CBDT debunks suggestions by IRS officers on tackling COVID-19 situation, calls it a violation of Conduct Rules and initiates inquiry
A report/Paper was circulating in the social media in the name of FORCE (Fiscal Options and Response to COVID-19) Epidemic). Purportedly it has been issued by the Indian Revenue Service Association to Chairman and other members of the CBDT, According to the said report/paper, it was prepared in response to CBDT seeking feedback from field formations on the ideas for revival of various sectors of the economy.
One of the suggestions given is taxing the wealthy (super rich) as a short term measure (for 3-6 months) on the premise that wealthy can fall back upon their wealth to cope with the temporary shock. Two alternatives were suggested for a limited, fixed period of time. First by raising highest slab rate to 40% for total income levels above Rs. 1 cr or secondly, re-introduction of the wealth tax for those with net wealth of Rs. 5 crores or more.
CBDT debunks suggestions by IRS officers on tackling COVID-19 situation
However, CBDT in a press release issued today has clearly stated though there is some report circulating on social media regarding suggestions by a few IRS officers on tackling COVID-19 situation, but the Board had never asked IRS Association or these officers to prepare such a report. No permission was sought by the officers before going public with their personal views and suggestions on official matters, which is a violation of extant Conduct Rules. Necessary inquiry is being initiated in this matter.
The impugned report/paper does not reflect the official views of CBDT/Ministry of Finance in any manner, added CBDT.
But the question remains if at these unprecedented time of the global epidemic, should not the CBDT should welcome the efforts/suggestions of its own officers?
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