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Need for reforming Central Processing Centre

QUESTION: I understand that the Central Processing Centre with headquarters in Bangalore is engaged in processing returns not apparently limited to jurisdiction in Karnataka. I am informed that there are many cases where there are errors in computation of income giving rise to demands. In the case of my son, the claim for carry-forward of losses under the head “capital gains” claimed in the income-tax return was ignored with the result a demand of above Rs.60,000 was raised. It should certainly be possible to check manually the correctness of the calculation, where there is such significant difference between the demand and self-assessment tax indicated by the assessee in his return of income. While computer may be used for processing, some check in the case of such differences would ensure immediate correction of the mistake in the order as well as the errors in the programme itself so that such mistakes may not be repeated. The least that could be done is to forward such cases to the assessing officers having jurisdiction so that they can issue the demand notice after proper check or choose the case for assessment, if they have any misgivings about the correctness of the return. It is necessary for the Central Board of Direct Taxes to attend to the working of the Central Processing Centre so that it may not prove to be another source of proliferation of litigation with work all round for taxpayers and departmental personnel.

ANSWER: The above letter from G. S. Sampath, former Chief Commissioner of Income-tax, points out the need for proper organisation of work by the Central Processing Zone, if it has to be of any assistance to the tax administration without causing more problems for the taxpayers. As suggested by him, the system should work without cause for any complaint and without undue delay attending to rectification of mistakes promptly without the assessees having to go in for appeal. This advice should receive prompt attention.

S. RAJARATNAM

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