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No harassment of IT assessees under CASS: Chidambaram

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said a total of 1,51,876 cases of Income Tax returns had been taken up for consideration under the Computer Assisted Scrutiny Systems (CASS) during the current fiscal year.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said certain categories of income returns are picked for scrutiny under the CASS but altogether they amounted to less than 2 per cent of total returns filed.

He said the Central Board of Direct Taxes had issued instructions to the I-T authorities on selection of cases for scrutiny on the basis of information received through Annual Information Return (AIR).

However, some assessees had objected to this scrutiny, terming it harassment and even moved the court.

But, the procedures followed were ''strictly in accordance with assessment of scrutiny'' by the Income-Tax officers. Those who had moved court had found their case dismissed.

Denying information of any case of harassment of income-tax payees, the Minister said unless such case was specified he was unable to say whether the action taken was ''arbitrary or justified.'' On the matter of Goa, where uniform civil code was prevailing, Mr Chidambaram said efforts were on to reconcile the civil code with the Income-Tax Act to club the incomes of husband and wife together and remove existing aberrations.

On the issue of levy of profession tax of state rural healthcare sector, he said the matter fell under the purview of state governments. Clarifying that the matter was up to the state government and legislature to decide, he added ''it is not in my power to direct state governments.'' UNI SD Mir HT1230

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