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Government Issues New APARs to Income Tax Officers – The new APARs that have been notified on April 1 and circulated to officers.
Acting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directions, the Income Tax department has issued new appraisal forms (APARS) to its assessing officers where their “judiciousness and consistency” will be under test so that they issue good orders that act to end taxpayers harassment.
The 15-page Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) along with annexures has been tweaked and circulated to all assessing officers in the ranks of Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner and Income Tax Officer (ITO) who are the empowered authority under the IT Act to assess income and pass assessment orders.
Modi, while addressing an economic event last year, had said these changes, including online assessment of scrutiny cases, carry “transformative potential” in ensuring better productivity from the tax department and help in reducing corruption and also motivate officers to pass correct orders.
The new APARs that have been notified on April 1 and circulated to officers, talks about these issues.
“Reporting authorities (AO) should realise that the objective is to develop an officer so that they realise their true potential. It is not meant to be a fault-finding process but a developmental tool,” the new form, accessed by PTI, said.
The AO will now have to furnish the number of assessments done by him during a financial year and specifically state if an assessee was either a “firm or a corporate entity”.
The officer filing the form for his better career prospects will also have to mention details of quarterly disposal of cases and report top ten cases, by value of addition made, handled by them during the same time period.
“The purpose of this input is to assess the efforts, quality and judiciousness of the additions made,” the fine print on the APAR said.
An officer will also have to chronicle in figures the efforts they made towards widening of the tax base.
A supervisory authority or the AOs boss will mark them on their “consistency in all assessments, quality of investigations made, time management in disposal of assessments, quality of assessment orders (natural justice, marshalling of facts, application of proper law, drafting quality of final order) and over all grading on scrutiny work.”