIC number, CBR said.

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