Put in place foolproof IT system, control mechanism to check assessment errors: CAG to CBDT – The Financial Express

Clipped from: https://www.financialexpress.com/money/income-tax/put-in-place-foolproof-it-system-control-mechanism-to-check-assessment-errors-cag-to-cbdt/2385945/

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in a report tabled in Parliament, audited 356 high value cases pertaining to Corporation Tax with tax effect of Rs 12,476.53 crore.”

These cases mainly pertained to arithmetical errors in computation of income and tax, errors in levy of interest, irregularities in allowing depreciation/business losses/capital losses, irregular exemptions/ deductions/ rebates/ relief/MAT credit, incorrect allowance of business expenditure, income not assessed/under assessed under normal provisions, etc," it said.Out of 356 high value cases, CAG has illustrated 38 instances of significant errors/irregularities in Corporation Tax assessments involving tax effect of Rs 3,976.56 crore.CAG said application of incorrect rates of tax and surcharge, errors in levy of interest, excess or irregular refunds "point to weaknesses" in the internal controls in the Income Tax Department (ITD) which need to be addressed.It said that while the finance ministry has taken action to initiate correction in the cases pointed out by the Audit, it may be mentioned that these are only a few illustrative cases, test checked in audit.These cases mainly pertained to arithmetical errors in computation of income and tax and errors in levy of interest.

Pointing out significant errors and irregularities in Corporation Tax assessments, apex auditor CAG on Tuesday asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to put in place a foolproof IT system and internal control mechanism to avoid such recurrences.Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in a report tabled in Parliament, audited 356 high value cases pertaining to Corporation Tax with tax effect of Rs 12,476.53 crore.”

These cases mainly pertained to arithmetical errors in computation of income and tax, errors in levy of interest, irregularities in allowing depreciation/business losses/capital losses, irregular exemptions/ deductions/ rebates/ relief/MAT credit, incorrect allowance of business expenditure, income not assessed/under assessed under normal provisions, etc,” it said.Out of 356 high value cases, CAG has illustrated 38 instances of significant errors/irregularities in Corporation Tax assessments involving tax effect of Rs 3,976.56 crore.CAG said application of incorrect rates of tax and surcharge, errors in levy of interest, excess or irregular refunds “point to weaknesses” in the internal controls in the Income Tax Department (ITD) which need to be addressed.It said that while the finance ministry has taken action to initiate correction in the cases pointed out by the Audit, it may be mentioned that these are only a few illustrative cases, test checked in audit.

In the entire universe of all assessments, including non-scrutiny assessments, such errors of omission or commission cannot be ruled out.”The CBDT not only needs to revisit its assessments, but also put in place a foolproof IT system and internal control mechanism to avoid recurrence of such errors in the future,” CAG said.It further said CBDT may examine whether the instances of “errors” noticed are errors of omission or commission and if these are errors of commission, then ITD should ensure necessary action as per law.

The report noted that direct tax receipts decreased by 7.6 per cent in 2019-20 (Rs 10.51 lakh crore) as compared to 2018-19. However, share of direct taxes in gross tax revenue decreased to 52.3 per cent in 2019-20 from 54.7per cent in 2018-19.The collections from Corporation Tax decreased by 16.1 per cent, from Rs 6.63 lakh crore in 2018-19 to Rs 5.57 lakh crore in 2019-20 and income tax increased to 4 per cent from Rs 4.62 lakh crore in 2018-19 to Rs 4.80 lakh crore in 2019-20.

As per the report, the number of non-corporate assessees increased from 6.20 crore in 2018-19 to 6.39 crore in 2019-20, an increase of 3.16 per cent. The number of corporate assessees decreased from 8.46 lakh in 2018-19 to 8.38 lakh in 2019-20, registering a decrease of 0.9 per cent.CAG said the arrears of demand increased from Rs 12.3 lakh crore in 2018-19 to Rs 16.2 lakh crore in 2019-20, of which more than 97.6 per cent of uncollected demand would be difficult to recover in 2019-20. 

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