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Now, Officers to Exclusively Handle GST, Customs Complaints

A nodal officer will be appointed in each CGST and Customs Commissionerate to sort out taxpayer grievances. The move would ensure an escalation point for taxpayers in case their grievances are not addressed at designated level.

In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance that honest taxpayers would not be harassed and wealth creators would be respected, the indirect tax body – Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has directed to appoint a nodal officer in each CGST and Customs Commissionerate to sort out taxpayer grievances.

Industry and tax experts have hailed the decision saying that the move would ensure an escalation point for taxpayers in case their grievances are not addressed at designated level. “In order to institutionalize the taxpayers’ services in the field formations, it is necessary to designate officers who are to act as the nodal officers assigned with the job of taxpayer service,” CBIC Chairman P. K. Das has written to senior officers.

Accordingly, each CGST and Customs Commissionerate would have a nodal officer in the rank of Joint/Additional Commissioner. These officers would draw up plans for reaching out to the stakeholders in their jurisdictions. “The Directorate of Taxpayer Service would regularly monitor the work done by the nodal officers who would be extended arm of the CBIC for rendering taxpayer services.

“Any move which identifies a certain person as someone who could act as central point for escalation of cases is good move. It is a good move but one has to see how effective it is. In order to ensure that it works, a transparent monitoring mechanism has to be there,” said Amit Bhagat, Partner, Dhruva Advisors. The CBIC Chief in his letter to senior field officers noted that PM Modi had emphasized the urgent need to prioritize taxpayer service.

He noted that taxpayers committing minor or procedural violations should not be subjected to disproportionate or excessive action and that wealth creators are respected. Rajat Mohan, Senior Partner, AMRG & Associates said that taxpayers presently have to chase various officers for resolving issues and hence the move to appoint a nodal officer would be a big relief.

Source: Economic Times

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