Income tax commissioner in tax net

March 28th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow, March 28 (IANS) Income tax officials may be widely perceived as oppressors who hound commoners. For a change, a commissioner level officer of the department is now at the receiving end here for a major default in payment of tax. R.N. Chaudhary, the income tax commissioner of Gorakhpur circle, figured among the top tax defaulters in his region.

According to a top IT official here, a whopping amount of nearly Rs.400,000 was outstanding against Chaudhary towards his income tax dues. It was only after a notice was issued to him that he paid up a sum of Rs.78,000.

A circle level income tax commissioner draws a gross salary of about Rs.47,000 a month, excluding perks, sources at the income tax department said.

Significantly, dues against Chaudhary have been pending since 2004-2005, when he was posted in Jaipur. He reportedly got away with continued default until an additional commissioner reported the matter to the Central Board of Direct Taxes, which issued directive to stop his monthly salary in order to recover the dues.

Chaudhary is stated to have gone to the extent of taking refund of a part payment he made towards his pending dues when the department’s noose was tightened on him earlier.

“Any ordinary assessee in his place would have been subjected to serious punitive action and would have had to even shell out heavy interest over and above the dues,” said a leader of the Income Tax Bar Association.

A senior official told IANS: “We are also trying to lay our hands on a number of IT officials who were not only defaulting on their own tax but also were known to be living far beyond their known sources of income.” He said, “Action would soon follow against them.”

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