THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government is all set to provide a service it had never before offered its citizens: tax advice. For this, ‘tax corners’ will be opened in all districts before September this year; ‘tax corners’ will be attached to a tax office in each district. Work on the three ‘tax corners’ — Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode — have already begun. The three ‘tax corners’ together will cost Rs 14.13 lakh.
A ‘Tax Corner’ will provide necessary preliminary information about, and advice on, GST-related matters to traders and the common man who reaches a GST Office. It will also display a variety of tax-related magazines, and screen videos that would create tax awareness. “Essentially, they would function as friendly centres,” finance minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said. These ‘tax corners’, however, will not be a dull ‘library’-like space. Officers will be appointed to put at ease traders and others who walk in. “People who step in will be welcomed, talked to, offered a place to sit, and would also be provided light refreshments,” the finance minister said.
During his last tenure, Isaac had made minor changes in treasury buildings that improved the service delivery. He introduced seats for pensioners, and also fans in stuffy sub-treasuries. Tax corner is an extension of Isaac’s treasury innovations. Any person, trader or a common man, can walk into the ‘tax corner’ and seek any GST-related information. As things stand, a common man would think twice before venturing to get information from a tax office. “A tax corner, however, will provide just preliminary information. If more detailed nuanced tax information is required, the visitors will be given a pass and directed to the right office," the minister said. Each Corner will be under the charge of an officer of the rank of a deputy tax commissioner.