IN AN innovative way to incentivize honest tax payers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) now issues certificates of appreciation — in the third round it has recently issued certificates to nearly 3.74 lakh tax payers, with the total number of such certificates now standing over 23 lakh. But whose idea was it? And who's eligible to receive those certificates of appreciation by the direct tax board? To receive a certificate of the platinum category, one needs to…pay taxes of Rs 1 crore and above. For the gold category, a taxpayer’s contribution has to be between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore. Those who pay taxes between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh are eligible to receive certificate of appreciation in the silver category. And the bronze category certificates are issued by the CBDT to taxpayers with a contribution of tax between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.
The idea behind this exercise, as a recent finance ministry statement said, is to acknowledge the contributions of tax payers by "paying taxes towards nation building and promptness in filing of Income-Tax returns".
As the CBDT informs, such certificates of appreciation are sent only by e-mail in various categories on the basis of the taxes paid by them for the assessment year 2016-17, where taxes are paid in full, tax payers have no outstanding tax liabilities, the return is e-filed within the prescribed due date and verified through digital signature or electronic verification code (EVC) or submission of signed ITR-V to CPC Bangalore.
It’s not however known whose original idea it was to acknowledge the tax payers with certificates of appreciation. If any bureaucrat knows the insights, do write in the comment box below.