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Tax officers quit service over heavy workload

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New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) It seems that some people prioritise mental peace over other things in life.

Under unrelenting workload and high tax collection targets, nearly two dozen gazetted income tax officers have called it quits in this financial year alone.

"The situation in our department is really bad. There is a lot of work pressure. During this financial year, about 22-23 officers have left," Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association (ITGOA) Vice President Bhaskar Bhattacharya told IANS.

Bhattacharya added that pressure has been mounting in the last few years.

The ITGOA is an association of over more than 9,500 promotee gazetted officers from across the country.

The lower tax collection has rung alarm bells among policy makers resulting in pressure on field officers to collect more revenues. The income tax department has so far managed to collect Rs 5 lakh crore in direct taxes, less than half of the total budget target of Rs 13.35 lakh crore for FY20.

With economic growth being in the slow lane, achieving the yearly tax collection target is a big task for the tax department.

Asked if the pressure has indeed been immense, an office-bearer of the Indian Revenue Services Association (Income Tax) replied in the affirmative, but said he was not aware of the IRS officers leaving service due to high workload.

"People have left service, but mostly for personal reasons. Some of them wanted to settle overseas with their children or for starting a practice of income tax laws," the officer said, wishing not to be named.

Many businesses in the past have complained of tax terrorism. But the government has allayed their fear maintaining that only realistic collection targets have been set in consultation with the concerned officers.

Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman went on multi-city tour to meet representatives of trade and business assuring them of no harassment by tax authorities.

 

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