New Delhi: Hit by the over two-week strike
of its Grade II field officers like inspectors, the Income Tax
Department is roping in Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers
to carry out tax raids.
The Grade II officers are in the ranks of Income Tax
Officers (ITOs) and Income Tax Inspectors (ITIs) and
constitute the bulk of an I-T raiding team, which are led by
the officers of the IRS -- which is a central service on the
lines of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian
Police Service (IPS).
The department recently conducted two survey
operations in Mumbai, on a jeweller and a business house,
without any of its field officers in the ranks of inspectors
Top sources in the department said for the surveys,
which could not be held back for long for fear of information
leak, the investigation wing hired IRS officials from
different branches of tax collection in the city. The
operations led to a disclosure of Rs 31 crore in concealed
income, sources said.
Employees of Income Tax Employees Federation and
Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association have been on a
confrontation path with the department and the Central Board
of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for over a fortnight now in pursuance
of their demands.
The department has asked its investigation units to
requisition IRS officers in the ranks of Deputy Commissioners
of Income Tax and Additional Commissioners of Income Tax from
other units and even from outside the city in special cases.
Search and survey operations are a vital tool in the
hands of the I-T department to unearth tax evasion cases.
The employees federations of the I-T department have
been pressing for fulfilment of their demands related to
stopping of outsourcing for certain works and extension of
facilities like official mobile phones and laptops.
The latest meeting of the associations and the Central
Board of Direct Taxes -- the controlling authority of the
department -- on August 4 could not bring out an amicable
resolution, sources said, adding this arrangement would have
to be followed for some more time.