Some eager-beaver IRS officers have landed themselves in hot water by circulating a document titled “FORCE 1.0” (Fiscal Options & Response to COVID-19 Epidemic).
The document is said to be “Recommendations of the Indian Revenue Service on revenue mobilization and economic impetus to fight COVID-19”.
Increase the peak income-tax rate to 40% to meet the deficit
Essentially, the recommendations are that since there will be a loss of revenue due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, more taxes should be imposed on the taxpayers, especially the affluent category.
“In times like these, the so called “super rich” have a higher obligation towards ensuring the larger public good. This is for multiple reasons – they enjoy a higher capacity to pay with significantly higher levels of disposable incomes compared with the rest, they have a higher stake in ensuring the economy springs back into action, and their current levels of wealth itself is a product of the social contract between the state and its citizens,” it is stated, reflecting the ideology of a socialist.
“Most high-income earners still have the luxury of working from home, and the wealthy can fall back upon their wealth to cope with the temporary shock. In view of several European economists, taxing the wealthy would be the most “progressive fiscal tool”, as wealth is far more concentrated than income and consumption,” it is added.
It is suggested in the report that this segment of the population can be taxed through two alternative means, both of which can be imposed for a limited, fixed period of time:
* raising highest slab rate to 40% for total income levels above a min. threshold of Rs. 1 crore
* re-introduction of the wealth tax for those with net wealth of Rs. 5 crores or more.
Almost 50 young IRS officers submit policy suggestions for reviving India's economy, post COVID 19.#IRS: committed to help build Nation's economic immunity.@PMOIndia @nsitharamanoffc @Anurag_Office @FinMinIndia @IncomeTaxIndia pic.twitter.com/vZVqd9HG5S
— IRS Association (@IRSAssociation) April 25, 2020
Here are excerpts of a report – Fiscal Options & Response To #COVID19 Epidemic (FORCE).
The report seeks a 40% peak income tax rate due to doubts over direct tax collection growth target of 12% being met this fiscal year.
— Siddharth Zarabi (@szarabi) April 26, 2020
The proposal by the IRS Officers evoked fury amongst taxpayers, most of whom are already being taxed to the breaking point.
First ask these "young IRS" officers to run a kirana shop for 1 year. Then let them come back & submit report. The report will the ask all income tax slabs to be removed .. @narendramodi @nsitharaman – throw that report to dustbin .. @Swamy39 @ishkarnBHANDARI @Tejasvi_Surya
— Avinash Ramaswamy (@avinashr85) April 26, 2020
Rightly said. Why not stop paying them salary and allowances for five years and contribute that to Covid19 fund.
— KSV SUBRAMANIAN (@KSVSUBRAMANIAN) April 26, 2020
India must kick the babus out from policy decisions. Babus have zero real life business experience & majority of them are corrupt. They still think they are rulling the country & 'collecting' taxes for 'British raj'. India badly need subject experts.
— Dr.Chintan Raval (@craval09) April 26, 2020
1) Fix revenue leakage
2) Catch those who evade tax by showing it as Agri Income
3) Don't Tax the honest Tax payers.
4) Bring back Black money stashed overseas
5) Seize Black money/benami property of corrupt@narendramodi @nitin_gadkari @myogiadityanath
— ಮೋಹಿತ್ 🇮🇳 (@mysuroo) April 26, 2020
These are suggestions for greater tax terrorism,more power to tax officials,more controls,disincentivising investment,more tax evasion.Instead of making tax easier,less disputes,this will hurt India.Sir @PMOIndia @narendramodi @nsitharaman Pl reject these control suggestions https://t.co/lrn51tPV0D
— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) April 26, 2020
We need to recommend the 50 IRS officers for Nobel Prize in Economics because they have come up with a great idea to rid us of COVID slowdown by taxing us
Every other country is giving tax breaks, cuts and concessions but they came with innovative idea of cess
— Ashu (@muglikar_) April 26, 2020
Instead of draconian, depressing incremental taxes we must put all resources on becoming the next manf hub, substituting china. This is our time to change the world order. This opportunity can redefine and revive our economic growth. Broad eg: Japan post WW2. #Covid_19india
— Ekta Batra (@ekta_batra) April 26, 2020
#TaxTerrorism and #Bureaucratic #Socialism (#BS 🐂💩) is worse than a #Cancer. It neither lets you die in peace, nor does it let you live in peace. 😱 (Hint: 100 years of facts, data and analysis has no effect on it) https://t.co/BiJZudFkQ7
— Dr Arvind Virmani (@dravirmani) April 26, 2020
I think you are jumping the gun here, Harsh. Appreciate the larger picture. The IRS guys have developed a cure for Corona. Kill folks through high taxes and the virus in them also dies. WDTT https://t.co/Pw7DjfOjKO
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) April 26, 2020
Finance Ministry & CBDT slam the report as “irresponsible” and haul up the IRS Officers for indiscipline
The Finance Ministry and the CBDT have not taken kindly to the unsolicited suggestions offered by the IRS officers.
The report was described as being “irresponsible”. It was also stated that the concerned officers will be charge-sheeted for prima-Facie act of indiscipline & violation of conduct rules.
Fin Min Sources Say IRS Officers’ Association was never ever asked by govt to give any report. It is prima-Facie an act of indiscipline & violation of conduct rules
— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) April 26, 2020
(2/3)No permission was sought by the officers before going public with their personal views & suggestions, which is a violation of extant Conduct Rules. Necessary inquiry is being initiated in this matter.@nsitharamanoffc @Anurag_Office
— Income Tax India (@IncomeTaxIndia) April 26, 2020
However, some irate taxpayers were not placated even after the official response of the CBDT.
These 50 guys should be sacked immediately. If these 'young' ones are so subordinate, imagine what will they do with 15-20 years of experience.
PS. Please learn to control your babus like congress do. Thanks.
— Kudrati Under Curfew चित्रकार 🚩 (@mickysood) April 26, 2020
It is sameless beyond words that even after adding 100 variety of cess,7 slabs of income tax, LTCG & DDT you guys have more guts left to further suggest such idiotic ideas. Height of incompetency!
— चंदन सिंह राजपूत 🌾 (@chandan_nit_dgp) April 26, 2020