Government today sought to downplay reports that officials have been directed not to shy away from using provisions of arrest, detention and auctioning of attached assets of Income Tax defaulters.
The reports were based on the Central Action Plan for financial year 2016-17 that was circulated at the last week’s annual conference of tax administrators containing instructions to field officials.
One of the instructions in the plan read “in respect of non-compliant defaulters, the provisions of arrest and detention as per provisions of Rule 73 to 81 of Schedule II should be invoked by the Tax Recovery Officer (TRO). Stringent action can be taken in suitable cases including use of the provision for prosecution under Section 276C (2) of the Act.”
An official statement from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said certain sections of the press have been carrying news reports that IT is going to arrest wilful defaulters of tax.
“In this regard, it is clarified that no such statement has been authorised by the Income Tax department. Though the provisions for arrest and detention by the TROs in respect of the non-compliant tax defaulters are contained in the Income Tax Act, these are used extremely sparingly,” said the statement issued by CBDT’s official spokesperson said.