Stick for IT defaulters and carrot for compliants — Sangeeta Gupta

JK News Today

Jammu, March 15

Known for her tough approach against tax defaulters, Principal Commissioner Income Tax (J&K circle), Sangeeta Gupta, first women official to take up the challenge to serve in Jammu and Kashmir has been able to change the perception of people and they are filing their IT returns, especially from militancy infested Valley.

Talking to JK News Today, Gupta revealed about challenges during her tenure in the state and plans to increase the tax payers base, which is has improved due to efforts put in by her. After serving in various parts of the country in Income Tax Department, Gupta took charge after opting for post of  Principal Income Tax Commissioner in beleaguered state of Jammu and Kashmir on July 7, 2015.

Highlighting her achievements, Gupta said when she was assigned Jammu and Kashmir for work; her first decision was to open new offices to allow people to come forward with their problems.

“I have opened new offices at Katra, Samba, Baramulla and Rajouri allowing greater reach of the department and started an outreach programme to create awareness among the people. There are 13 lakh Permanent Account Number (PAN) card holders in Jammu and Kashmir, when I took over the charge effective returns were only 69,000. Due to our efforts, the figure has reached more than one lakh now”, Gupta said.

“I have changed that notion that people will resist filing IT returns and there is lot of corruption which is hindering the process and functioning of the department. Situation has improved in past two years and more people are paying tax. J&K Circle of Income Tax Department was among the topper in the entire North West Region in terms of realization of black money as well as number of declarations during last year. It has become possible due to the strenuous efforts of the department as well as cooperation extended by the people”.

Elaborating further, Gupta said that focus of the department is to widen tax base by initiating measures and tighten noose around those who have stopped filing or do not file the Income Tax returns so that they once again start adhering to the mandatory provisions of the Income Tax Act and contribute in nation building .

“Only 6000 people from valley were filing their returns but due to the efforts of the department and strict measures taken, the figure has now reached to 30,000, which is a big achievement. Post Burhan unrest in Valley created hurdles in our plans to increase our reach in Kashmir but situation has now back to normal”, she said.

In her direct message to defaulters, Sangeeta Gupta said that people who don’t pay taxes have no right to criticise the functioning of institutions or government. “If you don’t pay taxes, you don’t have any right to blame government for ills facing the country. Everybody needs to contribute in making an accountable society which in turn will lead to accountable government”.

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