3 senior IRS men shunted, given notice for hike-tax call

Ghughuti Bulletin


NEW DELHI: The government on Monday issued notices to initiate an inquiry against three senior revenue service officers for their alleged involvement in the preparation and release of a policy paper titled Fiscal Options and Response to Covid (FORCE), which had suggested higher taxes on the rich as well as a covid cess to help the government raise resources.

The officers have also been divested of their responsibilities.
Prashant Bhushan (principal commissioner), Sanjay Bahadur (principal director of investigation) and Prakash Dubey (director in the department of personnel and training) have been asked to explain their position on the charges — ranging from creating policy uncertainty during a pandemic, to criticism of government policy and causing “avoidable embarrassment”.

Bhushan is general secretary of the
Indian Revenue Service Association, which released the report on social media on Saturday, while the other two officers are accused of getting nearly 50 junior officers to prepare the report without authorisation. The
Central Board of Direct Taxes has so far not acted against the junior officers. Among a host of suggestions, the report had proposed inheritance tax apart from a host of taxpayer welfare measures.

Amount spent on coronavirus treat ment was proposed to be allowed for tax deduction. While the report was meant for internal discussion and submitted to the CBDT chairman a few days ago, the
IRS Association decided to make it public on Saturday night, creating furore that prompted the government to quickly disown it.

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