The Income-tax department today rejected a report by a team of 50 young Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers suggesting the Government to hike Income Tax Rates for the super-rich and imposing a COVID-relief cess of 4 per cent for those earning above Rs. 4 lakhs.
The “policy suggestions” titled “Fiscal Options and Responses to COVID-19 Epidemic” (FORCE) by 50 young IRS officers were shared on social media through the IRS association’s Twitter account on late Saturday evening with a full report.
Some of the key recommendations in the FORCE report are:
- Raising the income-tax rate upto 40 per cent for those with a minimum annual income of rupees one crore.
- Re-introduction of Wealth Tax for net wealth above rupees five crore.
- Re-introduction of Inheritance Tax.
- One Time COVID relief cess of 4 per cent.
- Incentivizing contribution to PM CARES Fund through tax incentives.
- Expanding “Google tax,” which is known as Equalisation Levy and Introduction of Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax.
The Ministry of Finance was alarmed, as the report by the IRS officials went viral. Further, it came at a time when the Centre is trying to win the favor of Industrialists and corporates, after a long spell of business destruction accompanied by the economic standstill the outbreak has brought.
(1/3)There is some report circulating on social media regarding suggestions by a few IRS officers on tackling Covid-19 situation.
It is unequivocally stated that CBDT never asked IRS Association or these officers to prepare such a report.@nsitharamanoffc @Anurag_Office
— Income Tax India (@IncomeTaxIndia) April 26, 2020
Later in a series of three tweets, the Income Tax Department clarified that “There is some report circulating on social media regarding the suggestions by a few IRS Officers on tackling COVID-19 situation. It is unequivocally stated that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) never asked IRS Association or these officers to prepare such a report”.
“No Permission was sought by the officer before going public with their personal views & suggestions, which is a violation of extant conduct rules. Necessary inquiry is being initiated in this matter”.
It also clarified that “It is reiterated that the impugned report does not reflect the official views of CBDT/ Ministry of Finance in any manner.”
With clarification being tweeted by the Income Tax Department, can we hope for a better economic & tax reforms? Do share your views.