New Delhi: The I-T department is set to crack down on TDS defaults by government and private sector entities, especially e-retail portals, local bodies like panchayats, as the CBDT has directed its assessing officers across the country to undertake at least 30 surveys or on-spot checks.
The directive has been issued by the policy-making body of the tax department as part of its recently issued Central Action Plan 2018-19 that acts as the blue print for taxman’s action for the entire year. “Surveys are the most effective tools for detection of non-compliance in TDS (tax deducted at source) and TCS (tax collected at source)...,” the CAP said.
“A new target of at least 30 surveys/spot verifications by each AO during the year has been incorporated in this plan,” it said.
A survey or on-spot verification is an action where an IT Department team pays a surprise visit to the business premises of an organisation suspected of TDS default and inspects their account books and financial statements.
“Considering that there are hundreds of AOs in the department, this new policy measure would result in thousands of TDS surveys by taxman across the country,” a senior official said.
The action plan has also directed the central processing centre of the TDS, the I-T department’s repository of all data in this context, to “regularly provide useful reports and inputs to field officers that may be used for identifying survey cases”.
The CBDT has also directed the AOs to keep a check on cases in the prosecution list where TDS/ TCS was not deposited after deduction; trend of TDS payment in stark contrast to other deductors in similar business; cases showing negative trend in payment; tax evasion petitions and habitual late filers/non-filers of TDS statement.
The action plan reasons that monitoring TDS payments and keeping a strict vigil on revenue earned from it is important as TDS collections constituted over 41 per cent (during 2017-18 fiscal) of the total direct tax collections in the country.
“The importance of TDS as a non-obtrusive but powerful instrument for preventing tax evasion, widening the tax base and augmenting revenues has been growing over the years...Effective and efficient TDS administration therefore remains a key area, not only for achieving the above mentioned objectives but also for providing better taxpayer service,” the action plan said.